Breaking the Stigma: Why Great Leaders Ask for Help

Asking for help as a leader can be challenging but it is an essential part of effective leadership. You might be afraid that your team will start to see you as weak or incapable, but it is simply not true. Afterall, leadership is about connection and you can’t have true connection without vulnerability. It may seem counterintuitive to seek assistance when you are in a leadership role, but honestly, who has all the answers or expertise in every area? No one.

Why should you be asking for help?

  1. It helps you make better decisions. When you ask for help, you gain access to different perspectives, experiences, and insights. Thus, you can make better-informed decisions and better avoid blind spots.
  2. It builds trust and credibility. Admitting that you don’t know everything can show your team that you are humble, approachable, and willing to learn. This can build trust and credibility among your team members. Vulnerability is a strength!
  3. It creates a more collaborative environment. When you ask for help, you invite others to participate in problem-solving and decision-making, creating a more collaborative and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

It’s not easy and asking for help as a leader can certainly be tricky, especially if you are used to being the one with all the answers. Self-awareness is key to recognizing when you might need help. By acknowledging your limitations and seeking help from others, you can better strengthen your leadership abilities and improve outcomes for your team.

Here’s how you can make the process smoother:

  1. Be specific. When asking for help, be clear and specific about what you need assistance with. Your team will thank you when they can fully understand the problem and can then provide relevant input.
  2. Be humble. Admitting that you don’t have all the answers can be difficult, but it is an essential part of effective leadership. Show your team members that you are willing to learn from them and value their contributions. This encourages them to do the same. 
  3. Be open-minded. When asking for help, be open-minded and receptive to feedback given to you. Listen carefully to what others have to say and consider their suggestions before making a final decision.
  4. Follow up. Once you have received assistance from your team members, be sure to follow up and thank them for their contributions. This shows that you value their time and effort and will encourage them to help you in the future.

Asking for help as a leader is a vital attribute that should be developed and nurtured. It is essential to recognize that you, in fact, do not always have all the answers and that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but rather a strength. So ask for help. Open yourself up to new perspectives, ideas, and insights. Make better decisions, build trust and credibility amongst your team and create a more collaborative environment. In the long run, making a habit of asking for help as a leader can help you build a strong and supportive network of colleagues and allies, which can prove to be invaluable in achieving success. It will be worth it.


Lean into Asking for Help with These Books and Podcasts:

All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success by Wayne Baker

Gut + Science Episode 186: The Self-Aware Leader with Angela Marshalek

Angela Marshlek, Director of Training and Organizational Development at Bassett Mechanical, is passionate about leadership and personal growth. In her role, she guides leaders on their journey to self-awareness, empowering them to break free from self-preservation and unlock their hidden potential.

In this episode, Angela explains why self-awareness is key to being a better leader. Listen in as she shares insights on how to slow down and ask better questions to understand yourself and others more deeply and connect in more meaningful ways.


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