alt text image of a woman with her hand up refusing help

Helping Those Who Won’t Help Themselves

You can’t want something for someone who doesn’t want it for themselves. It doesn’t matter that you can see what they could become, that you see talent being wasted, or that a potential financial gain is being lost. Until they want it for themselves, nothing you do will make a difference.

Some have too little ambition, even though you see the talent. Others have too small a vision for themselves, even though you see what they cannot yet see. Some are lazy, some are fearful, some prefer the role of victim, even though you know they have power they don’t yet recognize.

You can make introductions. You can offer advice and help develop plans. You can spend time coaching and mentoring the individual in whom you see something more, something bigger. But your actions won’t result in anything other than your frustration unless the person you are trying to help decides to exercise their own initiative and take action.

The challenge here isn’t to offer your help providing opportunities, coaching, mentoring, or even doing the work that might help the person who won’t take action on their own. The challenge is in helping them change their mind about what they should want for themselves, about what they are truly capable of, about who they could become.

The only real help you can offer the person in whom you see greater things is to help them change their beliefs, their mindset, their attitude, and their vision. And these are the most difficult areas in which to make a difference. Unless and until they decide to believe something different, and unless they take action on their own, all of your efforts are for naught.

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  • The Responsive Edge

    Check this out, Anthony!

    What if sales leaders are co-creating in others the very performance problems they wring their hands over? What if they were completely blind to how they are doing this? And what if such leaders were being driven by a *hidden* need that’s more important to them than not only the success of others–but their own effectiveness and happiness?

    Sounds crazy, huh?

    Based on a new discovery in the human sciences by the Arbinger Institute (of which I am neither an employee nor affiliate), cutting-edge sales leaders are now learning how they themselves–more often than not–provoke in others the very problems that keep them up at night. Problems such as “lack of ambition,” “too small a vision,” “lazy,” and “fearful” can all be unwittingly provoked in others by the very person they look to for leadership. Imagine that!

    You have to love their mantra: “Seeing other people as the problem is the problem!”

    Check out Arbinger’s Leadership & Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box and be blown away.