Getting By With a Little Help from My Friends

Getting by friends

Facing challenges requires bringing others alongside to provide insight, perspective, and support. Tapping the wisdom and insights of others brings a new level of understanding and potential solutions.

Walking alone through a challenge is counterproductive. It extends your struggle. It makes it more difficult to address the challenge. You’re more likely to be derailed and for a longer period of time.

Opening up to others can be difficult, but it’s a proven way to find solutions you may not have considered. Brene Brown, who researches and writes on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame, says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

When facing a challenge, I want innovation, creativity, and change. Being vulnerable takes courage. It requires vulnerability and courage to ask for support.

As a leader, you may feel you must possess all the answers. It takes a courageous (and wise) leader to admit you don’t have all the answers and need help. But that is just what we need to obtain the solutions we seek.

The challenge we are facing determines the resources we need to bring alongside. You may need to involve team members in a new way or bring in specialized help. A subject matter expert provides expertise you need for a specific challenge, or you may need a generalist to help you determine the best course of action over a wide range of situations.

Either way, finding the right resource requires acknowledging you need help and reaching out to your network. Sometimes as the leader, you feel isolated because there are things you cannot share freely with team members.

For challenges that can't be shared with everyone, engage an outside support person or team to assist you. This may mean hiring an executive coach or engaging a counselor, depending on the challenge you are facing.

Regardless of your challenge, the old model of going it alone, portrayed by John Wayne is no longer operational. Going it alone doesn't provide the solution to your challenges. Bring the best support team alongside you.

As you choose your support team, intentionally choose some who think differently than you do. Their thought process will stretch your thinking. The solutions you seek will come from thinking outside the place you are now. Surrounding yourself with people who only think like you inhibits the creativity and innovation you seek.

Getting by with a little help from your friends is the way to face and address the challenges you face as a leader. Tapping the creativity and innovative thought process of your friends, you’ll find more solutions, more support and more ability to work through your challenge.

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