Australians don’t like asking for help. We worry it’s a sign of weakness. Business owners especially think they should know it all, and fear that asking for help reveals their “incompetence”. So, they put it off.
The problem is, when they do finally ask for help, it’s usually too late. The issue has exploded to the point it’s a mountain rather than a molehill, and it’s much more challenging to resolve. If only the business owner had asked for help at the first sign of the problem!
How often do you ask for help? Do you ask proactively or reactively? At the start of a project or the end? Most importantly, do you ask the right people for help?
When trying something new in business, it’s impossible to know what to do without advice. It’s like learning how to ride a bike. The child jumps on the bike for the first time and falls off. But when they ask someone who knows how it’s done, they learn. They start with training wheels, learn to balance, understand how fast or slow to go, and before long, the training wheels are off and they’re riding with ease!
It’s the same when starting a new project. You want to succeed; however, you also don’t want to risk looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. But imagine if you did ask for help. Sure, there’d be that initial discomfort of revealing you don’t know something, but if the advice you get helps you move forward and succeed, it’s worth it.
Help is a powerful thing.
Asking for help is not a weakness. It shows great strength and ambition.
Business owners and leaders need to focus on the right thing at the right time, with the right opportunities in the right market. This isn’t always easy. Leaders don’t always know all the answers. That’s why it’s critical they ask the right person the right questions – someone who is better, more knowledgeable than them.
Recently, a client we worked with decided to recruit a new chief operating officer. To ensure the process went smoothly, they needed a range of questions answered, such as:
What is a chief operating officer?
Why should our business have one?
What does the position entail?
Shouldn’t the business owner or CEO already be doing all those things?
How is a COO different from other roles?
Getting clarity on these questions enabled a better business outcome. The business recruited a COO, which allowed the CEO to be the CEO – in other words, they were free to fulfill their position, lead the business and achieve the desired outcomes.
In business, we often don’t ask questions until it’s too late. It’s like asking someone, “Does my bottom look big in these jeans?” We usually already know the answer, but we don’t know what to do about it.
The time to ask for advice is before we have the problem. However, we often don’t even know we have a problem! This is why an advisor is vital.
An advisor knows what we don’t know. They can talk to us about issues in a timely manner and give us advice before a situation arises. So, before we even need to ask, “Does my bottom look good in these jeans?” we already know to exercise and eat well. We won’t have to ask the question at all, because we do look good in those jeans!
If you need to ask the right person the right questions to achieve your business goals, email me at [email protected].