Better Collaboration, Better Leadership

March 27, 2012

The best leaders are collaborative. They admit failure, show vulnerability, listen to advice, build effective teams, and move towards an ambitious vision.

No matter the vision, collaboration is essential to success. Here are a few tips to help you collaborate

1. Set a Vision and Establish Key Priorities 

Make sure your entire team knows which direction to focus their efforts. Most importantly, make sure that the members of your team don’t have competing goals. They must all align on the ultimate vision, and also the short term key priorities to get there.


2. Foster Discussion and Debate

The goal of collaboration and discussion is not good collaboration and discussion. The goal is making a real impact, faster. As such, people must discuss and debate topics in order to develop the best solution. Leaders must take an active stance in LISTENING and MODERATING these discussion, ensuring that the best ideas surface, and ego and emotions are left out of the room.


3. Celebrate Diversity and Innovation

Recognize and reward people who offer diverse thoughts. Value is increasingly created by connecting dots between people and organizations around the world, it is not created by working within closed silos. As such, leaders must extract diverse and innovative thoughts and opinions in order to develop the best solutions.


4. Choose a Final Direction and Commit

Listen to input for a while, but then consolidate diverse opinions and move the entire team in a final direction. Too much discussion and debate can create ineffectiveness. One of Amazon.com’s leadership principles is to “disagree and commit”; once a final decisions is made, no matter who makes it, the entire team needs to support it fully, regardless of individual opinions. The best leaders are able to create this unity. Or as the only saying goes “Diversity in council, unity in command”.

To listen to a super insightful podcast on collaboration, listen to the HBR Podcast “What Leaders Need to Know About Collaboration“. You can download it or listen to it here:


http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2011/06/what-leaders-need-to-know-abou.htmldownload


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