Here are three things to consider before you jump in the middle of something to save another person.
If you’re like me (particularly if you’re in a service business), you probably like helping other people. That’s probably why you started doing what you’re doing and it’s a sense of service that makes you want to help others. In a way, we can help others. The old saying goes, “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for life.” A lot of times we get put in situations where we rescue our teams or our clients. I was recently put in a situation where I was asked to rescue someone. The temptation is real. I’m often asked to help on something that I could do very easily, that I understand well, and I’m competent to do, but I want you to consider these three things before you help somebody. I use these three frameworks when I get in a situation where somebody’s asking for help and it may not be appropriate for me to help.
#1 Your mission is your value. We talked in other blogs about focusing your energy, concentrating on what you’re great at, where you add the most value, and using your team to do other things. If you’re jumping in and doing things you shouldn’t do, you’re getting off mission. You’re losing value. You’re shortchanging yourself and your business.
#2 You are cheating your team in the development. If you jump in and help somebody, the person you’re helping may not fully develop. There’s a fine line between teaching and instructing and enabling somebody and doing the work for them, in which case they won’t learn as much. They will not develop at the same level.
#3 You are short-selling your future. You are short-selling yourself by not developing your team, by not enabling those skills, and by taking your focus off of where you should be. You’re actually hurting your future, and it’s hard to believe that, but helping someone could take you off mission. It could end up hurting you in a big way.
What are your thoughts on helping others? How do you draw the line between help and enabling somebody’s neediness? Where do you draw the line? Join us in the comments below.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Kai Gieseler.
About the Author
Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.rshawnmcbridelive.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
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