Category: 3 Questions

3 Questions

3 Reasons to Ask for Help

three question leadership
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Okay, so you are a leader. You are probably even good at some (if not most) of the stuff you do. But have you ever considered your ability to do more is actually a hindrance to those around you? Leaders fail when they fail to ask for help.

Think about it. The more you accomplish, the less the people around you are able to accomplish.

Granted, we are approaching today’s topic from a different perspective, possibly even a counter-intuitive place. But if we are going to buy into the 3 questions to help us grow as a leader then we have to admit a few things.

Here are 3 reasons why you should ask the people around you to help:

  1. You’ll make fewer mistakes. When you focus on what you should be doing and let other people handle the rest, you are able to do your part better. Have you ever tried to juggle? Like actually tried to juggle? Juggling two things is pretty easy, almost natural for most people. Adding a third is more challenging, but definitely accomplishable. Juggling four things, however, is something few people can do well, ask Four Toed Frank the Knife Juggler. The truth is when you ask someone to help, your own effectiveness goes up.
  2. You will frustrate fewer people. Someone who can think for themselves doesn’t want to feel useless. Put another way, high performing people do not want to feel sidelined, so let them get in the game. Taking a step back and bringing them into (or appropriately handing off) the conversation (or project, or task) allows them to feel helpful and fulfilled, thus expanding your leadership influence and theirs. And as a result, they will likely hang around longer because they feel useful.
  3. You’ll get better at your job. When you focus on one thing, you’ll learn how to do it better. Being a jack of all trades, but a master of none is not a desirable trait! This is hard to say, because this is who I am. I do a lot of things, but I only do a few things well. When I spend my focus and energy on the things I do well, I get better and those around me benefit.

The more I teach and talk to other leaders about the three questions, the more I realize the biggest impediment to impact is failing to empower those around you to serve. If you want to see your leadership impact grow exponentially, learn how to ask people to help.

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3 Questions

The Power of the 3 Questions

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A couple weeks ago we were on the back end of our youth room remodel, and our deadline (Wednesday night) was approaching fast.  I was spending the majority of my time that week trying to rearrange, clean up, and reassemble the room. I had both of my daughters with me to help, but that was not working the way I hoped.

Then, a light bulb came on. As my oldest daughter was asking what she needed to do next, I did something I have not done yet: I asked her to answer the first 2 questions (Click here for the explanation of the 3 questions). I helped her as she looked around the room to see what needed to be done, and then helped her see what she could do.

Now, I have said before that I do not sit my daughters down and make them listen to me lecture on the 3 Questions, but earlier this summer I did let my oldest sit in one of my talks on them. She was excited about the idea of it, so our conversation in the youth room was not out of place.

What happened next was great. We were able to accomplish more because she was not interrupting me every time she finished a task. She was learning to trust herself and ask the questions, and I was encouraging her along the way.

The 3 Questions are simple. Some people take to them naturally. Others, it takes a little more effort, but it can happen. The key is in the repetition, the redundancy.

If you are trying to learn to ask the 3 questions personally, hang in there. It takes time, but it can make all the difference in the world.

If you are trying to teach the 3 questions, stick with it. When someone embraces the possibilities, the results are amazing. It will take time, but push through and see what happens.

I’m cheering for you and your leadership today.

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3 Questions

3 Reasons to Ask for Help

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Honestly, I do not know if today’s leadership lesson is a leadership lesson, or just a life lesson, but seeing how you’re both a leader AND alive, let’s dive in anyway.

Ask for help.

There’s something wired inside most of us that makes us dread asking for help. We think it’s an ego shot, or we think it makes us look weak. The reality, however, is asking for help means we are incapable of doing things all by ourselves.

There are a couple of reasons to ask for help:

  1. Asking for help gives someone with an ability and/or gift an opportunity to use their ability/gift. I doubt this comes as a surprise to you, but not everyone excels at the same things. Where some people have no idea how to build something, others find their greatest joy and fulfillment in building. Where some people love technology, others would prefer to throw their computer through the window. Common sense, right? Why not find the gifted people in your realm of influence, and ask them to help.
  2. Asking for help enables you to accomplish more. Let’s say we have 30 cars that need to be moved from one place to another. If it takes 5 minutes to move each car, it will take me 2 1/2 hours to finish the task by myself. If I get 4 people to help me, we each move 6 cars, and we get it done in much less time (sorry, I’ll have to ask my wife for help on the math of that one). The bottom line is we accomplish more when we work together than when we work alone.
  3. Asking for help is not an admission of weakness. There, I said it. But find the balance between asking for help and wanting to be released from all responsibility. If you ask for help just because you don’t want to do the work, then you’re assigning tasks. The second question deals with this: always be willing to do the work that needs to be done. The reality, however, is if you’re afraid to ask for help, you are not going to just assign and walk away. But if all you do is ask for help, you may want to do some evaluation.

The bottom line today: we accomplish more together than we do alone. Ask for help. Your leadership influence will grow as a result.

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3 Questions, Incoherent Ramblings

Leadership Means Letting Go

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What are you good at? I mean, what are you really good at? What is something you enjoy doing? What comes naturally to you that other people have to struggle to understand?

I enjoy running sound at my church. I may not be really good at the nuts and bolts, ironing out frequencies, but I understand the concepts of running sound.

The same goes for running presentation software on the computer. I know how the programs work, am willing to learn what I do not know, and enjoy doing it.

At camp last week, however, I had a moment. One of my roles at camp was to oversee the sound booth, but we took a different approach. This year, instead of the person in charge of the sound booth doing both parts, I oversaw students who took the responsibilities.

That means, every time we gathered for a service, two high school students were making everything happen.

One student, in charge of the sound board, turned mics on and off, adjusted levels, and made sure what was coming out of the speakers was exactly what needed to be coming out of the speakers.

The other student, in charge of the computer, displayed the lyrics for songs, played videos, and controlled the screen games.

These may not sound like impressive roles, but there are plenty of people who would not know how to do them.

The struggle for me, however, was letting go. In my role overseeing them, it was tempting to step in and take a more active role, but I did not. I kept reminding myself they will never grow if I do everything for them. This does not mean I did not correct or direct. I let them feel the freedom to make choices and I tried to help them understand the reasoning behind things I would do differently.

Now, these two teenagers have experience, and subsequently confidence, because of the time they spent in the sound booth. Next time around, they will be even more willing and equipped.

Leadership means learning to let go. As I stepped back and let these kids (who serve in these roles at their churches already) serve, they grow because of it. As a result, I grow as well.

As I said at the beginning, I enjoy doing those things. But if I want my leadership influence to grow, I have to learn to let go and let others make the most of opportunities. Ultimately, three people grew because of what happened in the sound booth last week, and that’s a win for leadership.

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3 Questions, Big Picture

The Tension of the 3rd Question

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Last week I went to camp. One of my roles at camp was to teach leadership to a group of 12 students. What I did not anticipate, however, was the leadership challenge I was going to face in the process.

The kids were great. They were willing to step up and serve, they had humble spirits that were willing to learn, and they poured back into their own groups to make a difference.

The challenge was on my end. I had two roles while at camp: leadership and sound booth. There were certain times in the schedule where the two overlapped, and so I was faced with the tension of the 3rd question: both things need to happen, but I cannot accomplish both at the same time.

(Side note: If you do not know the 3 Questions, click here to read about them. The 3rd question asks “Who can I get to help?”)

The tension of the 3rd question boils down to this: asking other people to help actually helps us accomplish more. Revolutionary, right? Maybe not. In fact, this concept is completely logical. It makes perfect sense that the more people we ask to do something, the more we can get done.

The tension, then, comes when we as leaders would rather do something on our own for any number of reasons. Maybe there’s a certain level of glory in being in charge of something, or we enjoy accomplishing the task. But at the end of the day, if we want to lead, we have to answer the 3rd question.

So, today, what are you holding onto that you can let go? What is on your plate that overwhelms you, but you are afraid to ask for help? What can you ask someone to help with in order to create some forward momentum? Answer the third question this week and see what happens.

 

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