Leadership Success Habits – Asking for Help

Are you in the habit of Asking for Help?

By Cory Pantelakis

Having been an entrepreneur for more than 28 years I have had the opportunity to learn a few leadership success habits along the path of obstacles, mistakes and victories.

About a year after I had launched my first company, at the age of 20, one of my customers, a seasoned entrepreneur himself, pulled me aside and planting a seed of one of the toughest success habits asked this important question;

do you have any mentors helping you grow your business?

to which I remember being a bit embarrassed as I said “no”.  Then after pondering the question for a couple days I really appreciated his boldness in asking and the impact it had.  Afterword, I thought, why wasn’t this obvious to me?

As time passed over the coming years, while building several small businesses and teams from scratch, I did what I concluded other competing entrepreneurs do, I read the best sellers, went to conferences, took copious amounts of notes, wrote business plans, researched my industries, sought the best managers and teams, asked them for feedback, and built friendships with lots of entrepreneurs.  After all that’s all good stuff, right?

Yet over these years the question remained, was I seeking complimentary insights from consultants or mentors?  Could I have still been mistakenly accepting this “I must do it myself” mantra, subconsciously believing that asking for help is a sign of ignorance or weakness.  How foolish my pride!

It seemed I had still not broken free from one of the most widespread limiting paradigms, or cultural norms, which is that we must do things on our own and especially if we are in a position of leadership.

So in 2005, realizing my entrepreneurial friends were no longer the right kind of mentor, since they often had the habit of sugar coating any feedback I might ask for, I began to look elsewhere.  I did some research and learned that I should consider an outsider.

Why an outsider?  Because;

  1. they would not be easily impressed with me ( I needed that )
  2. and would have much greater likelihood of inspiring me with fresh ideas
  3. as well as challenging me with action plans that would stretch me outside my comfort zone to new levels of growth and success.

Then in 2008, while under the additional economic downturn stresses, I decided to get more serious and sought mentorship, or coaching as some prefer to call it, on a weekly basis, again with someone who was outside my current circle of relationships.  It was then that I came to fully realize the value of mentorship and to this day I have continued the habit of engaging with multiple mentors several times a month with nothing else having impacted my success like it.

Complimentary Work

So you may be wondering what the outcome has been since I began seeking frequent coaching or mentorship.  And to that I would say this, I am now in a position where for the rest of my life all my needs are met, leaving me with much greater Opportunity.  Opportunity to do the work I love, which is helping others grow to reach their full potential.

If you already understand that a good consultant, coach or mentor can complement your abilities creating a greater potential for success I encourage you to share this wisdom with your peers.

And if you or someone you know are seeking to connect with a mentor or consultant, I would be happy to share a listening ear in service toward the opportunity for mutual growth.