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Leadership Project Management

Team Collaboration Techniques Used By Top Leaders

Reading Time: 4 minutes


In this article let us study the secrets of how top successful leaders collaborate to deliver high quality results. Collaboration is an art more than a science. If you are managing software projects and teams it is of utmost importance to master this skill. People are the single most important asset project managers have and it is through people, that good leaders deliver extraordinary results. Here are some secrets we developed at Global Management Mentors after observing many successful leaders.

None of us are as smart as all of us – Japanese Proverb

Learn The Art of Collaboration

Humans are primordial team players. In his much acclaimed book – Working With Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman (Suggested reading) talks in detail on how collaboration is a critical skill for leaders. Darwin proposed that human groups who were ready to work together for a common good survived better and had more offspring than lone humans. The same applies in modern organizations. Software companies and startups operate in increasingly complex environments with teams,stakeholders & customers spread across the globe. So the need to have a strong collaboration is more than ever. Here are some competencies you can build to master this skill

  • Encourage team behaviors of mutual respect,cooperation and helpfulness.
  • Draw people into engaged and enthusiastic discussion on the subject
  • Resist the temptation to be the team brain and let the team come up with ideas and solutions first. Research shows this approach produces greater results as it brings a diverse set of views and opinions to the solution
  • Promote cooperative behavior
  • Lead by example

Understand The Group Mind & Group IQ

To successfully deliver a software product or a project requires numerous heads to come together. These range from customers, technologists, programmers, testers to managers. In today’s world of information explosion and a proliferation of technology options no one person can have all the information. We are increasingly dependent on the group mind than ever before. Research has numerous examples to prove that the group mind is far more intelligent than the individual mind. Daniel in his book quotes that “lubricating the mechanisms of the group mind so that in can think and act brilliantly demands emotional intelligence”

Successful leaders are someone who can go beyond the facts. They understand the team dynamics, the effect of collective minds and the power of collaboration. They inspire teams to work towards a common goal. Research proves that when teams collaborate, a few high IQ people can inspire and transmit the energy to the others in the team resulting in a multiplicative end result and not simply an addition of the each IQ in the team. The group IQ reaches exponential levels in this kind of an environment.

Be Adept At Building Bonds

At Global Management Mentors we observed another secret factor. Successful top leaders are good at nurturing instrumental relationships.They painstakingly work towards reaching out to people and building strong win-win relationships based on mutual trust and benefit. This is to say that they have strong social intelligence. Building lasting bonds helps a leader build strong networks of knowledge and information. He can gain access to this network every time it is needed.Research has shown that highly effective managers are adept at building such connections based on goodwill and trust. New managers must especially focus on this area.

Here are some competencies you should build in this area

  • Always be ready to offer help and build genuine relationships and friendships
  • Seek out mutually beneficial relationships and stay engaged
  • Lasting relationships are based on physiological proximity of trust, mutual help and genuineness

Practice The Art Of Networking

Building on the practices you have learnt above the final most important skill we have seen successful leader adopt is the art of networking. Wikipedia defines Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which business people and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures. Leaders and project managers must network extensively to seek opportunities for growth and expansion. It is through these networks and human connections that people get to be known for their capabilities.

We have noticed that good leaders build relationships with a purpose and motive unlike normal personal friendships. They often combine personal and business meetings to build connections and networks through these interactions. They strive to balance their critical tasks with carefully chosen favors & building goodwill selectively with people who can become critical sources in future.

“Who you allow into the circle of your life will make the difference in the quality of your life.” – Zen Quote

In conclusion we would like to say that new managers and seasoned leaders must consciously practice the art of collaboration & networking and work actively in honing their skills around building long lasting relationships.


  1. Some cool tips on team management that you must read – read here
  2. Very informative article from HBR on the secrets of team work – read here
  3. Take a great course on Collaboration & Emotional Intelligence that we recommend from Udemy here
  4. Reach out to us at mymentor@globalmanagementmentors.com for any advice, questions or feedback


The authors are senior managers at startups and product development companies. They come with extensive experience in leadership and management of global engineering teams to deliver high quality software products. Each of them are extremely passionate about these topics . They mentor and train project managers on leadership and management.


  1. Burton Green

    You article provides strong insight into what it takes to develop strong management skills at the top level of any group dynamics. I liked that you reinforced your points with your own experience and observations. You clearly explain why collaboration and networking are two of the strongest skills a successful leader should build upon to bond a cohesive and successful group. I think your observation that successful leadership also builds on developing both a business and personal relationship among the team members was particularly useful. I know that your analysis is relevant for any group, not just one grounded in the computer industry. It is clear that you have the experience to help businesses develop a successful working group environment.

    • admin

      Thank you Burton for the comments and insights into the topic itself.

  2. Rob

    I work at a software company and I’m going to try to tactfully share the insights from this article at our next team meeting. Our team works very well together considering that some are remote and others are offshore. However, some of the project teams we work with even within the office sadly lack positive leadership. I specifically want to share with them how I plan to use the group and IQ. Although I am not the leader hopefully they will notice my example and join in. I’ve got to start with me.

    • admin

      Thanks Rob for the comments. It is great that you want to be an example for your team around leadership attributes. Leadership is something we build and use at all stages in our life , it is a continuous learning and I think it need not be limited to people in leadership positions. So I feel you are doing the right thing from early on in your career and this will build a great foundation for your future leadership roles. All the Best !

  3. Sandi

    I am inspired to share more within my work place after reading your article. Not only are we building bonds by collaborating we are leading those around us. Sometimes it is hard to see that we are all leaders in our own way. Thank you for sharing.

    • admin

      Thank you Sandi for your comments.


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