Tim Kehl, a work-life balance specialist, tells us that, “Asking for help is a sign of strength in a leader, not weakness.” Kehl goes on further to say that, “Behind every prominent leader is a host of unacknowledged supporters who advised, assisted, and encouraged him or her along the way.” While this might seem like common sense to most of us, why is it so hard for healthcare supply chain leaders to ask for help, especially since no one can be an expert in everything they do? Some might say it’s our independent streak that causes us as leaders not to ask for help for fear of rejection, or worse yet, fear of revealing our shortcomings. I know most of us have these negative feelings when we ask for help, but do you see how counterproductive this behavior can be?
Ask for Advice in Your Career as a Healthcare Supply Chain Professional
I personally have made it a habit to ask for advice, guidance, and support from my bosses, peers, and employees in my hospital supply chain career since I found it took a lot of stress and worry out of my decision making. For instance, I once asked the President of a hospital where I worked how I would know if one of my managers was telling the truth about his job performance. My boss told me that you “look at the fruit that the tree bares. Good fruit = good manager. Bad fruit = bad manager.”
This was some of the best advice I ever received on managing, but I wouldn’t have gotten it unless I asked for his help. Even in my personal life, I’m always asking my friends for advice on the best way to do some home project I’m working on, since I’m not a “handyman”. Guess what – they just love to tell me the best way to do things because everyone loves to give advice and be respected for their opinion.
The key to asking for advice, guidance, and counsel is remembering that everyone you know or work with is willing, able, and pleased to help you make better decisions, avoid pitfalls, and grow your career. All you need to do is to ask them for help and they will readily give it.
Finally, be sure to thank them for helping you. To get it right, Khel recommends his “Three Thanks Rule” that expresses your gratitude three times: “When the transaction is struck, when the aid has been given, and when you next see that person who helped you.” Now, doesn’t this discussion make you feel better about asking for help?
Remember, asking for help is crucial to your success as a hospital supply chain professional!
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