Whether we want to admit it or not, there’s a lot we don’t know.
As a leader, it might be tempting to keep this to yourself. You don’t want to appear like you don’t know the answers.
By relying on ourselves, we’re limited by what we know.
But once we know what we don’t know, we can do something about it that can lead us to something better.
Gaya Datar is the co-founder of Earth Enable. She’s on a mission to eliminate dirt floors.
80% of Rwandans live in homes with dirt floors. This increases health issues like asthma, malnutrition, parasitic infections, and diarrhea – one of the leading causes of childhood death in Rwanda.
Listen to Gaya’s story about how she started Earth Enable and how she learned the power of humility.
Sarah Cronk is the president and founder of The Sparkle Effect. After seeing how difficult it is for students with disabilities to fit in, she launched an inclusive cheer squad for kids with all abilities. The idea that started in high school has grown into an organization helping over 200 schools and thousands of kids across the US.
In this episode, Sarah shares how asking for help was the key to partnerships, marketing, and ultimately reaching more students.
Problem Solving (Finding) Tools:
Before you can solve a problem, you need to find it.
There’s something that Gaya does that is used by major corporations around the world – asking WHY.
In Lean, a methodology for continuous improvement, there’s a tool called the 5 Whys. Put simply, ask “why?” 5 times.
By doing this, you’re able to get to the root cause of an issue. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you got caught speeding.
- WHY? Because you were late for work.
- WHY? Because you slept in.
- WHY? Because your alarm didn’t go off.
- WHY? Because your phone’s battery is dead.
- WHY? Because you forgot to plug it in.
Another tool to help with problem solving is the Ishikawa diagram, Fishbone diagram, or Cause and Effect diagram (I think that’s all the names!).
Put the issue or the effect that you see at the head of the fish and then look into reasons why this might be happening. So as with Gaya’s case, if you see kids with bug bites on their legs, you would be able to use this chart to come up with ideas as to why.
Image by Daniel Penfield
Resources on Asking for Help
Watch this video:
And learn about 5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help in this HBR article by Wayne Baker, founder of the Reciprocity Ring.
- Josh Harlan – Intro Jingle
- Josh Woodward – CC BY 4.0
- Lee Rosevere – CC BY 4.0
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