The title of this blog post is credited to my manager at my second “real” job and it is one of the most profound lessons I have learned. I had been going through life thinking that if I continued to work hard and be honest, then I would just naturally get what I had earned. By the time my boss said those critical words to me, I was learning that my previous notions weren’t always true. A short while after starting that second “real” job, my direct boss left and his position opened up. Having no managerial experience yet knowing I could excel in that position, I asked for it. And I got it.
That was one of many times I would ask for something in my career (and in life) and actually get it. It wasn’t until a couple years after I received the manager position that I realized why this concept worked so much better than just waiting for someone to give me what I thought I had earned. There are a couple of reasons: a.) people will rarely know what you’re looking for if you don’t tell them; b.) what is available for you isn’t always what you’re seeking, so having a discussion about what you want could open you up to more possibilities; and c.) letting others know what interests you have could also help solidify them and provide you with more momentum to move forward.
Ever since I become a manager, I’ve made sure to ask my team what they want - not just for the company, but in life. This helps me to know my team better, allows us to hone their skills that will prepare them for whatever is next, keeps me always looking for opportunities that will suit them, and actually improves my team’s morale and efficiency because they know I care and am looking out for their best interest as well as the best interest of the company.
This concept of asking for more isn’t just about asking for what you want. It’s also about requesting feedback and inquiring about how you can help out. You only got to where you are because other people allowed you to. You cannot do anything without the assistance of someone somehow. Give thanks for what you have and always be looking to improve yourself and those around you. You can be great by yourself. But together we can be amazing.
Reach out to me if you’re interesting in exploring what you want or how you can best serve those around you.