Inspiring Leaders Ask For Help.

When I sat down with the amazing Julie Chan for the Inspirational Leadership series, she said something that will stick with me forever. Julie told me she was inspired by a speaker who once told her, “You can have it all, just not all at once”.

A simple line, but extremely powerful.

Julie mentioned that she is not only a colleague and leader at work, but she is also a wife, has a daughter, is a dog mom, tries to have a social life, and at some point she needs time to recharge. It’s a lot. And like Julie, I think many of us, especially in the western world, can load our plate as full as we possibly can.

What was interesting was Julie didn’t say she was inspired by a leader who could put more on their plate, instead she was inspired by a leader who would know when to ask for help. To recognize that sometimes your plate is too full, that you’re stretched too thin, and that the most inspiring thing you can do, is to ask for help.

Sometimes that help can be as simple as asking a fellow parent to share carpool duties for your kid’s activities, or as complex as asking for mental health help from a practitioner.

Julie noted that when we ask for help as a leader we actually get stronger, maybe learn something, and ultimately become a better version of ourselves along the way. She also suggested that when someone comes to you and asks for help, sometimes the best course of action is to teach through story. Share a piece of yourself with that person and open up. In Julie’s experience, that breeds a culture of more people being open and willing to ask for help and ultimately connects the organization at a deeper level.

Let’s all try and take away this brilliant lesson from Julie. It is possible to have it all, you just may not be able to have it all at once. So, ask for help when you need it!

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