Walk the Talk: Building a Collaborative Leadership Culture
I just finished watching #IMMOOC Live Episode 3 with @8amber8 and @matthew_arend hosted by @gcouros and thought I would share my thoughts on building a collaborative leadership culture. First of all, I echo Amber and Matt’s sentiments about the power of Twitter to connect people and ideas. Like George, I connected with Amber after discovering her passion and vision via her blog. (I encourage you to follow her blog!) Back in the day we thought it would be fun to host a weekly Tech Integrator’s Chat, (#tichat) which was amazing and fun and really hard to keep up with!
I love what Amber said in Live Episode 3, however-
“everyone moves forward”
It is simple, yet powerful. Trying to jump into a leadership role and help people move forward can be a monumental task-like herding cats or turning the Titanic. One person cannot do it alone-it takes a team effort.
Collaborative Leadership is the key. it is no accident that the most highly functioning teams are teams which lead together, therefore it is critical to do as Amber suggests and “walk beside them” as your team moves forward. Creating a culture in which everyone strives to move forward requires a certain mindset and vision:
- Everyone moves forward to some degree-even if, as Amber suggests, it is baby steps.
- Organic is best-model the behavior and attitude you want teammates to emulate.
- Be consistent– in your messaging-your team needs to hear it over and over again to believe it and know that it is not going to change and it is not going away.
- Be patient- you will have early adopters and people who will never get on board. It may take up to 3 years to create the shift you want to see. Spend most of your energy on those that are with you rather than trying to convince the nay sayers. (here is a great article by author and speaker Todd Whitaker about this topic)
- Balance- as Matt says, finding a good balance is key. Usually involving the team in solving problems and in making un popular decisions is more effective than making top down unilateral decisions that affect the team in ways you may not even be aware of.
In the end, empowering kids cannot start until we empower the grownups we work with.