For Collaborative leaders, it’s all about satisfaction and support. Unlike the other four leadership styles we discussed in last week’s blog, “Pick a Style: The Five Types of Leadership,” Collaborative leaders focus on production and people concurrently. Their philosophy is that a dynamic balance must exist between the two, as production and people are interdependent.
Collaborative leaders also recognize that there’s a stark difference between happiness and satisfaction. The only person who can make us happy is us – it comes from within. But one can enable employee satisfaction, on the other hand, by fostering a positive and supportive environment.
Here’s an example of why the Collaborative style is so powerful:
Collaboration Saves the Day
One of our clients is a strong Collaborative manager. She became CEO of a manufacturing firm after the sudden death of her father, who had been a Directive manager. The company was in crisis, with sales declining.
Her goal was not to keep things going in a manner you might call “good enough.” She felt the company had a terrific opportunity to grow if it excelled in product design and product quality, and did so with a highly motivated team who would commit to excellence. This meant longer hours and a more agile response to customer needs.
She engaged her leadership team and challenged them to help define, together, the company’s strategy, with an emphasis product innovations and service upgrades. It was a new experience for the team, and they were tentative about it at first.
But, her humility, respect for others, willingness to listen, develop others, and her passion to pursue an exciting vision really captured the team. Within a year, the company had turned around, was growing and had doubled its profits. And her team told us they would charge through walls for her. That is the power of a Collaborative manager.
The takeaway: the collaborative style can be incredibly effective. But there are times when another style is the right choice. Flex your leadership style to connect with those around you, use your personal power, and you will be a more effective leader.