Values to lead by – Collaboration
One of my treasured possessions is a hand-made metal toolbox. It was made by my Grandad and contains some his tools. Anything that we took to my Grandad that was broken, he always had a tool in that toolbox that could fix it with. As leaders, we have a range of metaphorical tools in our leadership toolbox that we use as we lead others. Key to our range of tools are the values that we lead by. Over the last 5 weeks we have looked at 4 of them: Authenticity, Integrity, Resilience, Curiosity and this week is the turn of Collaboration.
Leadership is about taking people on a journey of change to somewhere better. We can, of course, try to do everything ourselves as leaders, but history and experience shows that we can achieve far more when we work with others to achieve it. We engage people in the process and they take ownership. There is an acronym for TEAM – Together, Everyone Achieves More. Think about any team sport and the combination of skills, when executed well can be powerful. Our 5th value, collaboration, is about working with others, encompassing a blend of strengths and bringing team to your leadership. Here are 5 reasons that the value of collaboration can enhance your journey.
Step back from any jigsaw and you will see the whole picture and all its intricate detail. Move closer and you can see that each jigsaw piece contributes. Each one different, but each one contributing to the whole picture. When we work collaboratively with others on a shared vision, it encourages each person to bring their talents to play. Contribution empowers those taking part. Everyone involved is bonded by the shared purpose and we begin to see what each person contributes. Patrick Lencioni says that ‘there is no silo thinking in a crisis’, as everyone is committed to the shared purpose of overcoming the crisis. Strong bonds are formed as everyone travels together and each person’s contribution can be seen and appreciated.
They say that two heads are better than one. Now we like to think as a leader that we always know best, but in reality, when you blend people’s ideas and perspectives you can get a fuller picture of the issue and a wider range of experience to bring to the table to solve a problem. When we collaborate with others, they share perspective, opinion and experience that can help us find ways that we didn’t even know existed.
I’ve spoken before about the fable of the blind men and the elephant. Each blind man feeling a section of the elephant to understand what it looks like. The one holding the trunk describes the elephant like a snake, the one holding a leg describes the elephant like a tree trunk. It is only when you blend each perspective you get a clearer picture. When we get a diverse view, we can make better decisions. Some teams I work with, do the 6 areas of working genius assessment. They can then see where their geniuses are and where others may have different strengths. Bring theses perspectives together and you create a stronger blend.
Innovation catalyst for change
Collaboration enables us to blend fields/perspectives and in doing so, we can create an alloy, something stronger and better. For example, Chloe, My PA, brings her organisation, and ideas for things I may not have thought of. Recently, we were looking at a better way to get online participants completing our feedback forms after training. Chloe brought her perspective and innovated. She developed some google forms that people could complete online at the end of the training. Bringing in her experience and strengths made it stronger.
When we collaborate, we learn things that others see or do differently. Recently we had an Everyday Leader associate coaches meeting where we shared things we were working on and use. By sharing ideas and paperwork that we used, all of us made our practice stronger.
When we collaborate, we engage people in the story and the journey. It is no longer just our vision for the future but it is for everyone. What a brilliant value to have.
Can we help you develop your collaboration? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.