Six Attributes of Collaborative Leaders


These 6 attributes may not be the familiar leadership competences taught at many business schools but it is my belief that they underpin success in today’s collaborative world.

1. Patience
The terrain will change, but collaborative leaders are patient with their partners and with themselves. Your direction may be clear, but you will need a flexible approach to getting there and accept that this will take time.

2. Collective decision making
Decisions made by leaders in isolation and enforced by hierarchical power aren’t sustainable in today’s world. Inclusive decision making informed by bottom up data is key.

3. Quick thinking
You need to be able to see both opportunities and risks before others do, and act in response to them. This requires a quick intellect, and the confidence and courage to implement new ideas whilst taking people with you.

4. Tenacity
The world we describe isn’t a stable one. Governments come and go; dramatic events happen, you cannot produce a detailed plan of action and expect to see it through step by step. Successful collaborative leaders are tenacious in the pursuit of results that deliver the overall common purpose.

5. Building relationships
Collaborative leaders go out to find future partners, identify sponsors, make new alliances – and are prepared to do all this in unexpected places. They invest energy in doing this sort of networking activity ahead of time, so they can call on these relationships when the pressure is on.

6. Handling conflict
Interdependent relationships are multi-layered and always contain seeds of possible conflict. Collaborative leaders don’t see conflict as a mark of failure – rather it is part of the territory, and they are confident in holding the difficult but necessary conversations that help to bring about a resolution.

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Trevor Lee

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

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Ask Your Employees More Questions


As you move up in an organization, people increasingly look to you for answers.

But the best leaders don’t provide all of the solutions — they inspire curiosity, creativity, and deeper thinking in their employees. And that starts with asking the right questions.

Encourage your employees to slow down and explain what they’re proposing in more detail by saying something simple and to-the-point, like “Wait, what?” You could also use phrases like “I wonder why…” to encourage curiosity. And then follow up with “I wonder if things could be done differently.”

Another question to try: “How can I help?” – this question forces your colleague to define the problem, which is the first step toward owning and solving it.

Adapted from “5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time,” by James E. Ryan

 

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Curated by Trevor Lee

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

Without collaboration, innovation stalls


How we can bring Edison’s world-changing collaboration process into the digital age.

When we call Thomas Edison to mind, our first thought is of a brilliant inventor and innovator whose creations transformed modern life. We often think of him toiling away in a laboratory all by himself, long into the wee hours of the morning.

And yet, we rarely consider the role that collaboration played in Edison’s world-changing success. Tangled in the lore of the lone American inventor, our mind’s eye conjures Edison’s spray of white hair, his signature bow tie, and we quickly ascribe his 1,093 US patents to innate genius.

Tempting as it is to sustain this image of Edison, it is inaccurate. In an age when we speak of Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs in the same breath, it’s important to refresh our understanding of the pivotal role collaboration played in Edison’s innovation prowess. He viewed collaboration as the beating heart of his laboratories, a sustaining resource which fuelled the knowledge assets of his sprawling innovation empire.

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Thomas A Edison

Rising from humble beginnings, Edison was largely self-educated, pursuing his relentless passion for learning well into his 70s, when he taught himself botany. Deeply skilled in chemistry, telegraphy, acoustics, materials science, and electro-mechanics, Edison’s thirst for discovery began in his early teens and never ceased. Like a magnetic force all its own, Edison’s brainy leanings drew others to his quests, attracting bright colleagues with a huge diversity of skills.

From his earliest years renting space in workshops and small laboratories, Edison collaborated with others. Realizing the value of sharing his inspirations with people who held different skills than he did, Edison felt a unique bond with those who labored with him. In establishing his famed Menlo Park Laboratory at the age of 29, Edison journeyed from the failure of his first patented invention at age 22 to becoming a world-renowned inventor in just 7 years, establishing collaboration practices which came to be a signature of his campus-style operations.

Midnight Lunch – Published by Wiley – is a book from his descendant Sarah Miller Caldicott. It challenges each reader to examine the ambitions they’ve set for themselves, re-imagining what one person is capable of producing when they work in true collaboration.

The linkage between innovation and collaboration underscores why Edison’s collaborative approach becomes such a relevant subject for us now. Given the increased scrutiny placed on the role of innovation as a driver of growth for every economy – whether emerging or developed – we must ask whether collaboration is also engaged. Like a symbiotic organism which can only thrive when its host is present, innovation can only gain sustainable traction when true collaboration also exists.

I had the privilege of a pre-publication read of Midnight Lunch (Edisonian employee ritual) and can’t recommend it highly enough for any that see innovation and collaboration as the way to future business success and a higher purpose.

© Wiley Publishing and Author Sarah Miller Caldicott 

Twitter: @WileyBiz and @SarahCaldicote

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Curated by Trevor Lee

@trevorblee

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

Make Gender Balance a Smart Strategic Goal


If you are working on launching or accelerating a push for more gender balance in your company, you need to focus on the opportunity – not the problem – to engage others. Approach the conversation by first laying out a set of future objectives, targets, and milestones. Then describe how gender balance is a key lever to help you reach those goals.

It helps to consider a two key questions:

1) Are you using language that accuses or language that invites people to build skills and enhance leadership impact?

2) Are you engaging with managers on things they understand are central to both their individual success and the company’s goals? Or are your efforts being perceived as politically correct, tick-the-box exercises?

Remember: the final goal isn’t just about balance. It’s having more engaged employees and more connected customers.

Adapted from “Tackle Bias in Your Company Without Making People Defensive,”
by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

 

Curated by Trevor Lee

@trevorblee

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

Don’t Accept a Job Offer Until You Assess the Organizational Culture.


You got the job. Now for the hard part: deciding whether to take it.

Start by doing due diligence on the organization and its people to learn whether you would enjoy working there.

Ask yourself, “Is this a place where I will be happy? Where I will be challenged? Where I will thrive?”

Reaching out to your contacts and LinkedIn network and ask questions such as “What is the organization like?” and “How long do people stay?”

Find out what happened to the last person who had the job you’ve been offered.

If you can, do a trial run at the company. You can say, “I really want to learn more about this organization. Can I spend a few hours with the team?”

You will not be able to negotiate or change the organization’s culture, of course, but it’s helpful to know beforehand what you’re getting into.

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Curated by Trevor Lee

https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevorblee

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

To Motivate Employees, Show Them How Their Work Helps Customers


We all want to know that our jobs matter.

When an employee’s work seems lacklustre, or office morale is low, remind them of who their work helps.

Giving someone a concrete picture of their work’s impact can be self-affirming as well as motivational.

Studies have shown that cooks feel more motivated and work harder when they see people eating their food, for example.

Even if the results of your employees’ work aren’t so tangible, giving them specific names and stories of those who’ve benefited from their efforts can offer a window into the good that their work does.

So take time to talk about the customer who is able to make more sales (and therefore a better living) thanks to your company’s software, or the parent who’s driving a safe car thanks to diligence on the assembly line.

The key is to make a direct connection from the employee to those who benefit from their work.

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Curated by Trevor Lee

https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevorblee

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

To Motivate Your Employees …


It’s not always easy to get the most from your employees.

If you’re struggling to inspire the people on your team, look to your past.

Think about your own experience and what motivated you when you were in the lower levels of a company.

Who was the best boss you ever had?

What did that person do to make you want to perform at your best?

Reflect on what made your boss’s motivational strategies so effective for you.

What specifically did they do to earn your trust and admiration?

Now think about how you can apply those lessons to your own team. Which motivational tools will work for them?

Be fearless in examining your own behavior and curious about how your employees respond to you. Re-purpose your favorite boss’s techniques and make them your own.

Adapted from “Motivating People Starts with Having the Right Attitude,” by Monique Valcour

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Curated by Trevor Lee

@trevorblee

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com