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Collaboration Eats the Smartest Person in the Room for Breakfast

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We’re in a new era of work that calls for a new style of bandar poker online leadership. Instead of giving employees orders, you must inspire them.
We are living in a time of unprecedented change. Companies are solving complicated, unpredictable problems that require creative and nonlinear solutions. The traditional company hierarchy won’t cut it in this “future of work” era. Instead of ruling from on high and being the “smartest person in the room,” managers must learn to be “servant leaders.” This asks a manager to tap into her team for valuable insights, ideas and expertise, which inspires widespread collaboration.

You know you’re operating under a smartest-person-in-the-room model – what my friend Rod Collins calls “heroic leadership” – if everyone waits for your direction, approval, ideas and inspiration. Your word is law. You dominate discussions, and your employees are possibly even afraid of you. Or they’re complacent, parking their brains at the door and waiting around for direction. Needless to say, this environment doesn’t encourage innovation or engagement.

Instead, it creates deep silos, promotes stale thinking and scares away high performers.

Several years ago, I coached the president of an ophthalmic lens manufacturer who was, indeed, the smartest person in the room. But he was ready to spark a collaborative environment, so I suggested he write his team’s ideas on a flip chart before voicing his own. In the meeting, he nodded after each team member’s response, but he charted only the ones he agreed with. Behavior like this might solidify his role as the leader, but it also suppresses an entire group of talented people, silencing their ideas and creativity, and leaving no room for diverse thought.

Servant leaders, on the other hand, work to develop and encourage their employees, unleashing their individual genius. They promote collaboration and trust, valuing input from their teams. This approach sparks innovation throughout an entire organization and positions the company to arrive at complex solutions to complex problems. And research confirms that a manager is most able to produce economic results when she empowers her team to develop ideas and engage in creative pursuits. Here’s how to get started: