I got a beautiful bracelet from a friend a few weeks ago as a gift. The friend really went all out with it- it was partially leather, with a steel finish and my name inscribed on it. It’s beautiful, and I couldn’t wait to put it on.
Only one problem. I’m huge. At 6’6”, everything on me including my wrists are massive. The next day I was wrestling with the tiny clasp trying to get it to buckle while straining the other side as tight as I could. I felt like my fingers were doing yoga, but I just couldn’t get it on.
I’d spent almost 15 minutes struggling with it when my wife saw me and came over to help. She took up my wrist, said “hold still”, and effortlessly hooked it into place. She made it look so easy, it almost made me angry.
As I walked away with my slightly bruised male ego, it struck me. This was literally the best illustration I’ve ever seen for my professional career.
I was struggling with a problem. I had never hooked this kind of clasp before and I was in over my head. Because I thought it was a stupid problem, I didn’t ask for help. Sarah came in, quickly diagnosed the problem, and easily fixed it with her experience.
Because she’s locked about four million clasps in her life this was no big problem for her. To me, it looked like I was going to have to give away the bracelet because it didn’t fit. When I got up today, I was able to fasten the clasp in less than 10 seconds because I drew on her experience and learned.
When we’re managing our career, we have to ask for help. Especially about the things we think are stupid. Even if that bruises our egos, or makes us look temporarily unprofessional. It’s scary and uncomfortable, but pays off in ways we can’t even imagine.