We talk often about the characteristics of good leaders in this blog. We examine them, use real life examples to support them and generally agree on them. We have looked at characteristics like creativity, motivation/inspiration, honesty, integrity, work ethic and more as characteristics many good leaders share.
We often think of good leaders as charismatic. We think of them as strategists and consensus builders. As a result of many of these characteristics, good leaders are also often independent and confident.
Sometimes leaders are so confident they can be egotistical. That formula often leads to failure. Think about some of the high profile business leaders who have failed in recent years. Many would agree their egos got in the way of their success. They believed they were bigger than the companies they served. They got into trouble and either believed no one else was smart enough to get them out OR they were afraid to ask for help.
As a business leader myself, I can relate to this. I don’t often like to ask for help. Perhaps I see it as a sign of weakness or of failure. It’s something I need to work on.
But I am recognizing that as leaders, we cannot be all things to all people. We cannot sustain the growth and success of our companies by ourselves.
One of the concepts author Jim Collins and his research team theorized in their book Good to Great was that leaders of good companies know how to find the right people and put them in the right places. I would add to that concept that leaders of good, successful and sustainable companies find the right people, put them in the right places AND rely on them to help build and sustain the company.
Are you afraid or unwilling to ask for help? Would you be a better leader if you weren’t?