I find myself intrigued by the concept of synergy, not only because Timothy Stagich uses the term 369 times in his book “Collaborative Leadership and Global Transformation” but also for how it might enhance the global leader’s relationships with fellow leaders. Zweifel (2003) notes that the deeper the relationship the greater the possible accomplishment. What are we as leader’s trying to accomplish exactly? One goal is better leadership itself; an approach that focuses on possibility and is based more on hope, aspiration, wisdom, and innovation (Adler, 2010) rather than on an old mechanistic paradigm. What is needed is synergistic leadership; centered on deep relationships that when combined each individual or group benefit by the same act at the same time (Stagich, 2006).
Synergy is not something that we can hold in our hand but the term implies a multiplier effect which allows the energy of individual work or service to multiply exponentially through joint, collaborative effort (Deardorff & Williams, 2006). Collaborative effort takes us back to the idea of deep relationships; in order to develop deep relationships the leader must gain a fuller understanding of those with whom they will interact. In a cross cultural sense this approach goes beyond “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it means explicitly stating expectations because “do unto others” is dependent on cultural norms. Leaders must avoid the trap of not figuring out what they want or need, when, how often, and from whom (Zweifel, 2003). More importantly leaders must ask the same, or better yet listen for the same, from other leader’s so these expectations can create shared meaning and develop into the collaborative approach necessary for a synergistic environment to take hold.
Adler, N. J. (2010). Going beyond the dehydrated language of management: leadership insight. Journal of Business Strategy, 31(4), 90-99.
Deardorff, D. S., & Williams, G. (2006). Synergy Leadership in Quantum Organizations. Self, 37, 40.
Stagich, T. (2006). Collaborative Leadership and Global Transformation: Developing Collaborative Leaders and High Synergy Organizations. Global Leadership Resources.
Zweifel, T. D. (2003). Culture clash: Managing the global high-performance team. New York: Select Books Incorporated.