Other than your best talent your most vital trait is the capacity to collaborate – especially with people extremely unlike you. That’s the great leverager of value. Many people – even some social media advocates – still hew to the Leaders/Followers model for work and social life.
Yet those most likely to succeed and savor their lives in this flattening world are those who can recruit people extremely unlike them to join in accomplishing “first-evers.” They will be sought- after Collaborators.
That’s what made the most difference (other than the candidate himself) on the Obama campaign staff, as I experienced it.
It seems to me that we need to learn from those who are agile Opportunity-Makers – with and for others. You can recognize them because they usually ….
1. Search for and speak to the sweet spot of mutual benefit, rather than talking about themselves.
2. Articulate that mutual benefit to the possible team members in a way that naturally recruits them to join in capturing the opportunity.
3. Are open to facilitating the team’s success – or asking the team to consider who is best suited to do so.
4. Get the team to agree on a top goal, rules of engagement, tasks with lead persons for each and a related timetable.
With that approach we are more likely to:
• Optimize our opportunities in work and in life.
• Become happier and higher-performing – with others.
Ultimately we’ll enjoy accomplishing greater things together than we could on our own. In brief, that’s the Moving From Me to We mindset. I elaborate in this interview with International Association of MBAs president Lisa Cummings.