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Who you gonna call?

Who you gonna call?

Nicola Hopes

27 July 2021

I had the pleasure (and pain) two weeks ago of being called into a client emergency. 

I advise on their change board and a key technology project hit issues. We convened an emergency steering group, got creative and (thankfully) solved the problem. 

It was energising discussing innovative, and sometimes risky, ways to get it over the line. And the speed at which we made decisions was refreshing.  

If it wasn’t for the knock-on impact on my diary, I would have relished it… but such is the role of an adviser, and it’s my genuine pleasure to do it.

But as the heat died down, the cogs started turning…

  • Do you know who you would go to with which crisis?
  • Do you always ask for help when you should?

As the (undeniably) successful Barack Obama said:

“Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day.   

Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. 

It shows you have the courage to admit when you don't know something.” 

Are you clear on who has the expertise and the contrary perspectives that will challenge you and help you when you need it most?

Who’s sliding into the DMs? 

We all know colleagues, ex-colleagues, collaborators, and friends who have become trusted advisers, but do they stay that way?

Here’s 3 super simple tips to make sure you’re not alone when the proverbial hits the fan.

  • Invest time - to maintain relationships with people whose experience you value and who challenge you. A virtual coffee every so often (or an actual catch up – who’d have thought?) goes a long way. You can’t ignore someone for 3 years and then call to ask for a favour.

  • Spread out – you can’t predict what the next issue will be, so you’ll need to have a range of sounding boards for different topics. If everyone you talk to does a similar role, where’s the diversity of experience?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – as Barack said, it’s a powerful thing to admit when you need help. And they want to help you – it appeals to something human in most people. If they can’t help, they’ll say so. But they won’t hold it against you for asking.

We all need a safety net once in a while. Make sure yours is tied on tight.

Yours, as ever, your phone a friend in a crisis!  

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