Wetland restoration at Bair Island of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge is becoming a reality through the assistance of Bob Donaldson. His collaborative approach helped us find ways to make this complex project work for both wildlife and people. When we ran into problems with a contractor Bob used his skills of dealing with difficult people to help us solve our problems. We couldn’t have done it without his help.
I have had the pleasure of working with Bob Donaldson for more than 20 years on numerous issues and projects. During that time I developed an appreciation for Bob’s ability to successfully deliver on every project and honor every commitment. Bob uses a disciplined, thoughtful process for breaking down highly complex issues into more easily understood parts. He also has a talent for seeing a problem from the perspective of those on the other side of the table and is able to build trust and work effectively with people at every level of an organization. I came to enjoy working with Bob because I knew that at the end of the day any project or problem we were working on would be handled with integrity, professionalism and a sense of humor.
I have worked very closely with Mr. Robert (Bob) Donaldson of Collaborative Strategies for over seven years. Bob is one of the most detail oriented and organized people I have ever met and displays these traits in his professional approach. Bob is extremely talented in his ability to work closely with others in strategic systems and organizations. He is able to bring many differing, and sometimes opposing, concepts together into one room and work out a collaborative solution to address whatever challenge the organization may be facing. I believe Bob’s absolute strongest skill is his ability to see the big picture related to the project at hand and set up systems that allow him or the designated project lead to organize and successfully carry out whatever project they are working to complete. This talent has been demonstrated not only on project related work, but also in workforce situations where Bob has organized teams to complete assignments in an orderly and structured manner…
I’ve worked with Bob for more than 25 years on a wide array of efforts/projects ranging from public health emergencies to multi-year planning efforts. Inevitably, the successful completion of these projects required the collaboration of parties with vastly different agendas and definitions of success. Bob has displayed an unusual ability to assess the needs of the parties involved and craft a strategy for cooperation that will benefit everyone. He has a large tool box of strategies on how to get a team working together. I also want to mention that he is not content with just any collaborative outcome, he understands and pursues the right one — the best one for all parties involved. Bob commands respect in a room full of potential combatants without demanding it. He does his homework and comes with a plan that works. I don’t recall ever second guessing his methods or the outcome.
I have known and worked with Robert Donaldson for nearly 30 years. Bob is a progressive policy thinker while maintaining personnel accountability within the workforce. In the mid 1980’s we shared employment at an organization that was recovering from a labor strike. Employees were at odds; personal property was being vandalized and communication between work teams was inconsistent at best. Morale was low, and organizational efficiency was extremely poor. Bob believes a strong workforce begins with employee empowerment. He initiated programs that increased employee’s viability to their current (and as it turns out also to future) employers. In the face of internal resistance he maintained his beliefs and persevered with these changes. These programs eventually provided increased educational opportunities and coupled with defined lines of communication within the organization, became the cornerstones of greater efficiency and employee empowerment. Within five years, this group …
When you work with Bob Donaldson on a challenging, full-of-potential-pitfalls kind of project, you are in for one of the most rewarding professional achievements of your life. I have been working with Bob on complex infrastructure projects for nearly 20 years. He is a master at leading mission-oriented teams who respect, challenge, and support each other in working towards a common goal. For Bob, collaboration is not just a bunch of people sitting around a table making nice. Collaboration is work – hard work – real work. And the stakes for the outcome of the process are often very high. It is in this kind of environment that Bob thrives and excels. He produced a small “Guide to Collaborative Behaviors” for our team – this guide has become one of my “go to” resources in working with other clients who struggle with difficult team dynamics. It always works!
I have worked with Bob Donaldson and under his guidance for 20 years. During these years I interacted frequently with him and depended on him. Bob is very goal oriented as well as a team player, and always easygoing. He is keenly devoted to his work, but being a real people person, he is also enjoyable to be around. He is well organized and thrives under adversity. Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration. No one is better at creating this environment than Bob. What I have learned from him is that as you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. He has taught many of us that other people’s ideas are often better than our own and that when we find a group of people who challenge and inspire us, spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life.
I am the Refuge Manager for the 30,000-acre Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. For the past eight years I have worked directly with Bob Donaldson on a variety of issues concerning a sewage force main which runs through part of the Refuge at InnerBairIsland. Bob has proven time and time again to be extremely efficient, professional, and comprehensive with the many different tasks our agencies collaborated with, such as right of ways, memorandums of understanding, site logistics, and coordination efforts with multiple contractors. He has a can-do attitude with a very unique set of problem-solving skills to work through any issue that may arise in a timely and communicative approach. It has been a pleasure to work with Bob and I highly recommend him.
I had the honor and pleasure of working both for and with Bob Donaldson from 1986 until 2006. Bob brought qualities such as clarity, focus, objectivity and equitable treatment of those working for and with him on the teams he led. I learned a great deal from him about how to manage and lead. I was consistently impressed with his ability to navigate the complexities of multi-disciplinary projects involving lots of people with a wide variety of expertise while keeping the overall project on time and within budget parameters. As a Minister and spiritual leader, I have come to appreciate Bob’s more subtle qualities as well. Developing collaborative strategies requires “keeping one’s head while all about are losing theirs.” For many years I witnessed Bob’s remarkable ability to do just that.
I have closely witnessed the work and accomplishments of Robert Donaldson for more than 25 years in the various capacities he has held. Bob was able to facilitate the best solutions to a myriad of problems including technical, personnel, organizational, regulatory, functional, operational and administrative issues that he was continually confronted with. Bob was always cool headed and rational in his thinking and at his best in listening and then making assessments of the necessary actions to be taken. The list of projects and programs he successfully steered and is steering to the desired conclusions is impressive. I have always been impressed by how honestly and respectfully he treated each participant and conducted his activities in a manner that allowed everyone to express themselves and yet lead the discussion candidly and productively. Bob’s talents are many and I heartily and unequivocally recommend his engagement in any assignment that fits these talents.