I had a chance to take a sneak peek at a documentary on Nile Rodgers a few weeks back. It was nicely done, even though it was in Japanese. It really didn't phase me because much of the dialog was from Nile. The short can be viewed here.
It might seem an obvious that collaboration and music go together. And as someone who is a musician, I would agree that often the two go hand-in-hand. But what about the rest of the spheres of life and work? Not so much. There was one scene where I found myself thinking"that's it." Nile was working with a group around the production of a Broadway musical he created called Double Time. If you check-out the clip you'll know what I'm referring to. But I was struck by the group's dynamics. There were a few musicians, a vocal ensemble, directors/producers, and Nile. Each of these folks were doing there work individually and collectively. One thing was clear, they were moving toward the goal of a great performance. And isn't great performance what we want?
Have you found some form of collaboration that leads you to a great performance?
In your career experience you may not have found it. And many never do. Part of the problem arises in organizational health and our own misplaced priorities. We don't fully understand how collaboration works and how to get the most from it. Ironically, you might be involved in it and not even recognize it. You have to look for it. You have to want it. The tragedy is found in those who just do it and don't think anymore about it. Routine, habit, monotony are keywords here.
Your career should be about more than salary, benefits and MBOs.
I really believe our best and greatest work comes when we collaborate. It's a key way to leave your fingerprint on this motion picture called "life." But as with all brilliant things, there are the enemies and the threats. Let's review a few:
Money and the Desire to Get More-this one is manifested when our endeavors are rooted in making money first. The emphasis is on the word first. Making money is not a bad thing, unless it is at the top of the list. Greed.
Self-Centered Leaders-these folks have no interest in anyone or any endeavor other than themselves. These types of leaders may mask it, smooth it or even lie about. Their mission is to be King or Queen-first and last.
Our Fear-We all bear some responsibility for the collapse of collaboration. We fear so much and find ourselves unwilling to be vulnerable. I don't need to tell you what a killer fear is. Collaboration is sabotaged when we are insecure and doubt our place at the table.
I have felt most alive when I've been involved in the art and science of real collaboration.