Whom do you know who exudes courage? Think quickly of one or two before you read the rest of this article. What actions do they take that make you think of them as courageous? Have they always seemed this way to you or have they recently done something to make you view them in a more courageous light?
A week ago, I took on a challenge: I decided that LifeTeamBuilders would adopt a few contestants in the race for the “Next Internet Millionaire” contest. After choosing some I liked, I posted a message in the forum offering to help promote them. The response was phenomenal and for the next 5 days, I did everything I could to build them up. I sent emails to my lists and blogs encouraging votes. I set up Squidoo pages for each of them. I even ran a small google adwords campaign offering free advertisements to my list for those who would send positive comments.
What was interesting in this process was the fact that most of the contestants who wanted my help were not the ones I originally picked. They asked me to add them in, make room for another one, gave me good reasons why they were worthy of my help, and for the most part, I agreed. Why? Because they had the courage to ask. I could have spent a lot less time on the whole project if I only promoted the original favorites who responded. Instead, I took on most of those who asked because I felt the act of asking in and of itself showed their strength as a leader.
Think now of the person or people you thought of at the beginning of this article. Have they ever asked for your help? When someone asks you for help, how does it make you feel? For me it is validating. Someone thinks enough of me that my actions will, in some way, improve their situation. I know for sure that at least some of those who asked did not in any way, shape, or form need my help. They were extending a hand to me as a way of validating me, lifting me up. Being a leader.
Asking for help is not an easy thing for many of us to do. I know I struggle with it all the time. Pride, fear, or for whatever reason, many of us simply do not like to ask for help. This has to change if we are to make it, especially if we are to lead a team. Showing vulnerability is an attractive quality. Why is that? Because people are innately, I believe, born to give. Helpful women, problem-solving men, all want to give. Ask someone for help; give them something of value in return, and you are well on your way to fostering a nice relationship. The leader in you is borne.