Shortcomings in leadership can lead to failure in a collaboration at the systems level.

Leadership Shortcomings 

Leader-ChallengeLeadership is crucial for collaboration to work. Shortcomings in leadership can present challenges for a collaboration. These include a leader’s lack of  understanding of the benefits of collaboration, inability to take risks, and a lack of vision.

If the leader lacks understanding of the benefits of collaboration, the collaboration may experience a major impediment to systems-level success.  The leader who is unable to take risks can be a major barrier to cross-sector collaborative successes. Without a visionary focus, a leader may find it difficult to provide, understand, or support a long-term strategy or direction. One policy maker describes the leadership challenge with these comments:

“There may be some tension between facilitating a collaboration and framing the importance of leadership. Do systems-level leaders need to understand and promote a vision of the benefits of the collaboration? Do they need to engage others in working towards a common vision?  It seems to me that the development of a shared vision is central to success of a collaboration. Leadership makes the difference.”