Collaborative Leadership Initiatives

The leadership manual is packed full of the various attributes every leader will need in order to lead a high performing group.

The Collaborative Leadership Initiatives are leadership behaviors tailored to support all eight separate categories of Collaborative Group Behaviors: Mission, Culture, Effective Interpersonal Relationships, High-Quality Communication, Technical Competency, Productivity, Problem Solving, and Continuous Improvement.

What currently happens in many groups today:

Being a leader in a group that is not collaborative is a sickening, thankless job. In these situations, we ask our leaders to do the impossible while not supporting them with a group of people who know how to collaborate. If we don’t give our leaders the caliber of people they need, how can we honestly demand mission success?

In these chaotic situations it is very difficult to separate out poor leaders from good leaders.

Bob’s no-nonsense leadership and organizational philosophy provide practical steps to help groups and teams of all sizes obliterate their status quo and establish a foundation for the team to thrive by inducing outstanding individual performance. —Hugh Logan

Many groups have poor leaders who won’t emulate what they expect from others and may use the group primarily for their own personal benefit. They may lack sincerity, the ability to self-reflect, and the creativity to move forward when things get difficult. They may have inflated self-images because of the power they have, stunting their ability to empower others.

Some actively use their position to garner friendship while others passively overlook outstanding performance by not recognizing brilliant group members. Instead, they give everybody in the department the same performance rating. While they are thinking they are doing the right thing for everyone, they’re unknowingly sending their underappreciated top performers to greener pastures. In many cases, under-trained first-line supervisors are just treating their people horribly.

Well-intended, hardworking people who are not effective leaders may make for great next-door neighbors, but as leaders in your group they can passively keep bad actors in place, quietly killing group performance in very significant ways.

Good leaders have the ability and knowledge; they have passion, desire, and motivation. They not only work hard, but they work smart. They have guts and the force of character to still come into work the day after they failed. They challenge and train their followers to ever higher levels of performance. They learn, they care, and they believe in the mission. I don’t have to tell you what happens in groups with leaders like that—or do I?

In groups that do not typically collaborate it is also very difficult to determine who will be a collaborator and who won’t once the group environment goes from unenhanced to enhanced. In unhealthy environments the healthy actors can appear as antagonists. And so it is for leaders too. If conditions are really bad in your group, your best and your brightest leaders can also appear as antagonists. Healthy leaders in unhealthy group environments are inappropriately lumped in with the true antagonists who have very little to offer the group.

What a mess!

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. —Reverend C. Michael Woodstock

The key for a group that wants to be an industry leader or better than their competition, or a nonprofit that wants to ensure donors that money is being spent effectively, or a government agency that wants to prove its worth to taxpayers, all comes down to having leaders lead more and manage less.

The two main areas that need to be addressed to make that happen are:

1) Teach excellence in leadership


2) Reduce the time demands of “management”


What Will Happen

Every leader in the group spends an extraordinary amount of time supervising and managing direct reports and the non–direct reports below them. High levels of competency, delegation, independent mission-centered decision making, problem solving, and continuous improvement drives productivity upwards while sending the management and supervision time requirements downwards, allowing leaders to lead more and manage less.

I believe Bob’s absolute strongest skill is his ability to see the big picture. —Dan Child

With Collaborative Group Behaviors combined with Collaborative Leadership Initiatives, this is what happens:

The more highly trained the group members become, the more technically competent they become in their respective positions. Combined with Collaborative Group Behaviors as time goes on, each person will make better decisions, and error rates will drop significantly, reducing the need for supervision. Reliable mission-centered independent decision making climbs to very high levels as management program responsibilities cascade downward into the group.

With the Comprehensive Leadership Manual that is included with every training package I offer, well-intended and hardworking group members and their leaders will finally get a break.

The leadership manual has leaders asking the four key questions that all leaders need to ask themselves so they can reflect on their own readiness to carry out this most important role in the group. It reinforces the simple yet powerful techniques of emulation. There is no greater way to destroy respect for a leader than for the leader to not emulate the behaviors that they want from others.

In addition, the leadership manual presents certain Must Haves for leaders if they are going to be effective in their leader-manager role. Along with the Must Haves there is a low-effort yet highly effective Ten-Point Daily Activity List that helps to keep your followers growing and on track. We also talk about the broader behavioral categories that will help you have a more rewarding leadership career and, of course, which behaviors to avoid.

Bob has consistently achieved measurable improvements in staff development and productivity, team-focused direction, and success where success is hard to derive. —Teresa Herrera

One of the most fundamental and effective tools you can use as a leader is to clearly understand the differences between your leadership role and your management functions. The former you will keep and expand; the latter you will find ways to delegate to the many brilliant and collaborating members of your group. In some groups the leader-manager mixes these two lists, thereby delegating the wrong things, which is a disaster. But things won’t get mixed up anymore, not with this approach. The leadership manual includes a specific list of Collaborative Leadership Initiatives for each of the eight Collaborative Group Behavior categories.

Lastly, the leadership manual includes a step-by-step guide for implementing Collaborative Group Behaviors. Once they are fully implemented, you will never want to go back to the old ways of doing things, ever.

As Collaborative Leadership Initiatives move from training topics at the training sessions to performance dimensions where the Leadership Initiatives become a daily leadership behavior, EVERYTHING CHANGES!

If you are a leader who is fine with the status quo and is not interested in rocking the boat to maximize group potential, by all means, pass me by.

See my YouTube video:

On the other hand, if you want your group to feel like they are intimately involved in a cause greater than themselves and look forward to coming in each day and being part of something exceptional through the process of building a top leadership team, I’m only an email away.

Book your free consultation today.

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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!
Valerie J. YoungPrincipal Environmental Planning Consultancy