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The key correlation between collaboration and leadership.

Collaboration and leadership aren’t the same things. They have almost nothing in common. Collaborative work while being a group activity, with people working together toward a shared goal. Leadership, on the other hand, is more of an individual process: Someone sets goals, guides others toward achieving them, and maintains accountability for results—all as an individual contributor. That being said, collaboration and leadership can also be mutually beneficial when they’re operating in tandem. An organisation with either weak collaboration or leadership skills in any area of a business can hinder the growth and success of a business that everyone is working very hard towards.

Understanding collaboration within an organisation

Collaboration, as everyone knows is the process of working together on a task with others. This action or rather a habit is something everyone has developed at some stage and it often happens informally in organisations. It doesn’t always follow a set process or procedure like traditional teamwork. In business, collaboration is often seen as a strategy in which people from different departments and areas of expertise come together to solve a problem or generate ideas. With regards to coming together to solve ideas on an organisational level, the organisation must be putting the goal of diversity first. Collaboration is an essential skill for any organisation, regardless of industry or size. It’s what allows people who might not otherwise interact with one another to do so. It’s through collaboration that we generate new ideas and solutions that would otherwise never be created. Collaboration can also help spark creativity within your organisation’s members. It brings together people from different disciplines, allowing them to see their role within the context of other departments.

Recognising the importance of leadership

Although collaboration is important, it is also important to recognise the difference between collaboration and leadership. Collaboration is an activity: You work with others. Leadership is a skill: You lead others. These are two very different things. Leadership is a set of skills used to guide an organisation or department toward a common goal. Within an organisation, leadership is essential not only because it allows employees to achieve their goals, but also because it creates an environment of trust and accountability. This is what makes leadership so valuable. Leaders create an environment for their team members to succeed. Without leadership, a team member’s ideas and solutions are less likely to come to fruition.

How collaboration without leadership is risky

If collaboration is happening without any sort of leadership, then it can be risky for your organisation. Collaboration becomes dangerous when people start working together without a clear goal or vision. Without leadership, even the best ideas are likely to stall out. Without a leader to set goals and give them a path toward success, a collaborative effort can fall apart. Collaboration without leadership is also likely to be unproductive. Without a leader to help guide the group toward a solution or a solution, the group is likely to become bogged down in unproductive debates.

How leadership without collaboration is risky

Without collaboration, leadership can be dangerous for your organisation. Without collaboration, your leader might be setting goals with little to no insight into how to achieve them. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among your team members. Collaborating with your team members can help you gain insight into what they’re working on and what they need from you to help achieve success. Without collaboration, your team members might not feel comfortable voicing their needs or asking for help when they need it. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among your team members.

Collaboration and leadership complimenting each other

When an organisation can successfully bring collaboration and leadership together, a mutually beneficial situation is created for both your team members and your business as a whole. Collaboration brings people together from different departments and generates new ideas. Leadership is what helps give those ideas a voice and sets them on a path to success. When collaboration and leadership are working together, they can truly make magic happen.

Key takeaway

When collaboration and leadership are working together, they can be an extremely powerful force. But when one or both of these constructs is missing, it can be damaging to your organisation’s progress. Collaboration without leadership can lead to unproductive meetings and unmet goals. Leadership without collaboration can lead to an environment of frustration and dissatisfaction among team members. If your organisation has weak collaboration or poor leadership skills among its staff members, then read on to learn more about how each of these constructs could potentially impact your business moving forward.