Collaborative Leadership

Guiding a diverse set of partners through the collaboration cycle and its inherent traps requires the exercise of collaborative leadership. Effective collaborative leaders encourage partners within a collaboration to assume more shared responsibility for achieving the common goal. To do this, these leaders develop an understanding of the priorities and motivations of different partners, identify opportunities for mutual benefit, and bring valued resources (ranging from data to dollars) to the collaboration.


Within organizations there are well-established rules and procedures that guide how things get done. Nothing is as clear within a collaboration. To help organizational leaders adapt to the challenges of working within a collaboration, our Fund worked closely with Leadership Akron and the Cleveland Leadership Center to identify specific skills that leaders could develop to better exercise collaborative leadership: (1) assessing context; (2) inquiry; and (3) building trust.


Techniques to Strengthen Collaborative Leadership Skills