How much better to get wisdom than gold, and understanding than silver!
Proverbs 18:16

Get the truth and don’t ever sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and discernment.
Proverbs 23:23

Think about this, get wisdom, get discipline, get discernment, because only fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:7

We’ve just celebrated Christmas, and we’ve “gotten” a lot of stuff. But will that stuff last? Will it really matter 10 years from now? It’s true, as I grow older I do wish I knew what I know now when I was 30. Wisdom comes with experience, wisdom comes with age, but for some people age comes alone.  Right up front in the book of Proverbs Solomon tells us, The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:2).

A New Year is upon us, and it’s a great time to reflect on this past year and set goals for next year. As you plan ahead, consider wisdom. Listen to wisdom’s counsel and be wise. Don’t ignore it, Proverbs 8:33.  This coming year make it a practice to seek out those who can help you. My personal and professional network are far more important to my success than my individual competencies. My clients hire me not solely on the basis of what I can personally do for them in a vacuum, but also for the collective influence of our network and its resources.

2017 is only days away. Take some time now, pray and ask yourself what questions aren’t you asking about your business, marriage, kids, walk with God, because you aren’t aware of the issues or opportunities? (And yes, that’s rhetorical.)

Plan the year ahead. Ask for input. Understand that “help” is not a dirty word. Asking for help is a sign of maturity as a leader, not weakness.  Wisdom comes from spiritual insight and experience. Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success, Proverbs 15:22.  Pray and receive God’s input. Ask for help. Get input from others.

Another question to consider: are you easy to help? Think about it…do you make it easy for others to want to help you, or is your demeanor such that most people won’t lift a finger to assist you in a time of need? How many times during the course of your career have you witnessed executives, missionaries and entrepreneurs who desperately need help, but either don’t recognize it, or worse, make it virtually impossible for someone to help them? With many counselors, there is safety, Proverbs 11:14.

One of the things I wished I’d learned when I was 30 was how to discipline my tongue. For years, I had a problem with my tongue and my attitude in speaking, yet no one told me I had this problem. Once it was pointed out and I started asking for help, nearly everyone agreed it was a problem. However, I was oblivious to the problem and it was hurting my ability to lead.

Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors, Proverbs 26:16.  If your pride, ego, arrogance, ignorance, the way you were raised or any other excuse keeps you from asking for help, it is precisely those traits that will keep God from maximizing your potential. I hate to break it to you, but you don’t know everything or everybody, so why even bother pretending that you couldn’t use a bit of help? No one can or should go it alone in today’s business world. The more partners, sympathizers, champions, allies, supporters, enablers, advisers, influencers, mentors, friends, and family we have helping us succeed, the more quickly we will fulfill God’s assignment for us. Without question the most successful business people on the planet are those that have learned to blow through self-imposed barriers to openly harness the power of broader spheres of influence. Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without the advice of others. Proverbs 20:18

As you anticipate 2017, who do you need to invite to speak into your life?

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the importance of asking for help. And please help me out by commenting on at least one blog this coming year. Thoughts?

 

 

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.