Collaborative Leadership is a partnership between the head and the heart, or the mind and the heart. It begins at this level before you can collaborate with other people. Gone are the days when people were willing to be dominated and controlled.

I’m not saying that fear can no longer be used to manipulate people. What I am saying is it doesn’t have the stronghold it once did, in that people are now looking for engagement. They want inspiration and meaning; they want a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

People are looking to thrive, not just survive. So though you may get their body to show up, if you don’t have their heart, they are likely to sabotage your efforts one way or the other. As Gallup shows at least 70% of employees are disengaged. Good luck coming up with new and innovative ideas, passionate customer service, or team cooperation if this statistic is what your employee satisfaction survey reveals.

Sooner or later, no matter what your current revenues are, you will be run over by the businesses that are evolving to meet the expectations of their employees and team members. If worker absenteeism, lack of purpose, lack of autonomy, or little opportunity for personal development are characteristics of your organization, brace yourself for a change.

I don’t care how intimidating you may come off as being “the boss.” People give their best to those they love and trust, not those they fear. One of the most common reasons cited for leaving a company is poor relationship with “the boss.” One of the most common reasons for staying with a company is a good relationship with “the boss.”

Relationship matters. A “Heartless Mind” is no way to lead. Strategy with no heart will be fatal and is too often based in fear and survival instead of flourishing. “Soft skills” are actually the foundation for a healthy and profitable company. Disrespect for so-called “soft skills” is one blind spot that really needs to be uncovered if you want to thrive in this new century. I’m not saying that the heart is more important or that the head is less important. I’m advocating for collaborative partnership. When there is integrity—integration—the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is the way to thrive and flourish in the 21st century. Learn how to reconnect to your heart and put your head on right, so you can get out of your head only and innovate in a way that makes sense and feels right.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at