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Leadership Lynchburg believes in, and exposes its participants to, the Collaborative Leadership approach.

There have been a number of research projects and reviews of key lessons for Collaborative leaders but they all come down to some similar themes.  If these are skills you’d like to develop or perfect…..this find a Leadership Lynchburg program for you!

Nick Lovegrove and Matthew Thomas (co-founders of The InterSector Project) writing for the Harvard Business Review, interviewed over 100 leaders who have demonstrated their ability to engage and collaborate across the business, government and social sectors and found six distinguishing characteristics:

  • Balanced motivations. A desire to create public value no matter where they work, combining their motivations to wield influence (often in government), have social impact (often in nonprofits) and generate wealth (often in business)
  • Transferable skills. A set of distinctive skills valued across sectors, such as quantitative analytics, strategic planning and stakeholder management
  • Contextual intelligence. A deep empathy of the differences within and between sectors, especially those of language, culture and key performance indicators
  • Integrated networks. A set of relationships across sectors to draw on when advancing their careers, building top teams, or convening decision-makers on a particular issue
  • Prepared mind. A willingness to pursue an unconventional career that zigzags across sectors, and the financial readiness to take potential pay cuts from time to time
  • Intellectual thread. Holistic subject matter expertise on a particular intersector issue by understanding it from the perspective of each sector

Madeleine Carter, writing for the Center for Effective Public Policy as part of research project funded by the United States Department of Justice and State Justice Institute, defines five qualities of a collaborative leader:

  • Willingness to take risks
  • Eager listeners
  • Passion for the cause
  • Optimistic about the future
  • Able to share knowledge, power and credit

In a similar way, Archer and Cameron list ten key lessons for a successful collaborative leader:

  • Find the personal motive for collaborating
  • Find ways of simplifying complex situations for your people
  • Prepare for how you are going to handle conflict well in advance
  • Recognize that there are some people or organisations you just can’t partner with
  • Have the courage to act for the long term
  • Actively manage the tension between focusing on delivery and on building relationships
  • Invest in strong personal relationships at all levels
  • Inject energy, passion and drive into your leadership style
  • Have the confidence to share the credit generously
  • Continually develop your interpersonal skills, in particular: empathy, patience, tenacity, holding difficult conversations, and coalition building.

Rod Newing writing in a Financial Times supplement special report says “If a collaboration is to be effective, each party must recognise and respect the different culture of the other”. And traditional development paths don’t prepare leaders well for this “traditional management development, is based on giving potential managers a team of people and a set of resources to control – and success is rewarded with more people and more resources to control. By contrast, collaboration requires managers to achieve success through people and resources outside their control and for this they have had no preparation”.

Source:  Wikipedia excerpt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_leadership):