In today’s workplace, with the unrelenting pace of change and the crushing weight of information overload, no one person and no one group can survive, let alone thrive, without collaborating with leaders, colleagues, clients, vendors, outsiders, and even at times competitors. Yet the number one leadership challenge in the technology industry is overcoming the politics, turf wars, and egos that kill collaboration. So how can you play well with others? How can you collaborate in ways that make you and the entire organization stronger? By being professionally human.
Most people think, “I don’t care if you don’t have to like each other. You just need to learn to work together.” But actually, organizations and individuals are more successful when they like and respect one another as real live human beings with a back story and a life.
It took me a long time to understand that. I started my professional career as an officer in the military where I was indoctrinated to keep personal and professional lives separate. I carried that mindset into the private sector and eventually my ego would get the best of me. At one point in my career, I lost a third of my staff because I wasn’t willing to share with them that my mother was terminally ill, and I was having trouble holding my shit together. Years later I faced another personal crisis but this time set aside my ego and admitted to staff, colleagues and clients that I was struggling. Not only did they provide their support, our relationships deepen and the organizational results improved.
We spend so much of our lives in the work world and the work we do is important. Our lives and our work are too important to tolerate politics, turf wars, and egos that stifle our success and make us miserable in the process. That’s why I do this work. So that we can accomplish our goals collaboratively and thrive in the process.
Do you want more collaboration, success, and joy in your organization? Do you think you might need some help? Contact me for a free consultation.