Do you know when and when not to ask for help?  CFO’s and other business leaders have many choices to seek counsel when evaluating courses of action to take.  Knowing when you have crossed your threshold of expertise in these situations can be costly either way. 

The question is “Do I need the help of an expert such as an attorney, accountant, HR specialist, or Risk Management specialist in a particular situation?”

This is not as easy as it might seem.  Asking for professional assistance can be timely and expensive.  Not asking for help can also be costly and add risk to the outcome.  In my experience knowing when to make that decision is critical.  Making the right judgement call can save money and avoid or mitigate risk. 

As the leader in small to medium size organizations, these challenges arise frequently and require a person to stop and think before jumping into the deep end.  On many occasions I have thought I had the experience and knowledge to evaluate a case as it develops and make good decisions.  Usually I feel very comfortable using my judgement and making recommendations without seeking answers from professionals.  They typically work out fine. 

As situations become more complex and I start to realize that my expertise and experience doesn’t qualify me to make the right call, I try to set aside my bias or opinion and seek help.  As things move along thru the decision-making process or case evaluation, I realize that I was right or can check the box and move forward after having a second set of eyes on the situation being faced. Knowing when to ask for help from co-workers or third-party professionals can save time, increase buy in and reinforce what you may or may not have known on your own.  Don’t let your ego drive your path in decision making.  Use the data and facts you have available and ask for help to avoid much larger problems developing.