5 Steps to Collaborative Leadership
Jean Santos, co-founder and senior consultant of Business Consulting Resources, shares how collaborative leadership development can create stronger teams.
In business, leadership is often seen as the CEO’s responsibility. But when businesses see leadership as a team effort, and apply a philosophy called collaborative leadership development, they create stronger leadership teams. Jean Santos, co-founder and senior consultant of Business Consulting Resources, explains how to make it happen.
1. Understand the Big Picture
Everyone in the company, not just the C-suite, works on improving their leadership and skills; everyone collaborates to identify overall areas of development; everyone openly shares their individual development plans; and the team works together as much as possible to support one another to achieve their individual goals.
2. Invest the Time
Leadership development can fall to the back-burner, especially when employees are focused on daily operations and strategic company goals. Invest time in leadership development and visualize the long-term benefits with your team: from more effective management and operational processes to improved interpersonal dynamics.
Seek an outside advisor if needed to help your team establish a process.
3. Create a Safe Environment for Discussion
Transparent conversations and vulnerability can be daunting at first, but once you earn the trust of your team and facilitators, honesty becomes a powerful tool. In this phase, team members will reflect on their own strengths and areas of improvement, and the strengths and areas of improvement of their colleagues.
4. Employees Document their Individual Plans
Each person should start with three or four primary goals – areas you would like to improve, skills you would like to learn – and detail how you will reach those goals in the next year. Include time frames, expected outcomes, and scenarios in which those leadership actions may be relevant or useful.
Present each development plan to the entire team and find ways to learn and build together as a unit in areas where your plans overlap. Allow your team members to support you in the process by acting as accountability partners.
5. Follow Up
Don’t let efforts falter over time. Establish accountability measures and scheduled check-ins dedicated to the leadership development process. Celebrate successes and once you have mastered your plan’s goals, set new ones.