Leaders Ask For Resources to Accomplish the Mission

Leaders are not Afraid to Ask for Help

As the leader of an organization, you need resources to accomplish your mission.  As you execute your mission, you may identify gaps or shortfalls that impede mission success.

How do you deal with these challenges?  If your organization is nested within a larger organization, you are part of a larger mission; in other words, what you do impacts the overall results of the organization.  One way to address the shortfalls is to approach senior leadership within your organization to ask for additional resources to help you accomplish your mission.  Senior leaders want you to be successful because their success is tied to your success.

Most senior leaders will be happy to assist; if they can’t assist, they will do everything in their power to connect you with someone who can provide the necessary assistance.  After all, this is part of their responsibility as senior leaders – to provide resources to subordinate organizations.

When you talk to a senior leader, you should be prepared to ask for help – tell her exactly what you need and let her know how she can help you.  The senior leader may ask, “how can I help you,” or “what help do you need from me,”- it is extremely important for you to provide well-reasoned answers to these questions.  Be ready to provide the senior leader your top 3-5 issues and/or challenges that he may be able to help you with… and follow-up with him to let him know how everything turns out.

How do you convince a senior leader to provide resources for you to complete your mission or to pursue an opportunity?  Senior leaders are constantly managing competing priorities, so you need to understand that your request may be one of many requests for support and you may be playing in a zero-sum game, where what you need may have to be taken from someone else.  What facts should you consider prior to approaching a senior leader to request assistance?

First, you must understand the senior leaders’ priorities and objectives; this will help you to connect your requirements to what the senior manager is focused on.  This could turn out to be a win-win situation, especially if you are able to link your requirements to the senior leaders’ priorities or to her most important concerns.

Second, ensure the senior leader understands the situation, context, and challenges related to your request for support.

Third, ensure you understand how the work you do contributes to the senior leaders’ priorities and that you are able to articulate those contributions.

An added benefit, is that your request for support will give the senior leader an opportunity to observe your thinking, to gain confidence in your ability, and to see how you exercise leadership of your organization.

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