Welcome to another Ask Katrina. The question today is:
“Hey, Katrina, as a new executive, is it safe to ask for help?”
You’re in a new role, you feel the need to prove yourself, you feel the need to show that you can stand on your own two feet, as they say, and that you can get things done. You’re not only proving that to everyone around you, but you are also primarily proving to yourself that you can be a successful executive.
All these questions, scenarios, and fears are playing out in the back of your mind.
You’re wondering if you’re ready, you’re wondering if you have actually earned the right to sit at that table and influence the business at the level, and you’re wondering if, in fact, you will be able to influence it.
When you’re uncertain and you’re unsure, and your confidence is lacking, you want some reassurance or clarity on what must be done and how to do it effectively.
You’re inherently wondering, “Am I going to devalue myself and my brand if I asked for help?”
We all ask this question at various points in our lives.
It is logical that you ask yourself this as you step into that executive seat for the first time.
But the answer to the question is, no.
No, you’re not going to devalue yourself.
Therefore, the answer to the overarching question “Can I ask for help?” is a resounding yes.
Not only can you ask for help, you must ask for help.
Asking is a Must for Executive Success
As an executive, if you don’t think about it any other way, recognize that you exist in your role to find opportunities that will help the business grow, serve, and expand.
You don’t create that level of impact alone.
It takes the leadership team coming together, helping each other, putting together the pieces of the next layer of the strategy and the vision, and the execution plan of the company.
If you look at the structure of the organization and understand your role as an executive, you’re expected to ask for help, because asking for help at the executive level is called collaboration.
That’s what we do, we collaborate.
The second reason you must ask for help as an executive is because quite frankly, you’ve never done this role before.
Think about this from a human growth perspective for a second.
Toddlers ask for help and teenagers ask for help. We have kids who aren’t in the home anymore and they’re still asking for help.
And that’s because they know that they’re still growing, they’re still learning. As long as you’re growing and learning, you’re going to be asking for help.
So to think that you shouldn’t be asking is actually the problem here.
You should be asking, “How do I grow here? Where should I grow next? What does that look like?”
I would challenge you to say the question isn’t, can I ask for help? The better question is, who should I ask to help me?
Because that’s where we typically get it wrong. It’s not the fact that we shouldn’t be asking, it is the fact that we’re asking the wrong people.
We are asking people for guidance and advice and because they don’t know the answers, they cover up their lack of knowledge while pushing back and telling us we should already know the answers.
There’s also another third component, the old guard, that will push back on you and tell you that you need to figure it out yourself because they had to figure it out on their own.
They believe that there’s some value in you figuring some things out on your own and because they had to “earn it” therefore you must as well.
We don’t necessarily need to adopt those ways. We simply need to figure out the right Individual to ask.
If you don’t have a mentor, if you don’t have someone you can partner with, find someone and always know that we’re here as well.
Either way, whether you find someone or let us support you, go ask for help, collaborate, work with your peers and your team, grow, learn, and step fully into your executive role!
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