Leading Collaboration

Over the last two years I have been interviewing leaders about their collaborative practices. These leaders come from many different organisations but have the common bond of collaborating in post-earthquake Christchurch. From the interviews, I have identified five characteristics and three mindframes that seem necessary to lead, and to contribute effectively, to collaboration. Leading collaboration, what really matters?

 Five characteristics: Humility, integrity, passion, focus and drive.

Humility is the absolute essential, underpinning all that we do. Demonstrating integrity is a key ingredient to growing relational trust. It requires you to be fair, ethical and do what you say you will do.

Passion grows when you deeply care about an issue. It is difficult to fake. Focus isn’t myopic. It considers possibilities but keeps the collaborative work facing true North. It acknowledges complexity. Drive is related to focus and is connected to passion. It was acknowledged that “some days will be darker than others” but resiliency is needed.

Mindframes: Growth, inquiring and outwards.

A growth mindframe means having a positive and proactive attitude to your personal growth and working relentlessly to achieve and to grow. An inquiring mindframe is one that is continually curious, reflective and aware of the impact they have on others. They listen with empathy and are prepared to change based on feedback. The outwards mindframe has the most profound affect on an individual’s capacity to collaborate. It is more global in nature, moving away from silos and making connections continuously. This is the world of moving outside your comfort zone.

Humility and outwards mindframe seem to be particularly key in collaboration.

 Which characteristics do you identify with or look for in collaborative leadership?

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