Transactional Leadership | Part 5 | Contribute vs. Collaborate

Today we'll wrap up this series on the differences between Transactional Leadership and Servant Leadership. We've seen 4 words to disrupt our leadership foundation. These four words are: Respect, Serve, Trust, and Collaborate. We've compared these 4 words of Servant Leadership to four comparable words of Transactional Leadership. Let's take a look at the difference between:

Contribute vs. Collaborate

The Transactional leader is looking for contributors. Another word for contributor is 'producer'. Contribute something to the project, the company, the team or find yourself in search of a new job. The need to make a contribution drives some to be back-stabbing, cold-hearted corporate climbers. While others simply settle in to lower circles of responsibility, their contributions limited to the minimum required amount of effort necessary to provide value to the team. Transactional leaders search for contributors the way entrepreneurs search for venture capitalists. What do you bring to the table? How can you bring more satisfied customers, design a better product or provide a better service? If louder, faster, higher is the mantra of the trumpet player, bigger, faster, better is the mantra of the Transactional Leader. There's always one more sale to make, one more quota to break. Contribute or die and if you contribute the most we'll give you a fancy gold watch!

Collaboration is different from contribution. Collaboration starts with the premise that I don't know it all and I don't have to. Collaboration relies on the fact that there are some things I'm naturally good at and other things I don't do well at all. Collaboration is the art of working with others. It's what happens when I have enough respect for someone else that we're able to serve one another. This builds the trust we need to collaborate on any project. I trust that in those seasons I am weak, you'll be strong, when you're weak I'll be strong. Collaboration and cooperation go hand in hand. The respect on which collaboration is based allows us to see that any individual in the organization can make a difference regardless of position, title or job function. Collaboration is the leveraged strength of every member of a team.

I've heard it said that the difference between a winner and a champion is that a winner may win the game, but a champion wins consistently. Think of this year's Super Bowl champs. They became champions by winning consistently. They didn't win consistently because one player or one coach made a winning contribution to the team. They won because every player worked together to shape the team into the champions they became.

Put simply, contribution is how one individual adds value to the team. Collaboration is the leveraged power of the team to fulfill the vision.

Four words. Four words to disrupt our leadership foundation.

Respect | Serve | Trust | Collaborate

These four words can transform the leader inside of you. They can shape you and your team into an irresistible force that will leave a lasting and sustainable impact on the world around you.

Don't settle for simply pointing the way. Serve well those who have been entrusted to you and lead where you are.

God bless,

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