Power Players know within 10 seconds if they are out of their depth. This is approximately the same time that they ask for help.
When you are out of your depth and know that you will drown, ask for help.
Don’t hid it, don’t hope it goes away, don’t wait for a 2am miracle, just ask for help.
Ask early and ask for it honestly. Don’t hide the ask under a ‘if you’ve got some time I’d love you to put your eyes over this’. Be straightforward: ‘I could really use your help and would love it if we could write this document together. There are some holes in my knowledge and I need your expertise and skills.’
You’ll discover what most Power Players already know: people love to help when their skills are solicited respectfully and honestly. Ask for help straight up and you’ll be amazed at how forthcoming this help will be.
I had to work on a strategic plan for the pet food industry. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t know anything about cats and dogs. I don’t want to know anything about them. I can’t fake it. Even if I researched it, I knew I’d miss the big points.
So I asked a dog and cat lover to help me out every step of the way. He considered himself a junior and didn’t know why I was asking him, so I told him that on this job I would need him supervising me and not the other way around.
I asked for help early before I screwed it up.