All leaders share at least one desire: to grow. But growing pains do not have to hinder planned growth. In fact, through collaborative leadership, you will often see fast, sustained progress.
Today’s leaders, in all walks of business and political life, are talking about the breakdown of silos and walls while building collaborative relationships. In tough times, some leaders turn inward to protect their business interests. This may win some short-term popularity, but whether it’s leading a business or a country, the siloed approach does not work for long. The only successful response is to build your team through collaboration.
Collaboration starts at the top, but it should include your team before bringing in outside sources. You cannot successfully grow your business without your team, so you need to gain their buy-in to the process. It is human nature to question the who, what, where, when, why and how before processing and accepting the next step forward. It is important as a leader that you are relinquishing all the data you can so the team can effectively answer these
Collaboration creates innovation. You should always be open to ideas from other groups that have shown previous success. By surrounding yourself with different perspectives, you and your team will be exposed to different ideas and resources that can substantially impact your daily operations. Sharing new and innovative ideas openly will certainly bring two teams together.
Collaboration reduces unnecessary risk. Collaboration can lead you to partner with competing parties or even build a bridge with a sister organization. It sounds risky, but opening this door will allow you to reinvest your time and energy into your business rather than protect your territory. When you allow a partner into your circle, you share success but also share the risk.
Sharing of joint time, resources and brainpower can reduce your overall risk of failing. As a leader, you must buy into these changes to show the team that you are fully vested in this partnership.
Collaboration amplifies success. It is more rewarding to celebrate with a team than by yourself. Do you really want to enjoy that glass of champagne alone? Think about the last win you had and how good it felt to share that with your team. You will see a spike in employee morale after the smallest win, positively impacting the business overall. When you allow others to share in your success, you will gain a renewed personal commitment from your team.
As a leader, it is always important to remember the value of a good idea no matter where it comes from. Ideas shared in a collaborative environment can blossom into something bigger than imagined. It is important for your team to understand they can share and help implement a communal idea to better the business, but they need to be smart enough to give the credit where credit is due. As a respected leader once said, “Success is bringing an idea to life but not being too stupid to not share the credit.”
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb
Do you really want to grow, improve, and expand? Then strive to rid your organization of internal and external selfishness. Don’t merely look out for your own interests, but find partners in which you and your team can invest and trust. You will encounter problems along the way, but the dividends you’ll reap by nurturing a collaborative environment will far exceed any price you must pay. We can do far more together than we can alone.