#Strong leaders ask for help!

Do you #believe strong leaders ask for help?

Tim Brown of Ideo says, “In the creative process, #help is something you often don’t know you need until it’s there in front of you. I do think that’s something that organizations can do something about: They can set up their culture such that serendipitous help is more likely to be available”.

My daughter in 3rd grade was in her Montessori math class and they were learning long division using racks & tubes. With her classes being online, she was missing the collaborative hands on learning. I saw her struggling and asked her, “Have you tried all options?”

She said, “Yes” and started by repeating the whole process again only to end up with the wrong answer. I again asked her, “Have you tried all options?”

She looked at me with a certain look and said, “Of course I have” and then softly, “but the answer is not coming”

I continued, “So, what do you think you should be doing?”

She listed out a bunch of ideas and finally said, “But I have tried them all…”

I then asked her, “How would you have done it differently if you were at school with your classmates?”

She immediately responded, “I would have asked for help”

I kept looking at her and then with a impish smile, “Maybe you can help me…yeah, yeah, you can help me” she asserted!

I replied, “Well, I can if you ask me. But I will need to first learn it myself before I can help you. So, do you want my help?”

She was delighted, “Of course daddy” and then mimicking my base voice said, “could you please help me?”

Well, we did learn and she can now do long division using tens board & units board with racks & tubes confidently.

The power of asking for help has to be learnt and taught from childhood.

As leaders, some may think, it makes them incompetent but that’s far from the truth.

In a 2015 Harvard Business school study, researchers Brooks, Gino & Schweitzer said, “We find that people are reticent to seek help for fear of appearing incompetent. This fear, however, is misplaced. We demonstrate that individuals perceive those who seek advice as more competent than those who do not”

Now asking for help depends upon 3 parameters –

Our attitude, How we ask and Whom we ask

The attitude one needs if they are to ask for help is:

H – humility

E – experimentation

L – learnability

P -participation

How to ask:

  1. Seek the right person
  2. 2. Structure the ask positively
  3. 3. Focus on giver’s strength
  4. 4. Be specific in the question
  5. 5. Start applying

Whom to ask:

Friends, family, parents

Colleagues, classmates, peers

Employees, followers




A CEO was about to get into his costly car, when he saw a homeless man looking at him. The CEO proceeded to ask him, “Do you need any help?”

The man looked at him and said, “Don’t we all?”

If you are a leader in today’s collaborative world, you must learn to ask for help.

It helps!

#storypreso #ashleyvinil #leadership #relationships @askingforhelp



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Ashley Vinil

Ashley Vinil


A sense-maker on a mission to transform the way leaders create, communicate & collaborate using storytelling & sketchualizing