November 30

Career Progression

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Switching from ‘Me to We’: 3 top tips

The current world climate is one of constant change, innovation and invention. Business globally is a 24/7 brave new digiworld; information f low and the number of products, brands, concepts, apps and ideas available to the consumer is seemingly inexhaustible and constantly on tap. So how do we as leaders cope with the demand to be the best and at the same time future-proof our businesses?

It comes down to a concept that is relevant, adaptable and leads to what can be termed the ‘We’ space of a fully engaged business environment, or commercial collaboration. Here are some tips on thinking in a collaborative manner and embracing the ‘We’ space:

  1. Recognise the premium value of an intelligence bank: We talk all the time about a ‘value exchange’ but what does it really mean? In a collaborative business sense, it means exchanging intellectual services as currency. Complementary businesses that have switched-on leaders recognise the inherent gold to be found in trading skill sets rather than cash. It brings added value to their service proposition without hurting the bottom line. It engenders trust and transparency because both sides have a vested interest in success.
  2. Network and find your tribe: Networking is seen by so many as a chore. If you do the ‘handshake, slap a business card in a palm and run relay’, it is a chore. True networking is a give-and-take between like-minded thinkers. You don’t go into it with an expectation of ‘what will I get’, but rather ‘what can I assist with’. It is about collaboration with fellow leaders who share your ethics, goals and ambitions, and who understand your direction. Don’t fall into pressing ‘accept’ out of desperation or even good manners.
  3. Bravery in a leader in turn leads to bravery in the team: If you display vulnerability, admit failure and faults, and allow your team to see you as a human being, then they will be willing to try bigger and better ideas. ‘What if I fail?’ shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. It should instead be seen as a stepping-stone to ‘but what if you don’t?’. The only way this can happen is if a leader has a willingness to be open. Engaging fully, embracing the collective intelligence of your team and seeing the value in the opinion of others, are all aspects of collaborative thinking. Future-proofing is in the ideation of the group.

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