By Gordon Grant (guest writer)
“Last month I spent a week motorcycling back-country roads in Oregon, California and Washington. Unfortunately one of my friends had an accident that broke a few parts on both the bike and the rider. The trip was over for them.
The morning after the accident, we met in the lobby of a motel near the hospital to plan how to get our injured friend and his damaged bike back home. Thinking that we were on our own to solve this, we didn’t come up with many options. The motel owner overheard us and offered to help. He had lots of ideas that we would never have considered.
In the end, this generous man drove my injured friend two hours to the Seattle airport, shipped his luggage home and offered to store the damaged motorcycle in his garage.
We often feel that it is our responsibility to solve problems on our own. Seeking help isn’t a reflection of our ability; it demonstrates that we are confident enough to find the best possible solution. Sometimes, great ideas come from unexpected places.”
(Editor’s note: I had my own injury/good Samaritan moment back in 2001. While on a trip in Costa Rica, my journey took me down south to the lovely Corcovado National Park. To get to the entrance, we had to take a small boat from our campground. On the return trip (after a lovely walk through the rainforest), a much larger vessel came speeding around a corner and smacked, dramatically, into our glorified row boat, sending everyone flying. In the wrong place at the wrong time, I took the main brunt of the collision, suffering a shot to my lower back (from the other ship’s prow) that resulted in a glowing bruise the size of a grapefruit. Back at the campground later that day, the proprietor was disconsolate. Not only did he book an emergency flight for me back to the capital (San Jose), but he also had his partner take me, hand in hand, to a doctor. All of this the proprietor paid for out of his own pocket.
Was he worried about a potential lawsuit? Perhaps. But I choose to believe that the campground owner, like the motel keeper in the story above, was simply interested in doing the right thing and helping wherever he could. Left to my own devices, I probably would’ve rested at the campground and hoped that my spine was all right. Thankfully, the proprietor was a man of action – and I was willing to accept his assistance. Truly, great ideas can come from unlikely sources.
Both the motel keeper and the campground owner earned our trust through willingness for self-sacrifice. By giving up their own needs, they became eminently trust-worthy.
As a leader in your organization, how often are YOU asking for help and soliciting ideas (rather than trying to do it all yourself)? How often are you practicing self-sacrifice for the sake of the team? Your answers to these questions might just determine the levels of trust and productivity your department will achieve going forward.
Gord Grant is a professional coach who teaches his clients to consistently have the performance they want in life, work and sport. He can be reached at his email address firstname.lastname@example.org or through his LinkedIn Profile: https://ca.linkedin.com/pub/gordon-grant/28/485/995