To finish out Lessons from the Farm for 2021, I thought I would repost a few lessons from years past. Enjoy!
Earlier this week, I posted about not stopping when you’re trying to move forward. I would recommend if you haven’t read the first post, click here and read it before reading today. And yes, today’s picture is an authentic picture as well, just not something I did.
Here’s the thing about getting stuck. Once you get stuck, more than likely you’re not going to pull yourself out alone. In fact, in my experience, when I got stuck and kept telling myself I could work myself out, a lot of times I only dug a deeper hole.
So, today’s leadership principle is know when to stop and ask for help.
There seems to be an aura in society about asking for help. People are ashamed to do it. Often times, I’m embarrassed to ask for help. It’s embarrassing to send your boss (much less your dad) a picture of a pickup buried to the frame. It’s even more embarrassing as a 28 year old to send the same picture to the 17 year old kid who works with you.
As leaders we convince ourselves that asking for help is a sign of weakness. We are the leader, so why would we need help? Are we not supposed to be the expert? We should know better.
Or, maybe you’ve served with someone who asked for help so much you felt like all they were doing was trying to get out of doing actual work, and you do not want to come across that way.
But, when you’re stuck, you’re stuck. Scroll up and look at today’s picture again. Do you think there’s any way that tractor is getting out on it’s own? It’s not equipped to do it. The front tires alone (it’s not an all wheel drive tractor) are almost completely buried.
In leadership, the same thing can happen. We can get to a place where we’ve tried and tried to work our way out, but the truth is we have dug ourselves such an incredible hole, we have to ask for help.
Help comes in a variety of ways, but here are three:
Trusted friends – Maybe all you need is a little push so your tires can grab. Trusted friends are great for this! They keep you honest, humble, and moving forward. Surround yourself with people who think differently than you, and everyone wins.
Conferences – Something about getting away and being exposed to new or different ideas and concepts gets our creative juices flowing. I’m excited to try to find a conference in our current climate that will help me to process and make the most of the struggles I’m facing.
Professional Counseling – I cannot tell you how many significant leaders to whom I listen or read have stressed the importance of counseling. Sometimes, when you’re stuck, the best step is to seek the help of a professional.
The bottom line is this: we all get stuck at some point. Great leaders know they’re stuck and are not afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but of maturity.