Collaborative Leadership

A picture taken by me at the SDG Global Festival of Action’s Art section. It depicts the SDG17 on partnerships

Last year I was invited to participate in the Ready Go Program for senior leaders at The BMW Group. In keeping with the theme of Collaborative Leadership and to push thinking out of the comfort zone, five entrepreneurs and five intrapreneurs working within BMW were invited to participate as well.

Over two days, we met several social entrepreneurs in Berlin and explored various facets of leadership — Purpose, Resilience, Collaboration and Leadership to Follow. The “Impact Safari” was meant to inspire but it was a great learning journey as we were forced to reflect on our own organisational practices, processes and our individual leadership styles.

In this changing world where technology is taking over many of our processes, making jobs redundant and a younger workforce who are not necessarily driven by money but by a larger vision, meaningful work and sustainable goals, it is important to re-examine our business principles.

I would like to share some of my reflections with you.

  1. Purpose — It is neither a revelation or luxury. It has to be mined from deep inside your soul and in achieving it a large part of you has to be given away. It is a combination of intentional experimentation and elevated expectations. It is a personal journey of growth, experience and enhanced relationships. In doing so, you end up owning the “experience” rather than owning “things”. A tip to help you in this journey — ask yourself “WHY?” five times.
  2. Resilience — To strengthen the muscles of resilience, it’s like training for a marathon. Resilience of a system depends on the resilience of its units and the way they interact to achieve a common goal. Incorporate good practices that can help you bounce through life in a fun way. Focus on your personal energy and passion, stay and eat healthy, learn from failure, learn to pause and reflect, strategise to achieve your purpose. A tip — Practice mindfulness and integrate care for your mind, body, spirit and emotions.
  3. Collaboration — To be truly collaborative, one needs to leave their ego at the door and be your honest self. With your team, follow consent over consensus. It is through finding common purpose one achieves self actualisation. Together one can achieve much more in a more sustainable manner. A tip for collaboration amongst teams — Holacracy allows for a more agile management structure, autonomy in teams and unique decision making processes.
  4. Leadership to Follow — In order to lead from the front, you need to know yourself. Simon Sinek says, “Leadership is a choice”. Be your own role model and create a space for trust and support. One of the organisations we met had regular “Clear the Air” meetings once a month whilst another that had been around for about 5 years was making a 100 year strategic plan.

If you concentrate on actioning these four points in your organisation and your own leadership style, you will reinvent the way you do business. Different ways of working are possible and constantly revisiting your purpose can help you focus on your team and organisation. Invest in your people.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” — John Q Adams.

Picture by ElsaMarie DSilva in Bonn. Together we can make the world interesting and complete.