Asking for Help?

I was reading recently and came across an article by Holly Duckworth a business leader and consultant helping organizations to find their authentic action in the world. In it she points out that as leaders we often don’t ask for help. And yet asking for help demonstrates trust in the other person.

My mind then made the leap to the Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Peter Lencioni that describes how teams get off track and how good leadership can turn them into high performing teams by addressing the dysfunctions. One of which is lack of trust – which is demonstrated by the unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group.

Back to asking for help; many leaders don’t ask for help because they are afraid of appearing vulnerable or they fear that the team will lose faith in them. After all, “the buck stops here,” right? So they look for answers themselves or they “consult” with individuals separately. This can lead teams to wonder what is behind all of that behind the doors meeting.

There is a time and place for everything. But being vulnerable with your team is NOT a demonstration of weakness. When we are in a meeting and we have an idea that could save the company significant money and or propel them into a new market but we hold back because we don’t want to be vulnerable…that is weakness. When we observe behavior that is unethical or even that is unprofessional and we do not address it; that is weakness. Not providing crucial feedback or not having a critical conversation because it will be uncomfortable or (vulnerable) that my friend is weakness.

Brene Brown in her book Daring Greatly points out the vulnerability and courage are very much the same thing. In both we are risking, in both we may fail, in both we are showing up more fully.

Are you asking for help? Are you demonstrating trust?


  1. Great stuff John!

  2. Transparency is the ultimate evidence of someone living a fearless life. Nice article John!

  3. Improving performance is always our goal and in this season of annual performance reviews we must have those crucial conversations. Thank you John

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