I’ll admit it. For a long time I was motivated by the benefits of collaboration. I wanted success like everyone else. I was looking-out for myself.

You could argue that seeking the skill to collaborate is the same thing as seeking the benefits. After all, the better you are at collaborating, the more you will succeed.

I would counter that while that’s true, you are arguing for cooperation. This is the definition of cooperation – The act of working together as long as both groups see a mutual benefit. This can make a group feel collaborative without actually being. An example would be a subcontractor agreeing to a general contractor’s schedule until that schedule presents something they did not anticipate and becomes an inconvenience. The subcontractor is looking-out for themselves. They no longer see benefit in what they agreed to do.

Skilfully collaborating is the willingness to do things for others without any short-term benefit for themselves, even at risk of money or reputation. The skill comes in the form of communicating this sincerely to others and leading others to a long-term solution.

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