Home > learning > Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late to Ask for Help

Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late to Ask for Help

We’re all familiar with the old saying, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears,” right?  But how do you know if and when you are ready.  Most of the time you don’t.  In other words, you don’t know what you don’t know until it’s too late to do anything about it.  As a manager you are often basing your personnel decisions on the way your boss did it before (right or wrong) or on your instincts (right or wrong). 

There have been many times in my career when I have met with a manager who has big personnel problems; problems that have deep roots that once upon a time started as small seeds blowing in the corporate breeze.  Somehow those seeds came to land and find fertile soil in their department.  That fertile soil may have been the forces of the urgent vs. the important, hiring mistakes, and a lack of knowledge or experience in proactively managing performance. Nonetheless, there are many forces at play that can cause a manager to avoid seeking help and continued management education.  Perhaps you fear loosing credibility or as a manager you have told yourself, “I can do it myself,” thinking that if you did ask for help you would appear less competent.

“Managers who must continually project an air of certainty to be credible find it difficult to acknowledge in front of peers or subordinates that they do not have all the answers.  Others fear that their bosses will learn what they are doing if they have outsiders helping them.  All of these forces operate to create isolation among innovators, and isolations breeds blindness.” 

(The Dance of Change, A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Mastering The Challenges of Learning Organizations, by Peter Senge)

Our company survives on innovation.  Let’s not be blind to our own professional development when it comes to leading others. 

Mr. Anderson

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Categories: learning
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