“Leaders are the last to ask for help when they should be the first.” - Kelly Newmark
When I’m asked the number one thing I would change as a leader, my answer is always the same: I would have asked for help more often. Indeed, I tried to do way too much myself, and I tried to be way too perfect. As a result, there were times, two in particular, that I wore myself out and wound up in the hospital, once for serious ulcers and the other for bacterial pneumonia. Even with those two major health events, I didn’t learn to slow down and rely on others until my father-in-law told me to.
As I have interacted with other leaders, I realized that almost all of them either are or have experienced the same thing. In my case, the failure to ask for help was driven by my pride. People looked up to me and always complimented me on how cool I always was in even the most pressurized situations. They didn’t know I was churning inside and burning myself out.
After my father-in-law’s advice, I started reaching out, talking to others and getting their advice, even in situations when I thought I knew the answer. It was amazing how relaxing that was. People didn’t even have to give me advice. Just the fact that I was talking to someone allowed me to stop churning inside.
In closing, the more responsibility you take on both personally and professionally, the more you need to reach out and get advice. You will wear yourself out and fail as a leader if you don’t.