How easy it for you to ask for help?
The first and foremost task of a leader is to look after our energies and then to help others look after theirs…. so said Peter Drucker, wise words they are and yet how easy is it for us to ask for help from others in managing our energies?
One leader in a team I was with recently said “I really want us to go for those big numbers together – BUT – I’m physically and emotionally knackered. There is only one of me and I need to look after myself so much better if I’m going to be at my best. I need help to do this……”
In response to my question: “What do you need most right now?” he said: “I need space to recover. Then I can work out how much of me I can and am able to give. I need support from others too. I need for us to not only look after ourselves but also to help each other”
Some others in the room nodded – he was not alone. He’d been strong enough to realise he needed help – and had felt safe enough with the team to ask for the help he needed.
In this moment I saw myself back on the pebbled beach in Dover Harbour in July, having just completed 2 successive open water sea swims, both over 2 hours, and each in choppy 13.5C sea water – proud, and yet at the same time, depleted – physically, mentally and emotionally.
I was wobbling and asked two team mates to hold me upright – and they did whilst I rallied and recovered. Asking for help in this situation was instinctive and vital and yet I sense it was the same for this leader. We both needed to ask for help – and it had to be safe enough to do that. We needed to be held for a while, so we could refuel and be at our best again.
Leadership Nudge: How easy is it for you to ask for help with managing your energies? In what simple and yet vital ways could you take more care of your energies – physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional? And what could you do as a leader to help make it safe enough for others to ask for help with their energies?
By Steve Holliday