Many people are brought up to believe that they have to be mistresses or masters of their own destiny. Self-contained and complete. While that’s a noble space to try to occupy, few have the wherewithal to do that themselves. There are also not that many people who demonstrate how they work with others to effectively put themselves, as well as the people they build alliances with, into a better space. Role-model deficiency appears in all sorts of places and this is another.
Most people like helping others, even more so when they’re asked politely and thanked genuinely. What’s more they don’t always expect cash money reward. I know that’s a generalisation, but people’s generosity always astounds me. If there is a problem here it’s that some folk aren’t that good at accepting generosity. Meaningful relationships are by definition longer than mere chance encounters. You will inevitably get a chance to repay a generous favour at some time, so don’t feel honour-bound to repay there and then. Doing that can undermine the generosity of what was offered in the first place.
Recruiting staff is an area where I have always tried to match the skills and abilities of people I am hiring to mine, or rather the lack thereof. I understand well the things I’m not so good at and look to fill those gaps with the people I’m recruiting. I’m a great believer in the power of teams. Many hands and light work, one plus one equals three and all of that good stuff. One of the things that’s always on the top of my hiring list is “team fit”. That doesn’t mean a team of like-minded clones either. I’m always looking for that X factor edge that is found in people who understand themselves and what they want. I’m also attracted to people who understand themselves so well that they have figured out that it’s OK to ask for help.
My Mum is multi-talented and resourceful and a great place to go for help when something has to happen quickly and with few available resources. She’s taught me lots, including the need to ask for help.
When we were kids Mum decided that the benign weather that summer would be ideal for painting the house roof and she was the Woman For The Job! She donned her painting overalls, grabbed a brush and freshly-stirred pot of paint and purposefully climbed the ladder to arrive on top of the rainwater tank immediately adjoining the house’s roof.
At this point she learned something about herself. She suffered from vertigo. Fear kicked in. The paint tin disappeared over the edge. Like a limpet Mum adhered herself to the top of the tank. We spent the rest of the day getting her off. Not an easy task. Guess who ended up painting the house’s roof? Dad and me.