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Leadership Tip of the Week: Collaboration

Are you collegial?

While deployed in Afghanistan, my unit was working with the Norwegian and German armies on a large infrastructure project. It would require a lot of coordination between the three different nations and their armies. Each army had different rules of engagement and required us to work through some strict national caveats. To be successful, we would have to collaborate effectively.

The project went well because we were all collegial. All parties wanted to work together to make it happen. This attitude is what helped us all work through the numerous difficulties.

Collaboration is a very valuable leadership skill. A leader doesn’t need to have all of the answers, but they are responsible to ensure that the group arrives at the right answers. Leaders can help themselves by enlisting their team or other groups to help formulate solutions and answers. An effective leader is able to create solutions that help parties achieve joint goals.

Leaders need to make sure that they have the right mindset going into a collaborative relationship. They should consider the joint goals and benefits of the relationship with others. Having both groups discuss what can be achieved through the relationship is a great way to start and will help leaders have a collegial attitude.

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