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Don’t be an island (on our island)

As many of you know this week New Zealand suffered from one of our strongest earthquakes ever recorded. It displaced people throughout this beautiful country of ours and made headline news across the world. As I write, kiwis are still coming to terms with the devastation that they’ve experienced.

In New Zealand we’re good at dealing with hardship and challenges. As a nation, we are filled by people who ask ‘how are you’ and give each other a friendly smile each day. While this is simply entwined into the kiwi DNA, it pays to note that not all countries have this quality. In addition to this, we have an incredible ability to rally together. We genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of our neighbours. However, despite this, in times of hardship it can be hard to reach out and ask for help.

We’re good at putting on a brave face and soldiering on – even when it’s not necessary. We often feel the need to sort out problems ourselves rather than leaning on others.  This way of thinking doesn’t only apply to emergencies but often to our day to day way of life. Simply, it can be hard to share your concerns and be transparent about the issues you are experiencing. We often feel as if there is someone ‘worse off’ and therefore more worthy of help.

Our behaviour in life often mirrors or life in business. And in business it’s critical to have a shoulder to lean on. Those who you can reach out to and who you know will help and support you when times are tough. I’ve been lucky in my career to always have James as my shoulder to lean on. But I do know what it’s like to hesitate when asked ‘can I help’.

So my challenge to all of us is to get better at accepting help. The next time someone asks ‘is there anything I can do to help’ or ‘what can I do to support you’, let’s make sure that we take a moment to think before we dismiss the offer. It’s far easier sometimes to receive, rather than ask for help.

Finally, I’d like to take a moment to reach out to all of those who have been affected by the earthquake and let you know that the whole nation stands behind you.