Understand the psychology of your team's need to provide assistance.
- We're an independent lot. A recent article in Harvard Business Review on the ineffectiveness of team-building exercises found that, "Quality collaboration does not begin "with relationships and trust. "It starts with a focus on individual motivation." People want to take on jobs where they have accountability and responsibility and they want affirmation from their boss, you. Part of having them feel they have real accountability and responsibility is when the boss, that's you, asks for help even when you don't need help.
That person wants and needs to feel important by helping you. Why would you deny someone this opportunity to grow? I see this firsthand on the expeditions we run with executives. Oftentimes we're hiking with heavy packs in slot canyons that are narrow with huge steps to ascend or descend. We have a rule to always help or spot the person who follows you. More often than not, the executive will refuse a hand up and they'll say, "I got this," even whey they struggle against the abrasive sandstone.
Most of the time it's true. They can manage the obstacles safely by themselves. But it's selfish. They're denying someone on the team from helping the C-level executive from a Fortune 500 company. What a shame. Leading the organization is not about you. It's about your ability to self-regulate your needs, desires, and emotions for the betterment of the team. Think of it this way. When you let someone help you, you show you're vulnerable.
You build trust and perhaps loyalty. You also instill confidence and help an individual make better future decisions which ultimately helps you and the entire organization. Executives often complain about being too busy. What they're really saying is they need help reprioritizing and that usually means they'd like to spend more time on three things: strategy, customers, and developing leaders. Develop people by asking for help and let people learn by having real responsibilities.
This will slow things down because it's hard to learn when we're always going 90 miles per hour. Being an effective C-level executive means you have a team you can delegate to so you can do what only you can do.