I ask for help almost daily. There are countless things I don’t do well or tasks for which I don’t have adequate skills. Whether it’s asking someone to put together a new graphic for my newsletter or for help in planning a business strategy, working with others makes my own work better.
Asking for and giving help is a crucial part of life. No one is an island. You cannot do everything alone. Trying to will at best lead to more stress and at worst, lead to failure. Often I see people try to go it alone though, and for one consistent reason: glory.
We are taught that our worth is measured by what we accomplish. We idolize individuals and their achievements. You can see it everywhere – from the adoration we give to athletes, to the dignity and respect attached to being President (well…not always for the President but you know what I mean).
As a result, we believe the only true measure of strength and success is to go it alone. Only then can we legitimately rise to the top and win the prize.
Except this is simply not true.
We forget that LeBron James is part of a team. If no one passes him the ball, he can’t put it in the hoop. Our President is simply the head of one of three branches of our government. Without the support of Congress, his accomplishments are vastly limited. These people might be incredible individuals with talent and ability coming out of their ears but that doesn’t erase the fact that they need others to get things done.
The same is true for your workplace. You are not in competition with your coworkers. You are all working towards the same goal, so helping them helps you. When one person on your team succeeds, you all succeed. Lend yourself where needed to help other people reach their peak.
Their success is your success.
I’ve talked before about creating a spirit of generosity in your work to help build a better workplace. This means wanting to see others succeed. Contributing to their success and they to yours.
Giving of yourself, your knowledge, and your time, to help others is a worthwhile pursuit. Not only will it come back to you the next time you need help, but it helps foster a mindset of generosity and abundance. It also builds trust. By helping others and asking for help yourself, you pave the way for others to do the same. You’re not just the person taking the final jump shot to win the game. You’re the person who sees the open man right by the hoop and gets him the ball before the buzzer rings.