Laurie Swanson Blog

Collaboration: Keeping Women Leaders Down?

During the recent hearings regarding Brett Kavanaugh, Senator Jeff Flake said in an interview on “60 Minutes” that if he were running for re-election, there’d be no way he would call for the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh.
Flake: “No. Not a chance.”
He went on to explain, “There’s no value to reaching across the aisle. There’s no currency for that any more. There’s no incentive.”
When I heard this, I felt like I had just received a hard punch to my gut which already felt battered and bruised with the whole process.
I also disagreed.
I believe there is currency in collaboration.  I actually think we are all richer through collaboration and, in fact, women bring some of the strongest collaboration skills to the table.
By saying there is no currency in collaboration Jeff Flake, and those men AND women who believe this, are committed to the status quo, to continuing to use dominance and ranking as the way to make decisions, to an us versus them mentality.  And, ultimately, to keeping women out of leadership roles and away from the opportunities to affect positive change.
How is that working government and corporate America? Are you feeling the love?


It is time to call BULLSH*T

Collaboration is about sharing versus taking. It’s a verb that means: to work together to achieve something.
Recently, I was on the phone with another women CEO about her upcoming Awards ceremony. She had asked me to lead a Pitch event for the members of her community that are business owners looking for funding.  Not my wheel house yet, I figure my hours of watching SHARK TANK count.
At first it was obvious we were coming from two different directions.

I had my ideas and she had hers.

We kept at it.

We asked more questions around why this and not that?

We got clear on and were open to the benefits of each other’s vision.
We did not rigidly stick to our stand but considered why the other idea might be even better than the one either of us thought of initially.
We collaborated our way to something that we both were excited about and could get behind. At the end of our discussion she said, “I have never been through a discussion like that before. That was so much fun and I am super excited about the pitch event now.”


It felt like we both had created something together which meant we both had an equal amount of passion to see it succeed. That is what collaboration is all about. Sharing and building.
And you can’t put a price tag on that.  
In a world where dominating and ranking abound, collaborating does not seem like it has currency but it is the best kind of currency.
It is the currency that keeps on giving. The currency that takes two ideas and multiplies it to something bigger and better.
Are you ready to collaborate on your next career move? Let’s talk. Grab a 30-minute time on my calendar and let’s build something bigger and better together.
Schedule An Appointment NOW!

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