Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When to Say "I Can't"

I'm being asked to help a group of college students with their Strategic Management paper. What do I know of Strama? We didn't even take it up in college and that was decades ago! When I read the original paper, I barely understood a thing. Especially all those figures and matrices. I even attempted to borrow their textbook. But to no avail. I just knew I could do more harm than good.

And so, I emailed my former students at UP, asking for help. Of my 58 students, only two responded to my email. I chose the one who has graduated by first sem because I know the other one would be too busy meeting academic requirements in order to graduate this sem.

I learned that this former student is graduating cum laude and has been accepted in a multinational company as management trainee. (She will start work this April.) I also am confident that she is in a greater position to help because she has done a similar paper before and even helped a student taking up Masters with his Strama paper.

There comes a point when one must say, "I can't do it"...and pass on the work to those more qualified. In other words, if you really want to help, don't. If you're not the best person to extend the much needed assistance, have the humility to say "I can't" but look for help elsewhere and not leave certain people unaided.

Lesson understood? Now go and heed my advice.

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