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7 Tips for Collaborative Leadership – Connecting High Performance Teams

Collaborative Leadership

I was recently working with one of my San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching clients – the president of a professional services firm.We talked about how some members of his leadership team didn’t share information throughout the organization. They lacked social intelligence and the motivation to connect with people unlike themselves. In our increasingly connected business and social world as evidenced by social media and globalization, a collaborative leadership style is often required.

My executive coaching client and I discussed how with the help of HR as business partner, firm leaders at all levels could create a more collaborative work environment. I am coaching my client on to help firm leaders become more collaborative, and change the way people think and act to create a more positive and productive culture resulting in more profits.

Collaborative leaders over the past two years became aware of the need for resilience, creativity and innovation restructuring their organizations for a period of survival and stabilization. Now leaders must rebound and take the next steps to thrive and create a sustainable future. They must refocus, inspire and continuously innovate with their teams to lead successfully and grow their business.

Connecting High Performance Teams

According to a July-August 2011 article Are You a Collaborative Leader? Authors Herminia Ibarra and Morten Hansen, collaborative leadership is the capacity to engage people and teams outside one’s formal control and inspire them to work toward common goals – despite differences in convictions, cultural values, and operating norms. Collaborative leadership is the opposite of the old autocratic command–and-control leadership style.

Ibarra and Hansen discovered that collaborative leadership requires strong skills in four areas: playing the role of connector, attracting diverse talent, modeling collaboration at the top, and showing a strong hand to keep teams from getting mired in debate. Their research suggests that these skills can be learned, and can help executives generate improved performance.

At their core, collaborative leaders are connectors. In his best-selling book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell used the term “connector” to describe people who link people, ideas, and resources from diverse social and business worlds.In successful businesses, connectors are critical facilitators of collaboration.

Collaborative leaders are effective at doing the following seven things.

1. Blog about trends, idea, and people they meet outside their organization.

2. Engage diverse talent from everywhere to produce better results.

3. Make global connections thatdiscovers new opportunities.

4. Collaborate at the top to modeldesired behavior.

5. Assume a strong role directing teams to increase the speed of decisions and ensure agility and execution.

6. Create diverse teams focused on achieving results.

7. Engage talent across generations tapping into their intrinsic motivation.

Collaborative leaders make sure employees at all levels and locations have access to relevant information and essential resources. They ensure that the people who are leading collaboration have the authority to make final decisions. Accountability is based on achieving shared goals. Collaborative leadership works best when innovation and creativity are critical.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who are committed to lead collaboratively? Collaborative leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a culture where people are positively connected.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a collaborative leader?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees share information, work collaboratively and are fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

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