Don’t go down alone!

I’ll never forget the first time I met Stan Woodward when I was working at Mark Cuban’s

Mark brought him in as a seasoned exec (he had worked for Ascend, a major networking equipment company) to run the business services division. There were only about eight of us working in that group at the time. We had to build a business from scratch, one new customer at the time. Stan had lived through startups before and had a few gray hairs sticking out of his blondes to prove it.

With his fist clutched in his pocket, as our new VP, he addressed us one Monday morning in 1998 with the following mantra, “Don’t go down alone!” He went on to explain that there is safety and innovation in numbers. If one of us is losing a deal, grab another team mate and double your resources. If one of our customer situations is melting down, grab two or three engineers and quadruple your chances of solving it in time. His point was that there was no reward for lone rangers, because they frequently got slaughtered in the real world by complicated situations that required a team approach.

Over the next few years that advice has come in handy in many tough situations. There’s no shame in calling for help when you are in trouble. There is shame for going down alone because of your pride.