One of the most interesting things I have noticed as I have progressed throughout my career, and really my life in general, is that people never ask for help. Or, at the very least, it is rare.
Someone may be struggling to solve a problem. Maybe it's trying to get in touch with a certain vendor, or trying get to the right tutor for your kid, or even needing to go to the doctor for a physical issue that's been ailing you for months. A lot of times people are so focused on being independent and accomplishing something on their own, that they do not realize when they have wide-ranging "rolodex" (after all, that's just a metaphor now) or people that can realistically help them solve their problem.
Sure, maybe it's admirable that someone wants to be independent. But, I liken this scenario to the cliche family vacation where everyone is packed into a car and the dad doesn't want to ask for directions because he thinks he knows where is going. (This was never me, by the way...okay maybe it was me). Only after a few hours of wandering the empty roads does he succumb to the pressures of wasted time and ask for help.
My message today is simple: do an audit of the people you know. Open up your iPhone when you have some down time--I like doing it on plane rides because I can't really do anything else--and go through each person in your phone. Make sure you have up-to-date contact info. More importantly, make a mental note of who they are and whom they know, so that the next time you have a question they could answer, you will know to reach out. Don't forget, it's not who you know, but what you know about whom.
Don't underestimate someone's willingness to help you because it is just a matter you deciding to ask. There's no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in "I need help!"