Leaders are always at the forefront of making decisions that will shape how their companies will interact with other companies in the industry and the kind of leadership approach that will be used. Embracing leadership and business development from a collaborative perspective still stands as one of the best and most productive ways to approach leadership. The common saying, “two are better than one” is applicable even in executive leadership. And if two seem like a better option, how about three or more? Collaborating with other companies and leading with a collaborative mindset is sometimes the way to go rather than the common competitive mindset.
In today’s world, leaders need to collaborate with two major parties for enhanced results; their employees and other leaders in or out of their business niche. There are many ways this can be achieved and as everything that has to do with business development, the first step has to be taken by the leader.
First, teach a collaborative mindset. Let your employees know that the competition is outside the company, not within. We all grew up in communities and systems that encourage competition a lot and make it seem like the best approach to life. While having a competitive spirit helps and fuels development, it is does not build unity and harmony within your company. And these two virtues are essentially to busines development.
As a leader looking to turn things around, lead with collaboration in mind. Instead of setting your employees against each other in achieving tasks or seeking ideas, how about you encourage team work and collaboration? Create group brainstorming sessions. Let every action be a product of teamwork. While competition is a good way to increase innovation, collaboration is a much better way to get ideas and ensure that they eventually come to life.
Also, let your employees be aware of how the “silo-mentality” kills and doesn’t built up. “Silo-mentality” does not encourage knowledge sharing and ends up hindering the power of collective brainpower. According to Forbes, “wherever the silo mentality is found, they become synonymous with power struggles, lack of cooperation, and loss of productivity.” Harnessing the intelligence of every employee is what guarantees all-round growth. Without it, there may be development in certain teams and departments but not a quick joint or company growth.
In addition to this, always push a we-mentality. Leadership puts you in a position where you determine how you want your company to be run. When a particular goal is achieved, ensure that the company [which includes every single employee and every department] take the primary credit for this before you acknowledge the team or individual that brought about the solution. This makes everyone feel part of the solution and this is good for development since no one likes to be a part of just the problem.
Developing relationships and increasing bonds among employees also yield the results of collaboration. However, team work and collaboration is dependent on how individuals relate with one another. Personal relationships are the bedrock of teamwork and their strength or weakness will determine how collaboration within the company will turn out. So, to achieve maximum result from teamwork, you need team members who communicate and relate with each other on a good note.
Also, leaders who show trust in their employees improve their self-worth and this makes employees believe in their ability to get things done. Believing and having confidence in your team members and letting them know that you can bank on them is the first way to giving the confidence necessary for everyone to participate and feel like a part of the company growth. It also makes your employees know that you have faith in them and they do not want to disappoint you or the entire company.
Lack of trust produces a negative kind of complacency where employees are not encouraged to give in their best or go the extra mile in getting things. They don’t feel motivated to do these because they believe they don’t have their leader’s trust and no one wants to work extra hard for someone who does not believe in them.
To demonstrate trust, you must be honest as a leader. Let there be free flow of communication and let your employees know your honest thoughts on their input and the projects they work on. Criticism should come from a place of understanding and commendation should always follow. When your employees see this, they will be motivated to give in their best knowing that they can always bank on you to trust in their hardwork.
Progress in a company is fueled by unity and team work. Collaboration should be the focus not competition among employees and teams. Leave the competition outside and let collaboration drive innovations within the company.