(photo by sean dreilinger)
My answer to this, most of the time, is “No, I’m fine.”
Last week, my son broke his leg playing soccer, and ended up needing pins and a frame on his leg to straighten the bone. When we were headed out of the hospital on Tuesday, I was pushing him in his wheelchair and carrying two pillows, crutches and a heavy duffel bag. Along the way to the entrance to meet up with my wife, three people had offered to help me: his nurse, another random hospital employee, and someone from our church who saw me walking down the hallway. My answer to all three? “No, I’m fine.”
This morning as I looked at my daunting to-do list (June is CRAZY!), I was hit with what I did in the hospital… There were people all around me who were offering to help, and I declined because “I’m fine.” I realized that is my mantra: “I’m fine… I can do it… It’s OK… I don’t really need help…” Isn’t that the mantra of every leader, though? We wouldn’t have gotten to where we are without that self-sufficiency and work ethic.
What I think many of us get stuck on, though, is that as a leader it is our job to empower people around us. Yes, we all know this. I know this! But, still I say, “No, I’m fine.” I need to start forcing myself to say, “Yes, thank you for the help.” I need to make my knee-jerk reaction when asked if I need help to say, “Yes” rather than, “No” unless I have a really good reason to say, “No.”
Even if “I am fine” I still need to allow others to help and empower others to help.
This is going to be hard…