Collaboration is King

Play nicely with others is a phrase we often hear in childhood, but recently that characteristic has become one of the most desired in business leaders.

While being cutthroat to get to the top used to be a common occurrence, today’s CEOs need to demonstrate a high degree of collaboration. However, getting to the top means competing with others for the position, and competition and collaboration can be conflicting ingredients in the recipe for success.

Competing cooperatively is the key, and a recent Wall Street Journal article explains how some strivers have done just that. For example, one of the most common problems among people vying for high-level positions occurs when one individual steals credit for another’s accomplishments. In this situation, an internal mentor should be called in to alert decision makers of the situation.

Another strategy for competitors is to agree to be positive and avoid denigrating one another. Positivity is a valued trait, especially in a leader. Some experts advise going beyond a positive attitude to actually support those competing for a position internally. Contenders for a position who demonstrate their ability to work with competitors and help the team attain success actively avoid any hint of sabotaging their rival. Doing so can forge strong connections that last throughout a career.

Discussion Questions

  1. In which specific ways can collegiality in the workplace be helpful to an individual’s career?
  2. Can you think of reasons for rivals to support one another?
  3. Why is taking credit for something you have not done a poor long-term strategy for success?




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