Let’s take a moment and consider on how we may occur to those we serve and those we coexist with on a day to day basis.  We know that we live in a very competitive world which begins for some of us at a young age.  Each and every one of us has competed for jobs, sales, sports and countless other situations.

May I ask…where do you stand with collaboration?  Are you competing with those you serve (maybe unconsciously) or are you collaborating?

When we are operating from a place of competition we are restricting our ability to listen for ways to work together.  Seems obvious perhaps.  However, consider that the pure difference is how we decide to show up.  Competing to win, be better than, perhaps take something away or stay in the “it is about me” mentality.  When seeking collaboration or coming from a place of let us create something together our listening and language is completely different.  Even if you ARE competitors why not come from a place of what if we collaborated.  Some of my best successes as a coach involved others and their skills as we worked together to serve a larger, broader audience.   As with many of my servant leadership beliefs, my ask here is that we consider starting from a place of collaboration, listening to understand versus being understood and wondering what if we did work together on something greater than us as individuals or singular organizations.

How powerful we will be in our leadership when we join forces, team up, get together, work jointly and pool resources.  Yet, do we always have the confidence within ourselves to do this?  Heck no is the answer. The ‘fear factor’ of being transparent will halt the process of collaborating with others because it is not the norm nor does it feel comfortable to those who have dedicated this phase of life to be an entrepreneur that communicates loudly, “I can do this myself.”  Good luck.

Society can promote competition as the only way to win.  Let’s face it, we enjoy obtaining the winning ribbon or the big sale even when there was massive amounts of collaboration and/or teamwork involved!

Give this topic some real thought.  Ask yourself how often do a compete internally or externally coming from a place of pride, ego, selfishness and when do I become open to working better with others to achieve amazing results.  Give the credit for the accomplishment(s) to those who made it happen and meanwhile, smile inside boldly and brightly knowing you were the person who suggested that a spirit of collaboration is much more valuable than competing at every point in the journey.

I write this as someone who competed all the time and many would tell you Greg Aden was one of the most competitive people I have ever met.  Absolutely true.  However, once I realized the power of asking for help, working well with others and enjoying the game of life and the learnings along the way…wow.  It is not too late.  Let go and collaborate with those you trust and admire and see what is possible.  I double dog dare you as you will no doubt become a more powerful, more desirable leader.

Greg