Competition in life, and in business, is a daily factor and occurrence. We learn early, the importance of winning. The issue to consider is, what are we willing to do to win? Winning at any cost damages personal and business relationships. A so-called short-term gain can indeed turn into a long-term loss. True success in life and business needs to be a shared experience, standing up to doing the right thing.
Winning for oneself can have a downside and cloud our judgment. Courage in leadership starts with taking a selfless approach. Sharing an organization’s success is a collective effort by all levels of the enterprise. The highest level of leadership courage is inspiring others and passing the torch of collective excellence to the organization and to our industry. Achieving at the highest level is for the benefit of others.
To serve is to lead and live with values and standards that will never be compromised, and never discarded in order to win.
Courageous leaders do in fact step outside the box in order to help the organization establish goals and direction. Collaborative leadership in the truest sense is inclusiveness and engaging at all levels of the organization. Courageous collaboration challenges us all to dig deep, truly attack issues and bring our best to issues and situations. It is respecting relationships and at the same time, being brave enough to confront the “elephant in the room.” It is putting the organization’s knowledge and belief into action. Courageous and collaborative leaders encourage others to venture out of their comfort zones, to take chances and to stretch and feel safe in doing so.
Collaborative and courageous leadership ignites creativity. It enables the organization to challenge the status quo and encourages employees to stay with the organization by creating:
- Encouragement to think differently
- To ability see conflict in a high light
The underlining principles of courageous and collaborative leadership are:
- A commitment to serve and to care
- A constant curiosity
- An interest in making and leaving things better
- A global interest and an understanding for and appreciation of human connectedness
- A sincere and deep regard for all relationships
- A burning desire to improve the organization and to question the status-quo
- The courage to stand up for dignity for all
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down, and listen.” – Winston Churchill
Courage and collaboration is learning how to deal with differences in a productive way. Collaboration means listening and learning and being open to change. It means making decisions everyone can live with, to engage in open dialogue – to metabolize the positive. It is the rare combination of caring for ourselves, and our associates, and nurturing a supportive work environment. Think about the benefits of aligning all functions within your organization.
Collaboration is indeed trust in action. Departments tend to work in silos unless courage and collaboration are not at the core of the organization.
A Call to Courage
The courage to challenge – professionally, and with fact and conviction – means:
- To be constructive
- To listen and to question
- To be open and kind
Collaboration works best when it is agreed to and conscious, with mutual respect and trust, with common objectives and true integrity. Collaboration requires hard work and commitment and staying the course – rain or shine. It means having the internal courage to stand up for what you believe is right. It means being able accept conflict as a fact of life, in both business and in our personal lives, and to seek out deeper relationships with others.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
The key to courage and collaboration is to seek mutually beneficial solutions and candid dialogue, which opens the window of possibilities. Inclusive leaders create wellbeing out of day-to-day interactions. Collaboration demands the care and feeding of hearts and minds.
Given the winds of change in the aftermarket that call for action by all members of our industry’s supply chain, it is courageous collaboration that will guide us to an exciting future. We are indeed, all in this together.