The effective collaborator has a number of qualities.
An effective collaborator feels a sense of personal responsibility and belonging to its organization and mission. The effective collaborator always assumes the responsibility of his behavior and his impact on the organization. He does not presume that the leader or organization will provide for his personal growth or authorization to act. The effective collaborator, on the other hand, initiates or exploits the opportunities through which he can achieve his personal satisfactions, increase his potential and contribute to the organization with the maximum contribution of his abilities.
An effective collaborator follows the direction proposed by the leader, but has the obligation for his team, organization or external company to do so only when the direction is ethical and correct. The key is to judge the difference between a directive and a directive that is wrong. No one doubts that common sense is essential to being a good leader, but it is equally important to be an effective follower.
An effective collaborator is a good worker. He is diligent, motivated, committed, he pays attention to details and strives to give the best OKR. Leaders have a responsibility to create an environment that allows these qualities to be taken into account and rewarded, while it is the responsibility of the effective follower to be a good worker. There is no bad worker who is an effective collaborator.
The effective collaborator cannot follow without being competent in the task he must perform. It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that the follower is competent. Sometimes things go wrong because the follower is not competent for the task. When this happens, leaders should blame themselves, not the follower. A sign of poor leadership is blaming the followers for not having those skills they don’t have.
The effective collaborator should give the leader an honest and direct assessment of what the leader is trying to achieve and how he wants to do it. This is the case where the follower believes that the leader’s agenda and direction has imperfect or clumsy points. Respect and courtesy are important, but it is not acceptable for followers not to say anything while the ship is going against the cliff. A good leader is grateful for constructive feedback from their team members. A bad leader does not accept the feedback and here the follower must proceed with caution. If the situation is serious enough, he should go beyond the leader to lead himself or find himself another leader to follow.
We have said that a collaborator must be honest with those who guide him, but it takes courage to be honest. It takes real courage to face the leader. From time to time, it takes real courage to be an effective collaborator.
A collaborator must be discreet towards his team and its leader. Talking inappropriately about work is at best useless and almost certainly harmful. Discretion simply means keeping your mouth shut. It should be easy, but many find it almost impossible. In no uncertain terms, you cannot be a good follower and be indiscreet.
Good followers are loyal to their team or organization. Loyalty to the company is particularly important when there are problems, interpersonal or otherwise, with the leader. The non-faithful follower is inevitably a source of difficulty. It creates problems among team members, compromises the achievement of goals, wastes everyone’s time and is a threat. Loyalty is not a synonym of little dog or “yes-man”, but it is a strong adherence and commitment to what the organization is trying to do. The follower should remember that their obligation is towards the organization, not the leader at that time.
An effaced collaborator has his ego under control. He is a team player in the full sense of the concept and has good interpersonal skills. Success for good followers is linked to performance and the achievement of objectives, not to personal recognition and self-promotion.