You may have heard the phrase “collaborative leadership” thrown around over the past year or so. Put together those two words sound really great, dynamic even. But the logistics can leave people thinking, Is it really worth it? The answer is usually yes. First, let’s define collaborative leadership. According to Duke Matlock’s dictionary, collaborative leadership is the practice of pulling up more seats at the table and allowing other voices to be heard. It’s often easier and more efficient to make decisions on your own, without hearing diverse opinions, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always come at the best solution. Or, it’s easier and more efficient to make a decision and pass it off for individuals to complete. Collaborative leadership is the act of maintaining fluency and communication amongst your team in order to get a project or task. It’s a process that requires everyone’s thoughts, ideas, voices, and talents — and often leads to a project’s success if done correctly. Now I know what you might be thinking: Sounds great. But I don’t have time to do all of that. Getting everyone’s ideas on the table is too inefficient for my organization. In the book Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership by Ryan Hartwig and Warren Bird, they say “great teams are unwilling to sacrifice effectiveness on the altar of efficiency.” (pg. 31) When the going gets tough, throwing collaboration out the window seems like the obvious reaction. We have to streamline it, get it done. Efficiency is important. Deadlines are important. Sometimes you may have to resort back to methods that require less collaboration in order to get urgent things done. But the effectiveness of your organization is dependent on the effectiveness of your team. And the effectiveness of your team is highly dependent on the level of collaboration you allow at your organization. [bctt tweet="The effectiveness of your team is highly dependent on the level of collaboration you allow at your organization." username="dukematlock"] So, I implore you to make collaboration a priority. I encourage you to add it into your timelines and take it into consideration when you set deadlines. Create communication channels that allow your team to collaborate even on a time crunch. Make time for collaborative leadership — because it is worth it. [bctt tweet="Make time for collaborative leadership — because it is worth it." username="dukematlock"]
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