We women entrepreneurs are known for having a “tribe mentality.” That means we actively seek out other like-minded females to share with and give and receive support, encouragement and resources to help us succeed. The ladies within our tribe offer us endless opportunities to collaborate. We feel, and rightly so, that by working together, we can elevate each other to a better place both professionally and personally.
Women love to collaborate. But I also believe we can collaborate even better. That’s because we sometimes fail in our collaborations when we begin to think of each other as competition, rather than someone to serve.
When we truly collaborate, we create something bigger than us, something with exponential growth and magic. Only then are we truly two women working as one, with the success of the project at the forefront and no regard for our individual interests.
This is easier said than done! That’s because to cultivate this rich, fruitful ecosystem within our collaborations, we need to develop four important virtues that can make or break our work together:
Authenticity is a word with lots of meaning, but in the setting of collaboration it means selflessness, and having the best interest of the other person in mind as well as your own. A collaboration should not be all about elevating yourself; it should be good for the woman involved. Otherwise, you are simply taking advantage of her. You should be able to say to her, “I’m here to serve you as my partner and collaborator, to elevate you, put myself in your shoes and do what I can to have your best interest in mind.” To have such a selfless approach requires a true, genuine trust between parties. It also requires you to keep your true north in focus when your partner, or your project, strays from the ideal path. If your best interests are compromised within the collaboration, are you going to break from serving her or are you going to complete the mission? Or are you going to try to change things to benefit yourself? At that point, staying authentic to the collaboration comes from a place of giving. Like Mother Teresa says, even if you are not being treated fairly, do good anyway.
When you collaborate, your actions must match your words. When you say you are going to do something, you must do it. Otherwise, you do not have a collaboration—you are both pretending to collaborate. True collaborators who show integrity in their interactions will easily build and retain a lasting trust.
To serve is to give without expecting anything in return and to serve, we must have humility. This is not always the first thing we think of when we decide to collaborate. We dream of our mutual success, visibly measured in dollars, attention, popularity, projects etc. But entering a collaboration with a servant attitude means a dedication first to elevating the other woman. When you do this, I guarantee you will create magic together!
The best collaborations occur between women who are infused with gratitude. Women infused with gratitude are grateful for the here and now. They do not say, “I’ll be grateful when…” Instead, they recognize the value of having another woman open up her heart in collaboration to accelerate their dreams. Every day they both show up with gratitude and with gratitude as their hammer, they build the foundation of a house where they both can thrive. As they build each room, they gratefully engage in the give and take and celebrate milestones along the way.
As you can see, true collaboration is a high concept that best succeeds from the basest level—serving each other with authenticity, integrity, humility and gratitude. Are you a true collaborator? It isn’t easy, but the effort is well worth it!
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC international book publishing company (www.figfactormedia.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), creator of Today’s Inspired Latina book series and international movement (www.todayslatina.com), author of eleven books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.
If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.