Even leaders need help. Or, maybe I should say, “Especially leaders need help.” I am not sure if that is the right way to say that grammatically, but I think you get my point.
I have been doing leadership coaching, working with non-profit boards, and doing one-on-one coaching for many years. Several years ago I founded Leadership Voices, a collaborative site for all kinds of leaders. Over the last few years, we have grown this community from nothing to more than 2500 “followers.”
Resting on current achievements has never been a part of my operating procedures. And recently I began to feel a real need to reach out to get some help and advice. But, just where does a leader go for help? That is the question facing me and probably many of you as well. Who can I turn to for help and advice on what I am doing wrong and what I am doing right?
So, here is what I did. I reached out to 3 folks whose opinions I felt would be of value to me. These three are engaged in similar pursuits as I am and they are leading organizations like Leadership Voices, LLC. One is older than me. One is younger than me. And one is someone the same age as I am. Two of the three have well-recognized names in the field of leadership, personal development, and career enhancement. Their names you may even recognize since you are interested in these topics and you are engaged at all with similar blogs or have a presence on places such as LinkedIn.
Since one of the greatest responsibilities that we face as leaders is to develop more leaders, I expected a quick and positive response from these other three leaders. It is with sadness that I report that only one of them has responded thus far. He and I have a meeting planned and we will have spoken by the time you read these lines. I am very much looking forward to speaking with Dr. Bill Dyment, founder, and principal at Dyment & Associates in southern California.
Now in full disclosure, I went to school with Dr. Bill Dyment. We have known each other for many years. But, I also know the other two guys to whom I reached out. If not in a deeply personal way, I, at least, know them through long-standing social media relationships.
What is the Leadership Lesson?
The leadership lesson is this. Leaders need help and advice just like anyone else. Unfortunately, leaders don’t always have a great pool of folks to turn to for advice or help. And if that is the case, then it is incumbent upon us as leaders to step up and be willing to work with and advise other leaders when they come to us for help.
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What about you when you are in a position to offer help? Are you approachable? Are you willing to work with another leader that may come to you for help or advice? Are you too busy? Are you too important to help someone else? One of the ways you may gauge your “approachability” is this question: “When was the last time someone asked me for help?” If it has been a very long time, you may be seen as being unapproachable by those around you.
What about you when you are in a position to need help? Are you too proud to reach out for that help? Do you have a circle of other leaders around you who can be your “mastermind group” or can hold you accountable for the goals that you have set for yourself or your organization?
My hope is that the other two guys that I reached out to will come back to me and provide some advice and guidance. I am sure that they are very busy and that they have organizations similar to Leadership Voices to run. If they do respond, I will take their advice and guidance with great humility and gratitude. But if they don’t, what advice would YOU offer to me about growing Leadership Voices, LLC and helping us to be able to reach young leaders, young entrepreneurs, young fathers, and anyone else who has a passion to develop a life and legacy of leadership? What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? What is the one thing that you have learned that you think I need to learn also? Please leave me your thoughts, comments, and advice in a comment below or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance! You are the kind of leader that I may need to turn to again. And I promise to return the favor if there is anything that I can do to help you learn from my successes and failures. I have my share of each!
In the mean time, I am continuing my search for other leaders, coaches, or mentors who can help me develop my greatest potential. I have my eye on one guy that I have recently had an opportunity to come to know. He embodies what I am trying to be. He is the kind of guy that I want to hang around with as often as I can.