Leadership has been defined as influence that causes others to act, change, or perform a desired task. Leaders have been known to wield their influence through authoritarian rule, vision casting, friendly persuasion, consensus building, and many other styles.
I want to share here about how we as leaders can lead collaboratively. Collaborative leadership can be modeled in any organization, group, business (for, or non-profit), or family. Collaborative Leadership is born from the understanding that for a group of people to progress towards a common goal, over an extended period of time, they will require a leader, and that the people will unify better if their ideas are valued and incorporated by the leadership into the group’s ongoing strategy.
Whereas leading by consensus will sometimes seek to marginalize divergent opinions until their holders acquiesce to the group’s majority view, collaboration tries to inform that majority view by being willing to recognizing value in the divergent views. This can develop an idea that is improved by addressing the critical thoughts that were offered. That resulting “idea” is often much more broadly applicable because a dissenting voice was heard and valued instead of being marginalized and discarded.
There is also an obvious benefit to the ongoing group dynamics when such a leadership style is employed on a regular basis. Trust and mutual vulnerability is developed as members feel free to brainstorm more broadly due to their sense that it is safe to inject an idea that deviates from the groups more common trajectory.
This blog is dedicated to exploring the principles and pitfalls of the Collaborative Leadership model.
Pastor Tim Wenzig M.A.