What if Atlas Shrugged His Shoulders

The titan Atlas held the world on his shoulders, and regardless of why; he did it because that was his job. Yes, there is more that goes into the mythical story, but in the end, holding up the world was Atlas’ job.

Atlas had a lot of responsibility, and everyone counted on him to make sure that he did his job to the best of his ability without complaint or compromise. None of us are titans, but we have all felt the weight of the world sitting on our shoulders, and like Atlas we take on that responsibility by ourselves and without help.

Why don’t we ask for help when we need it?

There is an article in Forbes titled “The Right Way to Ask for Help at Work”. The article starts off by saying, “I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point in my career, I started to believe “help” was a four-letter word. OK, well, it technically is, but you know what I mean. Somewhere, I had picked up the idea that asking for help was tantamount to admitting weakness, and ultimately, failure.”

Does needing a helping hand mean that you are failing and weak? No it doesn’t, because we all need support in our lives and our careers to help us reach those next levels. The issue is admitting that; even Atlas wanted change and did not want to go back to how things were after he felt the effects of Hercules taking the weight of the world off of his shoulders. A little effort can make a big impact, in both the asking and receiving of help.

Let’s look at it another way. What if you considered your co-workers as team members, and your company was a basketball team? Who are the “team players” and who are the “ball hogs”? Giving the ball away, asking for the ball, and assisting others are parts of every game. The team has a common goal, and even though players have different positions and assigned tasks, they still work with each other to accomplish that goal.

Help should never have a negative tone to it, and asking for help when you need it shouldn’t be a bad thing, and since we all have been receivers and givers of assistance; why do we still shy away from it in the workforce?

The weight of the world is heavy and it is always going to be heavy. The question is do you disperse the weight among the team, or do you try and balance it all yourself?


April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.

Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.

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