The Unexpected Secret to Becoming a Superstar

Toddler-leaders say, “I’ll do it myself!”

Rejecting help is an arrogant leader’s self-limiting blunder.

You prefer giving help, but receiving help is what makes superstars.

the people who become superstars

You may reach high on your own, but high performers always reach higher with help.

Limited potential:

Ego limits potential when it prevents you from receiving help.

Bonnie St. John, Paralymic ski racer, on ego and being helpable:

How to let others help you:

I asked  Bonnie, the first African-American ever to win Olympic medals in ski racing, (1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria), if she has learned to be helpable. She said,

“I catch myself not being helpable.”

Helpable and strength:

“… There are lots of talented people who don’t make it as far… The superstar is just the person who got more help.” Bonnie St. John.

5 ways to be helpable and competent:

  1. Delegate well.
  2. Be coachable.
  3. Develop others by receiving their help. Make room for the growth of others by letting them help you.
  4. Focus on showing others how great they are, rather than how great you are. Enjoy your sweet spot and celebrate the strengths of others.
  5. Explore suggestions. Fear of weakness makes you offended when others offer help. Strength is open; weakness closed.

“The word helpable makes you think, maybe I should be a little more humble.”

Bonnie in her own words on being competent and helpable:

Helpable is an ability:

“Being not helpable is a short-term strategy.”

Bonnie’s introduction of “helpable” into leadership language elevates and informs terms like collaboration and teamwork.

Helpable is a skill that reflects humility.

How might leaders get better at receiving help?

What dangers do you see in being helpable?


Special thanks to Dr. James L. Davis, President of World LEADERS Conference and Ben Lichtenwalner owner of Modern Servant Leader, for making this conversation possible.

Is this digital recorder working???

Dan with Bonnie St John