Before you read today’s post, I wanted to mention the following: You have been inundated recently with COVID 19 updates, warning, and counsel. We have sent some material ourselves. What we also want to emphasize is that this blitz will pass. We don’t know the outcome or the timing, but it will pass. Today’s blog is about fundamentals that will still be there, are there right now, and are important…and can be applied to any leadership situation.
An experience as related by my daughter Emma on a humanitarian service trip to Greece:
“It was my fourth week in-country. We were in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. Hundreds of Middle-eastern refugees had ended up on the streets of this huge city. I was getting used to a thousand culture shocks at once when our supervisor left and I was told that for the next couple weeks I would be in charge of the operation until a new supervisor arrived. I was 22 and overwhelmed by the concept of buying supplies to make over a hundred daily servings of food and delivering it by station wagon through the narrow chaotic streets of Thessaloniki. However, I also felt excited, and to be honest, a little full of myself. The first couple of days I remember liking the title of supervisor, even though there were four of us on the team. I kind of got a big head. I felt pretty good about myself. Until a lot of things fell apart… like me running our station wagon into a motorcyclist, getting lost and having a bunch of upset refugees tell me that they needed more food and I wasn’t providing it.
It only took about two days for me to get over myself and realize how desperately I needed and had always needed help. I needed my team, and they needed me to ask for that help.
Things didn’t just get better after that, they got fun. Working with that team became one of the happiest times of my life. I got to see their strengths as my weaknesses had been so magnified. I found out that admitting you don’t know everything and asking for help is the first step to people liking you a lot more. Because even when you think you’re in charge, the majority of the time people can tell you have no idea what you’re doing.”
As leaders, each of you may have been through some version of the above. The honeymoon period of pride. Feeling accomplished- as you should- for making it to the top. But maybe letting it get to your head, which is natural. Leadership, however, is getting out of your head, asking for help, and coming down from every pedestal that could tempt you.
This week: Ask for help.
It’s simple, but for some, it is extremely hard to step down intentional and unintentional pedestals. But this week, ask your team for help.