When the company is very successful and is developing extremely fast, it seems like the only thing left to do is to keep up with the growth. However, once the company reaches the stage of hypergrowth, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the success and popularity of the company is going to carry it through without any repercussions. In fact, that’s the time when the company is the most vulnerable, and the leaders need to find ways to get through to the other side.
In his podcast, online publicist Maxwell Ivey keeps emphasizing the importance of asking for help. My conversation with him is the last one in the series about hypergrowth. So what is there in common between hypergrowth and asking for help?
Oftentimes, it’s difficult for successful people to ask for help. Many successful entrepreneurs I talk to in my work share that they have such difficulty and they wish that asking for help would be easier for them. Why does such a problem exist?
First and foremost, Maxwell emphasizes, it’s a fear of looking bad and affecting your image of a rapidly-growing successful company. Leaders become scared that if they ask for help or opportunities, people will think less of them and their achievements.
The funny fact is that when you put the focus on the other person when you do something nice for somebody else when you can answer a question or solve a problem for them, it makes you feel really good about yourself. The feeling is even greater if the person puts their lifetime work into the talent or experience, and you are asking them for help in that area. If you go to somebody and sincerely ask them for help, it’s only going to make the other person think more of you, because you’re willing to ask the questions instead of just going ahead and making the mistakes and decisions that will cost you a lot!
The most important thing to keep in mind, Maxwell says, is when you refuse to ask, you rob the other person of the joy of helping you. So, the first tip to make it easier for you to ask for help is to think not about yourself, but about the other person, whom you will bring so much enjoyment and happiness if you ask them for help or opportunities.
The second part of this skill, accepting the help, is even more difficult to master than asking for it. When you don’t ask for any help and somebody comes up offering theirs, it triggers another level of ego, that can whisper: “who do they think they are? I’m doing just fine. I don’t need any help!” You start questioning their motivations. But when people offer to help you, it takes more courage for them to reach out to you than it takes you to ask somebody for help on your own. People will reach out to you because they might notice that the words you are using while communicating, or the way you are talking about something indicate that you need help with something, even if for you this problem is still on the level of subconsciousness, and you yourself don’t even know yet that you need help.
You have to be polite and sincere, and realize that others just want to help and that your own motivations can be noticed by someone. If you’re not going to say yes to the offer, say no politely. And then even if you don’t take the help, you’ll get a person’s friendship, which is extremely valuable. Business relationships are so much more valuable than business contacts.
The third “rule” in asking or accepting help is showing gratitude. It’s great sending a thank you note or reaching out to the person afterwards, but you will show true gratitude to the person if you use their advice, or at least show that you gave this advice serious consideration.
Don’t be afraid to exchange the skills and knowledge you have, don’t be afraid to ask for help and opportunities, because that’s the quickest way to grow, and most importantly, don’t rob other people of the joy of helping you!
If you are interested in learning more about Maxwell’s personal experiences with getting help and how asking for help can improve the sustainability of your performance, listen to the whole episode of the Genius Leadership podcast here.
Stay tuned and be genius!