Help Wanted! The risk of being too independent.

By Morag Barrett on August 23, 2012

Posted by Morag Barrett | August 23, 2012Help Wanted! The risk of being too independent.I recently came across this article in Entrepreneur Magazine where Richard Branson talks about the importance of asking for help.  It was timely as I was reflecting on my own career, a combination of corporate life, an international move and now as an Entrepreneur running my own business.  To date things have worked out successfully.  In each role and organization I have been challenged, learned a heck of a lot and grown both as a leader, a businesswoman and a person.What stood out for me this year, the fifth anniversary of launching Skye, was just how many people I had not been in contact with recently (or regularly), that I do not naturally ask for help.  I am an independent soul.  As Marshall Goldsmith points out, while we are all successful because of many traits, we are also successful in spite of other characteristics.  In my case I am successful both because of, and in spite of, my independence.Through out my career I have valued independence, not because I didn’t recognize the importance of working with others, but because I didn’t want to be a burden on others.  I have always been a quick study – let me know what is needed and I will get out of your hair and deliver the results required, minimal supervision, minimal hassle.  Success reinforced this mindset of “get in, get out, get done.”What I hadn’t appreciated was the impact of this “independent’ mindset and approach on others.  Colleagues and stakeholders who wanted to help and contribute, who may feel left out of the process.  That for them, providing input at the beginning and receiving the final product at the end of the process may not be sufficient.  That I was, essentially, too independent and that it was ok for me to ask for help and to involve others.It’s ironic in that the underlying premise of our core program “Cultivating Winning Relationships” and the companion book “Connect! Powerful strategies for cultivating winning relationships that deliver results, break down silos and ensure mutual success.” (working title) is that the world of work is the biggest team sport any of us will take part in, asking for help, collaborating with others is what ensures success.I have taken steps to change my mindset.  To try not to do it all myself.  Already I am seeing results, a colleague who is helping to shape the Advisory Panel for the book I am writing has accelerated that process and had a knock on effect to the writing (30,000 words so far) and next steps that mean this book will happen! (Thank you Chris!).I’m glad to know that I am in good company, if Richard Branson sees the need to, and can, ask for help – so can I.  I look forward to proactively reaching out, reconnecting and learning from others.  Stand by your phones I need help (please)!What is your overplayed strength?What are you successful  because of and in spite of?Related ArticlesTags »Cultivating Winning RelationshipsEmotional Intelligence Share
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