Top Leaders Share Their Insights for Successful Collaboration

Heneka Watkis-Porter

24 August 2018

Collaboration is an essential leadership tool. Not only is it critical to a team’s success, it also serves as a valuable resource or currency for competing forces. Last month, I wrote a blog discussing why collaboration is more beneficial for leaders and their adversaries than competition. But hey, don’t take my word as gospel: A number of globally recognized and influential leaders are singing praises and sharing the benefits of collaborative partnerships and how to effectively forge alliances.

Last year on The Entrepreneurial You podcast, I spoke with a number of leaders and entrepreneurs on how to collaborate for success. These notable leaders included Sir Richard Branson, Chris Ducker, Malcolm “MJ” Harris, Amy Porterfield, Michael O’Neal and Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, who shared insights on how to successfully team up with others. Here are the top takeaways that I took from each of them, in their own words:

Sir Richard Branson

1.“To execute an idea, you need to be a leader of people.”
2. “Lots of people have the same idea, it is about how you execute that’s critical.” TWEET
3. “What we need in life are people who look for the best in people.”
4. “Can you motivate, inspire and bring out the best in people?”
5. “I’d much rather invest in someone that is good with people.”

Chris Ducker

1. “Nobody’s got a monopoly on good ideas. It all comes down to the people you surround yourself with.”
2. “Be you all the time; it is the easiest thing to do. You are unique. An original is always worth more than a copy.” 
3. “Relationships are something to be treasured and not to be used.” TWEET
4. “Spend time with people, they want to know that you care.”
5. “If there is a problem, fix it right there and then.”

Malcolm “MJ” Harris

1. “If you are not collaborating within your business then your business is probably about to die out.”
2. “If you look at all the great businesses, they are the by-product of collaboration.” TWEET
3. “Finding a competitor who can complement what you are doing is ideal.”
4. “Do you want all of a grape, or do you want half of a watermelon?”
5. “You shouldn’t be talking to anyone about your business unless they sign an NDA.”

Amy Porterfield

1. “I’m looking to see if prospective partners are attracting a similar type of audience.”
2. “Collaboration has built my brand, put my name out there and grown my business.”
3. “Collaborating with the right people gets you in front the right audience.”
4. “You would be amazed how much bigger of an audience you can attract by collaborating with people whom you wouldn’t normally get in front of their audience.” TWEET
5. “I’m attracted to people that will share the good with the bad, the wounds and the challenges as well as the wins; I want to hear the grittiness.”

Michael O’Neal

1.“If there is a universal law across the most successful people that I’ve spoken to, it’s that relationships have built their businesses.” TWEET
2. “You must walk into a conference with a plan and a strategy to build relationships with people you meet at conferences.”
3. “A consistent meet up is one of the best things you can do for your business.”
4. “You must go into a conference with an intention; follow up after.”
5. “Have a weekly happy hour to network with others to make the connections you want.”


Kirk-Anthony Hamilton

1. “It is extremely valuable to entrepreneurs to have the right connections and the right relationships to progress their goals a lot quicker.” TWEET
2. “People run the world. It all comes down to whom you know and the relationships you have; most challenges are solved through who you know.”
3. “It’s way more about how you connect with people and the memorable impression that you leave than the quantity of hands that you shake and the amount of business cards that you distribute.”
4. “It is not about networking; it is about access.”
5.“I don’t call it networking. I am more into relationship building. Networking has become a transactional term.”

Heed these leadership tips and wisdom, and consider the value collaboration can bring to your organization. How are you using collaboration to forge strategic alliances with your adversaries?

Heneka Watkis-Porter

Heneka Watkis-Porter is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and host of The Entrepreneurial You podcast. She is founder and CEO of Patwa Culcha International, which owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel. Heneka is also the creator of the Caribbean’s first virtual conference and expo: The Entrepreneurial You Virtual SME Conference & Expo and Host Site leader for Leadercast Women.

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