March 12, 2015

Collaborative Leadership

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 12, 2015

 “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. Acts 15:1-2

Collaborative leadership values a productive process over the personality of the leader. It looks to the collective wisdom of the team over the limited IQ of the leader. The leaders I enjoy following are the ones who regularly ask, “What do you think?” They are secure knowing the best outcomes result from informative input. Collaborative leaders create an open culture where team members are encouraged to share their opinions. Good ideas are embraced and rewarded, not ignored and dismissed. Everyone feels ownership when everyone contributes to the plan.

The early church faced a theological crisis. The issue seems strange to us today, but for them circumcision would be like us debating church membership as necessary to become a believer in Jesus. Fortunately, instead of one person laying down an edict, the leaders came together to debate the issue. Because humility, prayer and the Spirit led the passionate exchange, collaborative solutions were uncovered. Ongoing conversations can flush out the best ideas. First century leaders modeled collaborative leadership that today’s leaders can wisely incorporate.

“Plans are established by seeking advice” (Proverbs 20:18).

As a leader it is an ongoing temptation to rush into a decision without the buy in of the team. Effective follow-through must follow an efficient process, otherwise an optimum time for execution may be missed. What are some ways to ensure a collaborate process at work? Defining collaboration as a core value backs up a team approach. Write out the benefits of group think supported by a scripture like Proverbs 20:18. Bring attention to pockets of people who work together well. Highlight the principles behind their progress. Teamwork makes the dreamwork!

Family is another opportunity to cultivate a collaborative environment. The leader of the home is not an insecure dictator, but a secure servant leader. Thus, our instructions are better understood and received as we work together on shared service projects. For example, we may all sponsor a needy child with a monthly donation, written letters, phone calls and visits. A family that serves together grows closer together. Most of all, wisdom collaborates with Christ. The devil leads us blindfolded to hell—Jesus leads us with eyes of faith to heaven. Divine collaboration sees God.

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud” (Psalm 40:4).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the patience and courage to collaborate and trust You in the process.

Related Readings: Job 32:7-8; Nehemiah 5:9-12; John 17:11; Ephesians 2:19-22; 3 John 1:6

Post/Tweet this today: Collaboration looks to the collective wisdom of the team over the limited IQ of the leader. #collaborativeleadership #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 8 minute music video- Sightless Autistic Boy: Open the Eyes of my Heart

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