Collaboration- A key to successful career/business!
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Eccl. 4-9-12 NIV
The art of successful collaboration is one that must be mastered to achieve any type of success -personal, business, career and even marital success. Collaboration and Partnering can help you achieve and even surpass your business and career goals if properly deployed. A few days ago, I attended an event organized for Women in Tech in the city where I live and some remarkable women entrepreneurs shared their story about how their businesses grew from their basements into multi-million dollar businesses. One of the speakers was a young lady called Alyssa Furtado, the CEO of RateHub, a website that compares mortgage rates and financial products in Canada. While telling the story of her business, Alyssa talked about the importance of partnership and collaboration. The business idea that culminated into Ratehub was gotten in a discussion with a former classmate of hers, James Laird. James Laird, who was a co-owner of a mortgage-brokerage firm at the time, saw the potential for an online mortgage-rate comparison website and sold it to Alyssa, and like they say, “the rest is history”. You can read more about the remarkable story of these entrepreneurs here: https://smith.queensu.ca/magazine/winter-2017/profiles/alyssa-dragon-slayer
One lesson that resonated across all the women entrepreneur speakers was the importance of collaboration. All of them were quick to identify how partnering with the right skillset and individuals led to the tremendous success that they experienced in their business. On my way back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about Eccl 4:9-12. God sure knew what he was talking about. It is important as individuals to do some soul searching to understand your strengths, and how you can collaborate with others who have other skills, to achieve a common goal. God did not create man to be self-sufficient – we were not meant to travel alone through life. Being self-aware and self-confident enough to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and identify others who can complement you is a key tool to having a successful career or running a successful business.
Why should you collaborate?
First, collaborating allows you to focus on your core strengths and become an expert at it. You can develop your innate abilities and become so proficient at it because you are not trying to be something that you are not. Collaboration challenges people to think, articulate and receive clarity about their competencies. It serves as a mirror that gives you a glimpse of your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you have excellent public speaking abilities and a commanding presence, but you find you are a terrible writer, collaborating would ensure that you focus on giving speeches all over for your business while your partner/team member focuses on the writing.
Secondly, Collaboration increases the value that is brought to the job or the business, as the case may be. It ensures problems are solved when minds come together. It makes you look at the bigger picture and you learn new things from one another.
Thirdly, Collaboration increases efficiency and ensures that you meet crucial deadlines efficiently. Similar to delegation in this sense, collaboration helps you divide the work equally and efficiently on the basis of expertise. This translates to the achievement of project goals within the shortest possible time.
Finally, Collaboration has a “feel-good” benefit. Whether you are an employee or a business owner, collaboration bring meaning and adds value to the way you see your job. You build a network in your organization and among stakeholders in your industry that you can use later on.
Are you an employer or a budding entrepreneur? Or have you already started a business and yearn to take it to the next level? Learn the art of collaboration.
Writer: Tomilola Adebiyi