When Leaders Struggle with Collaboration

A client of Luis’s, let’s call him Charlie, a senior executive reporting directly to the CEO, was recently given feedback that despite his outstanding performance, his colleagues struggled to work with him. Charlie’s drive to deliver results, his no-nonsense approach to offering his viewpoints, and the intensity with which he approached most everything made him appear unnecessarily competitive, despite that being the furthest thing from his intent. As a result, without realizing it, Charlie lost the trust of some of his most critical stakeholders: his peers.

Charlie isn’t alone in his struggle. As consultants and executive coaches to high-performing executives, we see this frequently. It’s not uncommon for talented leaders to find collaboration unnatural. After all, rugged individualism set them apart and propelled their careers. And for many, that same focus on distinguishing themselves later becomes their demise.

Harvard Business Review research

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This article was written by Ron Carucci and originally published on hbr.org