Monday, August 24, 2015

Collaborative Leadership


The most successful organizations are led by successful leaders.  The most successful organizations are led by, not one, but many leaders.  These leaders form a team.  It is through the collaboration of the members of team that success can be found.  However, working together as a team, especially a team of leadership personalities, is not always easy.  Multiple ideas, conflicting agendas, and varied perspectives can all get in the way of decisions that must be made to ensure organizational success.

Bobsleigh team, by Tyler Ingram

In the book, Teams That Thrive, Ryan Hartwig and Warren Bird describe 5 disciplines required for collaborative leadership.

  1. Focus on purpose.
  2. Leverage differences in team members.
  3. Rely on inspiration more than control.
  4. Intentionally structure the decision making process.
  5. Build a culture of continuous collaboration.
Purpose is the true leader of the organization. Collaborative leadership works when everyone is focused on the organizations purpose, and not personal agenda.

Each team member brings a different skill, different life experience, and different perspective to the team.  Utilize these to make the team stronger and "rounded out".

By maintaining focus on the organizations purpose and team strengths, the team will create its own inspirational force. Rely on this, not command and control tactics.

Make sure all team members understand how decisions will be made.  Follow the same process for every decision.

Do all team members feel that they can discuss issues and decisions openly? Keep this communication line open.  For more on this subject, you must listen to Richard Ryerson's podcast, "No Egos in the Cockpit".

By instituting these five disciplines into our teams and leadership we can finally accomplish what Vanilla Ice always wanted, "...stop, collaborate, and listen".