Boosting Business By Collaborative Leadership

A quote that keeps buzzing in my head is from Nilofer Merchant which, via Twitter, tweeted that in the social era, ideas, communities and purpose gives power. In a hyperconnected business world, spurred on by social media and globalization, demands a leadership style that can harness the power of connections. Leaders need to shed the commandand-control and consensus styles in favor of collaborative leadership.

Are you a collaborative leader?

Harvard Business Review research shows that collaborative leaders who get results, do four things well:

The most intriguing in relation to leadership, collaboration, engagement and what Nilofer mentioned, ideas, is the concept of Meritocracy. Meritocracy is a philosophy “that holds power should be vested in individuals according to merit. Advancement in such a system is based on perceived intellectual talent measured through examination and/or demonstrated achievement in the field where it is implemented.”

Collaborative leadership is the capacity to engage people and groups outside one’s formal control and inspire them to work toward common goals—despite differences in convictions, cultural values, and operating norms. Most people understand intuitively that collaborative leadership is the opposite of the old command-and-control model, but the differences with a consensus-based approach are more nuanced. Below are some helpful distinctions between the three leadership styles.

In terms of accountability and control, the collaborative leader looks at performance on achieving shared goals. This is meritocracy, being performance driven, also looking and people who lead collaborations. This takes out the hierarchy (more), increases employee engagement, ownership, accountability and trust. There’s a lot to gain, boosting business when collaborative leadership and meritocracy are ‘allowed’. I do think it will be more of a pre-condition than anything else, leaders can’t control and direct all, they need to facilitate, leaders are platforms!

What’s your opinion on collaborative leadership and meritocracy?