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Lessons On Leadership: Cooperation And Collaboration For The Greater Good

Source | www.forbes.com | Maureen Metcalf

Leadership in dynamic times requires different skills than required in the past. One critical area of leadership focus is cooperation and collaboration.

For many leaders, competition has been the primary driver. The best leaders win, and they win regularly. That means they beat others.

Collaboration, however, hasn’t been rewarded in the same light. Instead, we hear phrases like “crushing your competition.” To those leaders, competition probably sounds like something “losers” want, not what leaders do.

I’d like to make the case that as the world becomes more complex, the best leaders will balance winning with collaboration.

Innately collaborative leaders welcome collaboration in a quest for novel solutions that serve the highest outcome for all involved. One of the hallmarks of effective collaboration is it happens with leaders at all levels across for-profit, nonprofit, government and civic organizations.

I’d like to use Columbus, Ohio, as a case study to illustrate how leaders across sectors can work together to accomplish city and regional goals. Based on my personal experience with local leaders, it is the combination of the following structures, cultures and behaviors that creates long-term outcomes.

1. Seek input from multiple perspectives, and value diverse points of view.

Leaders must be willing to consider perspectives other than their own, and they must have a process to synthesize these perspectives to create a more robust and inclusive solution. A leader should be able to build on different viewpoints and create an environment that promotes trust and reciprocity. All involved must feel heard and respected, even when their approach is not the ultimate choice.

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Source
www.forbes.com
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