A client of mine has been looking for months to obtain a free version of an assessment tool to use for his dissertation – with no luck. Ironically, while I was looking in my files on a different topic, I found something semi-related. He used the contact information from that to locate the author — who referred him to another source and now he has the free tool that he needs.

Many times, I have seen situations like this where if you articulate what you need to another person, you are often gifted with a resource from unlikely places. While at dinner, I mentioned to a colleague that I was working on a new session and – viola! – he had a handout to share with me. My sister was looking for a hard-to-find office supply and I was able to provide it once I knew that she was searching. My stylist lamented the unavailability of disinfectant wipes so I picked up two when I found them.

Instead of plodding away on your own, let the universe conspire to help you. Tell everyone that you or your friend are looking for a job. Mention your new gluten-free eating and let people share recipes with you. Be clear with colleagues about the project you’re working on and where you are stuck.

Inspiration and knowledge don’t follow linear paths or require individual effort. Your most valuable work may be sharing your needs so that others can fulfill them.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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