Ginger was an independent dog. She didn’t like to be fussed over and she didn’t want any help from anyone. But when she got older, she needed a lot of help. She struggled with this at first, but very soon, she was letting me lift her and carry her and take care of her without much fuss. My dad, before he died, did the same thing. He as a very independent person, a very strong construction guy. When he had to depend on someone to help him with simple things like getting him in and out of his wheelchair or in and out of the shower, I think he felt helpless and weak. I know that was terribly hard for him. He had to ask for help, which was totally against his nature. He had been on his own since the age of 15 and made his way in the world with very little help from anyone.
I see this emotional profile in many of the people I work with in the construction industry. They have an alpha profile (high assertiveness, high independence, high self-regard), along with the control profile (high problem solving and reality testing with low flexibility). They have trouble delegating. They want to do everything themselves. They rarely ask for help. Part of this way of being feeds the ego, but it has its downside. This profile usually has very poor time management skills. They are overwhelmed due to lack of delegation and wanting to do everything.
This is a great lesson for me and I hope for all of those alphas out there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Delegate as much as possible and increase the capacity of the people underneath you. For the younger people in the industry, don’t be afraid NOT to know something. Ask if you don’t know. Know your limitations and ask for help when you need it.
We all need help now and then. And it takes great strength to ask for help. What if we all agreed to ask for help and to help each other? The world would be a different and better place. So take a lesson from Ginger, my dog and, when yo need it, ask for help.