Many elements can influence the performance of an organization. According to a study by Korn Ferry Hay Group with 35%. Leadership behavior determines 50-70% of an organization’s culture. This makes leadership behavior one of the single biggest factors impacting organizational performance.

Marshall Goldsmith articulated the 15 most important competencies of leaders working in an international business environment in his book “Global Leadership: The next generation” *. These competencies are based on research with 100 Multinational Organizations. Building Partnerships is one of the competencies.


Necessary components

The chapter on Building Partnerships highlights three necessary components to all partnerships:

  • Belief in the partner’s capabilities, skills and promises
  • Trust that the partner will follow through on commitments
  • Accountability that the partner will be responsible for any shortcomings


Trust and faith

I often see existing leaders that are raised to do it all themselves. In companies that believe they can do any task better. They won’t trust another company easily. And they try to minimize risks through control instead of trust. They don’t have faith in their partner. They express accountability by penalty clauses that occupy many pages in a contract.

These habits are in general shown among the more senior leaders. The younger generation leaders easily build partnerships and express sharing leadership.


How to be good

To be good at external partnerships also requires an internal collaborative culture. Read the three components above again and replace the word “partner” by “colleague”. Now you see three components that you need for a collaborative corporate culture.

These are the three underlying principles to enable a high performance culture. A culture that acts swiftly with decision making at the lowest possible level when needed.

A collaborative culture will also ask for a supportive reward system in line with the collaborative goal. Maintaining an individual bonus system, for instance, will work counter productive for internal collaboration.

Alignment between the messages that you express and the deeds you do are essential. A collaborative culture will only work when you lead by example.

Think about it this week:

  • Belief in your colleague’s capabilities, skills, and promises
  • Trust that your colleague will follow through on commitments
  • Accountability that your colleague will be responsible for any shortcomings

Further reading: