As soon as I wrote the word 'help' down it made me
think of an old Far Side cartoon where you see two rescuers in
an airplane looking down at a desert island where the stranded
survivor has used rocks to spell out “HELF”. I guess that
would be a typo, if that is what it is called when you
misspell with rocks. The rescuers interpret this to mean that
since the folks on the island aren't asking for 'help' they
must not be the ones that need to be rescued. It is my
experience that sometimes we don't recognize that someone is
asking for help, and sometimes they just don't ask.
A few years ago I wrote an article called “Congratulations,
You've Lost Your Job” (you can read the article here).
One of the last things I said in the article was that when I
lost my job as a club manager, one of my colleagues, who I had
a great deal of respect and admiration for, told me that if I
needed his help in any way, all I had to do was call. In the
article I mention that I am not proud to report that I never
asked him for help because I didn't want him to know I needed
it. It was a wonderful lesson for me. When I started my
coaching practice I asked a number of people for help and
received it from many others, without asking.
My first coach helped me with this concept. He wrote the
word 'help' on a piece of paper and asked me to write words on
the left side of the page that reflected how I felt when I
asked others for help. I wrote: not good, embarrassed,
incompetent, a failure, needy, dependent, small. (Keep in mind
that I had just lost a job. My answers probably would have
been different a year earlier.) He then asked me to write
words on the right side of the page that reflected how I feel
when people ask me for help. I wrote: I feel great, empowered,
they think I can help, I am competent and I have their
confidence, I am anxious to help and I feel like I have been
given a gift. He then asked me if I thought it was a bit
selfish that I wouldn't give others the gift of asking them
for their help. This question combined with a discovery that
anyone who has accomplished greatness has done so with the
help of others, changed the way I felt about asking for help.
I love receiving the gift of being asked to help and I am
better now at giving the gift of asking for it.
I was recently given the wonderful gift of being asked to
represent the Club Managers' Association of America on a trip
to Louisiana to see how we can support the members of the
association who have been challenged by hurricane Katrina. I
am sure they have many lessons to teach us that I can tell you
about next month.
I don't know how this message is landing with you. Perhaps
it is telling you that it is time to ask for help or perhaps
you can see a way to reach out to someone who needs your help.
Asking for help doesn't mean something is broken. If you are
trying to accomplish something of great consequence you may
need some help. This is the kind of help I get from my
mastermind group. All I have to do is ask.
Please help me to know if you find the messages in my
newsletter interesting and helpful by accepting the following
gift. I would like to send a copy of the e-book I co-wrote
with my mastermind group, 'The Magic of Mastermind', to the
first five people who request it by sending me an email by clicking
I hope this month's article has been