Collaboration Is Leadership

Collaboration is leadership. That feels important to assert.

The chair of a search committee once told me that my candidacy suffered for a lack of leadership experience. “You talk a lot about how you’ve collaborated on things,” He said,  “But not enough about how you’ve actually led.” I took that to heart and carried it around for years. Yet I kept defaulting to collaboration, feeling slightly guilty, like I was choosing to binge-watch Netflix instead of read a book.

I’m over that. Water seeks its own level, and I seek collaboration in most of my work. Reaching out, connecting, and inviting feel like very important leadership skills in our era, and so I’m done apologizing for them.