True Leaders Understand the Power of Collaborative Leadership / Interdependence

October 29, 2012

True leaders realize ongoing progress and achievement require extensive collaboration across organizational boundaries–and that such collaboration leads to greater organizational and individual success.

Although it is easy to make unilateral decisions without considering the ultimate effect on others, as long as groups have a shared purpose and vision what some have called “collaborative leadership” is generally the best approach. True leaders who possess solid interpersonal relationship skills (empathy, patience, tenacity, an aptitude for managing difficult discussions, and the ability to build coalitions) are best equipped to thrive in a collaborative environment because they are able to set aside narrow self-interests in exchange for open discussions of how, with the support of others, they can achieve broader goals.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter of the Harvard Business School published a Harvard Business Review article in which she spoke of leaders who recognize that there are critical business relationships, “that cannot be controlled by formal systems but require a dense web of interpersonal connections.

One person defined collaborative leadership as, “the intentional and skillful management of relationships that enables others to succeed individually while accomplishing a collective outcome.”

A coercive leader might say: “Here’s where we’re going, here’s how we’re going to get there, and I could care less about how this impacts anyone else.” With coercion others have no choice, no voice, and (most likely) no commitment. With collaboration, however, everyone works together, with commitment, toward a common goal. As a collaborative / interdependent leader you accept the responsibility for developing (and ensuring the success of) a heterogeneous team that is focused on a shared purpose–and you know how to develop and sustain solid working relationships based on trust and accountability.

Dr. Stephen Covey said in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.

True leaders understand that their success, and the success of the organizations they lead, is dependent on their vision and ability to lead coupled with the collaborative support of others–and they know how to garner that support through openness, candor, understanding, negotiation, cooperation, and compromise.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com


True Leaders Have Excellent Interpersonal Skills

March 1, 2012

True leaders have well-honed “people” skills birthed from their ability to relate to, respect, and empathize with others. In addition, they have solid communication skills that allow them to inspire others to action. Combined, these skills allow true leaders develop and foster solid, long-term, working relationships within and outside of their organizations.

Key to their success is their own self-awareness and understanding of the impact their statements and their actions have on others. In addition, they’re good listeners who take into account others’ (yes, even subordinates’) concerns and perspectives. They build trust as a result of their reliability and authenticity—since what they say they will do, gets done.

They also bear in mind the needs and goals of others, and work with them collaboratively to help ensure each others’ success. They display a sensitivity in working with people from diverse backgrounds, and treat everyone with caring and courtesy. As a result, they’re able to build teams characterized by trust, involvement, and empowerment—leading to the development of a high-performance organization.

Finally, they use their skills in developing pragmatic, process-oriented solutions that cross traditional department boundaries and foster organization-wide consistency and cooperation.

When it comes to true leaders. . . it’s kind of easy to know them when you see them—and it’s a joy to work for and support them.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com