Even the best leaders sometimes need a helping hand. Here are three cases where a little boost can make a big difference. Most great leaders are self-contained individuals. That's not surprising, given that the process of becoming a great leader develops a high degree of self-startedness in people. Those that aren't self-contained--those who exhibit neediness, or a too-strong desire for external validation--generally cap out at a leadership level somewhere below 'great'.
This characteristic--usually expressed as a lack of self-doubt, coupled with the ability to stand strong and reach inward for what's needed in times of trial--is almost always a great asset for both the leader and their team. It brings clarity and assurance at times of crisis, and helps re-center and re-focus a stressed or up-ended team. There are times, however, when being self-contained turns into a damaging liability. In these times, a leader puts everything on the line by trusting too much in his or her own skills and judgment. Not surprisingly, this happens most often when a leader turns their skills and judgment on themselves--when they attempt, in essence, to self-diagnose their own leadership weaknesses.
In such cases, a leader will eventually need to reach out to a coach or mentor for help. The alternative is that the leader will battle fruitlessly with the same issue over and over again, often for years, without ever fixing it. And of course, during all that time, their leadership development is placed on hold, stunted by the key issue they cannot put behind them.