How Comfortable Are You Asking For Help?

I had hip replacement surgery last week. Things are going well, but I have to improve upon a skill that I have not been the best at in the past. I have to get better at asking for help.

Leaders often feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. They feel the need to provide all the answers and direction required. They don’t want to show weakness at any cost, and so they certainly don’t want to ask for help.

The process of getting my hip replaced is a great test to see how well I do in the area of asking for help. Servant leadership is about building high performing teams where everyone is pitching in to help each other. A great way to model the importance of this is to ask for help.

Benefits of Asking for Help

  1. Promotes teamwork. You will get into situations where you need help. You always want to feel you can strap things on your back and get them done, but the reality is that you will need help. All of us are always better than any one of us. Illustrate how much you value the team by asking for help.
  2. Asking for help benefits the helper. You know how good it feels when you have the opportunity to help someone. You feel valued and a sense of worth that makes you feel really good. At work, helping someone gives you the opportunity to illustrate your skills at another level that might not have been seen before. By not asking for help, you are withholding all these benefits from the people that care about you and want to help.
  3. Enables you to be a better helper. After you have received help you realize what a blessing it is for people to step up and provide help when needed. You are better able to empathize with those that need help and you will begin looking for ways to help others any chance you get.
  4. Not asking for help is a form of conceit and enlarged ego. This one is tough for me. We all want to think we have things under control and don’t need help. Thinking this way is dishonest and is not reality. Whenever I have succeeded at anything, it is due to the team of people around me. So whether I have asked or not, I have received significant help.
  5. It builds relationships. Asking for help is a foundation for relationships to form. It is a great way to make deeper connections with family, friends, neighbors, and work associates. Asking for help, getting help, offering help, and giving help are all great ways to build relationships to new levels that might not otherwise happen. Some of my best friendships have been generated and developed out of someone asking for help.
  6. We have a higher power that wants to help. When we have the opportunity to invite Jesus into our life to help guide us through our daily activities why would we not take it? You have been called to be a servant leader. However, that is a very tall task that is impossible on your own. Jesus wants to help. You just have to be vulnerable enough to ask for it. If you do, you will experience peace beyond understanding. That is a promise.

I am now asking for your help. Pray for patience for me to give my body a chance to properly heal before I task it too heavily. And continue to spread the word and multiply servant leaders. It is a team effort!


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 4:6-7
Mark W. Deterding
Mark W. Deterding
MARK Deterding is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach and the founder of Triune Leadership Services, LLC. His purpose is to work with leaders to help them develop core servant leadership capabilities that allow them to lead at a higher level and enable them to achieve their God-given potential. He has written two books, A Model of Servant Leadership, and Leading Jesus’ Way. With over three decades of experience directing companies and developing leaders, Mark created A Model of Servant Leadership parallel to the principles that Jesus himself illustrated. Working with organizations, leadership teams, and executives one-on-one, he helps bring focus, clarity, and action to make things work. He also conducts training programs to teach faith-based servant leadership principles. His greatest passion is seeing the impact servant leadership has on people’s lives and beyond. Prior to Triune Leadership Services he worked for 35 years in the printing industry holding senior leadership positions at Taylor Corporation, RR Donnelly, and Banta Corporation. He is an accomplished executive with a proven track record for developing purpose-driven; values based teams that drive culture improvement, enhanced employee passion, and improved business results. He is featured in Ken Blanchard’s book “Leading at a Higher Level”, and has been a featured speaker for the Ken Blanchard Companies Executive Forum in both 2007 and 2011. Mark lives in Alexandria, Minnesota with his wife Kim. They have two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and three grandchildren, so far. To find out more about Mark and his work, visit Triune Leadership Services via the Link adjacent his Photo above.

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  1. People tend to not ask for help because there are way too many that use asking for help to use people. Some people just don’t feel comfortable as a user, so they don’t seek out help.

    To fix this is easy. Plan what you want to do. Plan what you want to achieve. Then go to people and then say “I’m doing this… Do you have any ideas?” People then will offer varying degrees of help. People will volunteer.

    • Sadly, I’ve seen that happen. It’s especially painful when drowning is already in process – THEN – they ask for help and everyone drowns. This is when it gets painful and the ‘no’ card has to be played.

    • Getting unwanted help can deflate the ego of even the most-well-adjusted person. To get through a person’s barriers I share similar experiences I had and the damage I had to deal with. I then tell the person, “I was stupid, so stupid. I’m not doing XYZ again.” And I just leave it to that.

    • I get that and can understand the position. But the story behind the comment was just the opposite of unwanted help.