Why Collaborative Environments Can Help Develop Leaders
While you may not consistently walk around asking yourself what type of leader you are, chances are, your qualities tend to fall under one (or more) different styles. In fact, most leaders tend to use different leadership styles at different times, front-running their teams with different techniques depending on what’s called for by individual situation. That’s why it’s important to develop leaders and collaborative environments can help.
According to a 2016 Forbes article, there are a number of different leadership styles that, when used together situationally, make for a solid leader.
A few of the leadership styles that the article lists out:
— “The Guru”: Often used for experts in a field that can lead when they have the most data, experience or want to help to catch their team up to speed.
— “The Orchestrator”: Those that focus on relationships, ensuring that the day-to-day include a cohesive mix of opinions, talents and operational excellence.
— “The Standard Setter”: Leading by example in order to motivate teams to set the bar high for themselves and those around them.
Although this is by no means an exhaustive list of the leadership qualities and styles, if you have no idea what type of leader you are (or who is ready to step up and become a leader on your team), understanding the type of leader you want to be can be key. Whether you’re still on the hunt to find your leadership style, or are looking to make a change, collaboration can not only help you to figure out what kind of leader you are, it can also help you to sift out the natural leaders that exist in your team. This is true for a number of reasons, but a few include:
- Collaborative environments allow room for error and therefore, room for learning. When you’re in a safe environment, where mistakes are ok as long as they’re not game-enders, ownership is taken, and the person making them (and their team) learn from It, taking positive risks can be a much simpler decision. Making these errors (and understanding why they didn’t work in the first place) are key experiences necessary to help lead projects, teams and companies. After all, the goal is to learn from failure.
- Less siloes mean more opportunities to lead and watch others lead.
In collaborative environments, where information exchange is more transparent and the standard has been set to work well departmentally and across the organization, team members have the opportunity to shine in a number of different areas. This allows leaders (and up-and-coming leaders) to contribute across a variety of initiatives, sometimes unearthing hidden strengths or even subject-matter expertise. Allowing for this open dialogue is crucial.
- You can see those on your team that are willing to help others and facilitate the reaching of goals.
You’ve probably heard the old(ish) adage before— there is a huge difference between a leader and a manager. Managers lead by words, keeping away from the Leaders inspire, help other to find their own strengths, and encourage by example. Collaborative environments give true leaders the opportunity to make themselves known. In these environments (where getting things done together is truly valued), you can easily see who is willing to put in the extra time to help get things done, who is setting high standards for themselves, and which team members are helping to positively take charge to get things done.
Really honing in on the type of leader you want to be and more, giving those on your team that want to step up the opportunity to do so, can be an important part of your (and your team’s) development. By allowing for an environment where your team can collaborate, create and maximize their productivity, you’ll not only find yourself better equipped to become the type of leader you want to be, you’ll also help to grow the budding leaders in your organization.