Collaborative Leadership: PART 2

Posted by: DVULI | April 21, 2023

Working together can be hard! 

Working together is an important skill for leaders who work with urban youth. Young people do not grow up in programs but in families, schools, churches, and neighborhoods. It takes many organizations working together to bring about community-wide change.

But sometimes, collaboration can seem impossible. That’s why working the steps is key.

In part one of this resource, we reviewed the 6 Skills of Collaborative Leaders. These skills, or steps, are meant to be completed together as a whole—not cherry-picked.

If collaboration feels forced and ill-received, take a beat to reflect. A reflective journaling deep dive is a great way to determine which of the six steps might be incomplete or missed altogether.

Here are four helpful reminders when dealing with persistent collaboration barriers:

Overcoming Collaboration Barriers:

  • It takes time. Collaboration takes longer than other leadership styles, and it’s more complicated.
    • 💡 It requires trust, and trust takes time.
  • It’s risky. Collaboration has more risk and a higher potential for failure than working alone.
    • 💡 Lead by example, share responsibility for failure, avoid the blame game, and encourage the group to come up with solutions together.
  • Hidden agendas can be a threat. This speaks to a lack of trust.
    • 💡 They come to the surface when there is conflict and there is no process to prevent or resolve it. Be proactive with your team. Create a plan together of how you are going to handle difficult situations.
  • Strong egos.
    • 💡 It’s hard to change “I” to “We,” especially when you are working with talented people. Establish a sense of equality, celebrate contributions, and make sure everyone has the space and confidence to share and generate ideas.

The big idea? It’s simple.

There is wisdom in numbers making us better together. Doing ministry collaboratively fosters responsibility, built-in accountability, encouragement, and even protection! As a leader, collaboration also allows you to shepherd some of your flock more intimately and pave the way for future leaders by example.

Further 100% Recommended Resource Reading about Collaboration:

The following is a list of book resources that relate to the topic of collaboration:

*Adapted from Collaborative Leadership: Self-assessment Questionnaires, Turning Point