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.
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.
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.