Collaboration: Do You Do This Well?

A year ago i wrote about a quality that I believed to be the most overlooked quality in leadership. The response was humbling as many of you shared the same sentiments. It got me thinking recently about other attributes that serve well in establishing one’s true leadership. One quality that may be talked a lot about is collaboration. There is an art to effective collaboration and when mastered I believe it can be quite defining in establishing one as a great leader, colleague, and steward in an organization.

But what type of collaboration am I referring to?  Naturally, paying attention to someone in a meeting by putting your cell phone away is a requisite to collaborate. Or asking questions to show you are genuinely interested in a conversation with a colleague. These may seem common place but are not always followed-through in today’s world of never ending distractions.  But the collaboration that I reference here goes beyond this and addresses how we genuinely help, support, cooperate, and / or mentor others in our daily jobs.

Some of the reasons why collaboration is so important in business are common sensical but some may not be as transparent.  Such things as enhancing an organization’s efficiency or increasing internal awareness of what people are doing are some examples of why collaboration is important in today’s modern working environment. But these are just the beginning; here are some other reasons why I believe collaboration is a building-block to practicing effective leadership:

  • Helps Challenges the Status Quo
  • Helps A Business Grow Faster
  • Helps to Establishes a “One Company” Culture
  • Nurtures a “Can Do” Environment
  • Helps to Fosters Innovation

The benefits of collaboration are substantial and because of this it is covered extensively in many books as well as thought leadership platforms. Despite this, collaboration is not always easy to do when the rubber hits the road. When was the last time you deeply collaborated with someone who was not part of your P&L or group? When was the last time we genuinely helped someone who is a peer and who may — and rightfully — be vying for a promotion? Collaboration can be hard to do for these and many other reasons but it is these hard things that great leaders find a way to thrive in through and through.

Personally, this is one area that I hope to get better at in 2019. It will not be easy but with some small wins I am sure that it will become a more natural way for me to do business. Please share your thoughts in the comments section about your own experience.

The thoughts expressed within are my own. Thanks for reading.

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