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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Did the Godfather have it right? - or the Mafia's way to share knowledge….

I was having a chat with an old colleague over lunch yesterday (slight aside but still sharing knowledge Chez Jules just off New Street does a nice lunch set menu for £7.90 per person and the food is bistroey but good).

The colleague was telling me about a colleague at the firm who had taken a long time over a deal and had really got stressed out about. Being the naive person I am I asked why they had not asked for help from a colleague and got the reply that they hadn’t wanted to look bad and had suffered agonies until forced to ask for assistance through the clients badgering as to why action hadn’t been taken.

Most of us know that in some organisations asking for help has a negative connotation as it shows that the person is exhibiting a sense of incapability.

We (and I include myself here) - are afraid sometimes of saying ‘I don’t have an answer here’ to a situation

Many people in organisations go through this beating ourselves up by trying to figure out everything by ourselves. Is this really still required. There are many people within your teams who have the answer that you might be seeking to solve a problem or to open a new opportunity for you.

This is where the Mafia connection arrives on the scene.

In Godfather 1 - one of the opening scenes is on the Don’s daughters wedding day and people come to ask Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) for favours. The favour is granted (excluding murder) on the understanding that one day, the Don may ask the person that he has provided the favour for to provide him with a service.

Therefore the pre requisite, is that when somebody provides you with help then you should be ready to give when you are called upon when it is your turn. (You don’t have to kiss the persons hand though.)

Looking at a lot of firms underpinning behaviours running through it, is that, as in business and in life - You have to ask and only then will you receive.

Why not make it a point to ask someone for help on a problem this week rather than suffering in silence.

You don’t know where it will lead to and helps both of you to learn a little bit more.

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