The Best Question To Ask If You Want Make A Difference

I emailed Jim requesting access to the financials for my project.  This was the 3rd request in 2 months.   He responded with “Your already supposed have access.  But I’m not the expert about this.”  I was frustrated.  I would not have asked for access if I had not already tried.  He offered no value in his response.

I could have left it at that.  I didn’t.  I replied to him saying, “I can’t see the site.  Can you let me know who I can talk who is the expert?”  Two minutes later I received an automated e-mail from his site telling me that he added me to the site.  It appeared he was expert enough.

Why couldn’t he have done that to begin with?  I don’t know.

Some cultures foster behavior that makes the people in the business stronger and the organization better.  Others do not.  Often the difference between the two is whether people think and act in terms of:

  • “How can I help?” versus “Why I can’t help.”

What’s it like where you work?  Does the culture bring out the best or the worst in people?

Sometimes it feels like our core competencies are road blocks, mis-communication, and fractured tribalism (even the people within the tribes undercut each other).

Pretty frustrating.

It leaves two choices.

  1. Leave.
  2. Make it better … Day by day.  Decision by decision.  Interaction by interaction.

I choose to make it better (Or at least try).

Anywhere I go will have challenges.   Even if I chose to leave, I’d still need to choose to make it better.

Making it better starts with asking “How can I help?”


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