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Courage and Collaboration Are Cousins

Negotiating in an ever-changing aftermarket will place a higher premium on collaboration and professional business courage.


John Passante is a broad-based senior executive with over 30 years of extensive organizational development and senior human resource experience with progressive corporations involved in multiple locations, both domestic and international.

The mission and purpose of collaboration are to build consensus. The challenge we all face is to enhance collaboration and to move it to a larger scale of influence and impact. A broad circle of collaboration increases our sphere of influence and ability to create positive change. Reflect on your past experience and success in developing effective collaboration, and the lessons learned. Collaboration takes professional courage to create improvements, a strong dose of patience, trust and a willingness to share control of the process and results, as well as controlling one’s ego and the ability to share success as well as challenges.


According to Evergreen State College, the list of best practices for collaboration are:

  • Assume every perspective that has stood the test of time has a kernel of truth to it;
  • Embrace contradiction, asking in what sense a situation can be “both;”
  • Engage in shuttle diplomacy, going back and forth between theories, and between theory and empirical evidence; and
  • Seek an understanding that is responsive to each of the contributing perspectives but not dominated by any one of them.

It takes courage to seek input and opinion from others, and to test our relationship and differences in the search of consensus. Negotiating in an ever-changing aftermarket will place a higher premium on collaboration and professional business courage. Courage is the impetus to face uncertainty and pave the way to positive change, courage, and collaboration.


Leadership’s tole is to be a captain of:

  • Collaboration
  • Communications
  • Courage
  • Change
  • Commitment
  • Customer Focus
  • Consistency
  • Champion of the Audacity of Hope

Inclusivity needs to be intentional, place a premium on real face-to-face time and mentorship for all employees, and encourage employees to spread their wings and fly toward their potential. Working in an office provides the opportunity and benefit for inspiration and friendship. We all seek the social fiber from working in person that makes us feel worthwhile and valued. Leaders require the courage and character to speak up and to be the voice of change and collaboration. Courage tackles the status quo and drives positive momentum. Courage is indeed leadership speaking the truth.


Leadership is dealing with tension both within the organization and with the customer, listening to all parties, and leading towards consensus, problem-solving, and collaboration. Collaborative courage requires a commitment to never waver in the heat of battle – to be true to your values, conscience and core beliefs and striving for the greater good.

A great example of moral courage is Martin Luther King Jr., who stood up and took action to address injustices. Likewise, in business, leaders with a keen eye for fairness and equality ensure that all employees have the equal opportunity to utilize their God-given talents and to reach their potential.


The underlying characteristics of courageous leadership are:

  • Lead from both the mind and heart
  • Commitment to do the right thing
  • Being bold (rain or shine)
  • Staying the course in times of strong opposition and disagreement

Courageous leadership and collaboration bolsters self-confidence and allows others to believe and support their leader and the organization.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt



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