Removing the Mask and asking for Help  

I Need Help

One of my least favorite things is when I have to admit that I need help from someone. I enjoy pushing and striving as hard as I can until I accomplish the goal at hand finishing through my own effort and accomplishment.  While there are some positive attributes to this kind of determination and work ethic, there is also one glaring blind spot that we have be careful of as Founders: the idea that we don’t need anyone else’s help to accomplish our goal.

At an intellectual level, we may know that we need other people’s help to accomplish our goals.  We need input from our team, and we need their valuable contributions in order for a project to reach success.  But what about at a deeper and more vulnerable level? Who should we seek when asking for and receiving help from as Founders?

For me, this has been an area that I have had to grow in over time.  I have been through a lot in life and business, including both success and failures.  It has only really been in the last two to three years that God has started showing me how important vulnerability is as a leader. I’ve been learning that I need to ask for help much more often from peers, investors, and partners.  

The reality for me is that I always have confidence in my ideas and my strategy, but I am not always right. It may not even be a matter of right or wrong, but simply a matter of improvement.

Practical Example

A few months ago, I felt that God was specifically wanting me to “clarify the vision” for my team in our private investment firm, Trivium Strategic Capital.  I went to work building a new deck that outlined our Essential Intent of the firm and organizing our strategy for achieving the primary goal.

Our Essential Intent is to aggregate $1 Billion of Idiosyncratic Institutional assets under management by 2029.  I felt a lot of confidence around this vision, but I also felt the reality of not knowing exactly how we were going to accomplish this goal.

Next, I felt led to do something that is much different for me.  I felt like I needed to share this vision with a number of contacts who were not actively involved in our firm, and ask for their feedback.  

Normally, I would be very hesitant to go out to “the market” and share a document that was not fully perfected with some very influential contacts, but I felt like God was challenging me there.  I sensed that He was asking me to share out of vulnerability what He had laid on my heart as the leader of this company.

The results were amazing.  Within the first 30 days there were three guys who were all were attracted to the values of our firm and had very different experience and feedback for me.  We got together to discuss these ideas, and our relationships seemed to get much deeper much quicker than normal. These guys became advocates for Trivium, and close advisors to some of our key projects.

My Vision Vs. His Work

I look back on that experience and recognize that God was teaching me something very important through all of this.  Often He is wanting to use myself and use my businesses to interact with people in ways that are completely off my radar.  If I am all consumed with my vision and my ways, then I will completely miss what God is wanting to do.

My pride in authorship and my need for perfection can be big roadblocks to seeing God work.  The reality is that God is wanting to connect us deeply with the people around us, but it’s very hard (maybe impossible) to go deep relationally if we are not willing to be vulnerable.

Who are the people in your life that God may be leading you to be more vulnerable with?  What steps can you take this week towards initiating these conversations?

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