By Zheila Pouraghabagher

It’s a bittersweet time for me as I say goodbye to my colleagues and clients at Collaboration and move on to a new opportunity. I’ve worked with Collaboration in some capacity for the last six years, first as a contractor and then as a full-time consultant. However, I’m very excited to work with another great San Luis Obispo organization and work as hard as ever to make this community a great place to live and work.

As I reflect on my time at Collaboration, I wanted to share some key takeaways that have transformed my outlook on the importance of living and working within a set of core values. These core values are integral to Collaboration and we strive to instill them in ourselves and our clients.

Put Relationships First. Relationships are a priority at Collaboration, particularly when tough decisions have to be made. Always be sure to maintain and respect relationships, and understand that you must bounce back and learn from any disagreements. Collaboration is really a leader in being a relationship-centered organization, and that example comes from Michael. Even as I transition to a new company, everyone here has been sure to ask me what I need and have been stepping up to help out; you don’t find that everywhere.

Drive Toward Outcomes. It’s imperative to be clear on where you’re going in order to figure out what you’re doing today. Constantly ask yourself, ‘What are we trying to achieve? What does the end look like?’ Then, back into it. Rather than creating arbitrary metrics, rules, and tasks that have the potential to become busy work, being outcome-driven will allow you to narrow your focus and be more efficient.

Become a Relentless Learner. It’s one thing to say that you want to change, grow, thrive, and be successful — and it’s another to actually take the action and become those things. In this case, educating yourself is the action to take to become the leader you want to be. First you must learn, then you must do.

Be Creatively Disciplined. One thing I try to always instill in my clients is the ability to listen to anyone and everyone who comes up with an idea. Honestly, you should say yes 80 to 90 percent of the time! As long as the idea connects with something of value and will move the company forward, you should allow people to test out their ideas. This method creates people who are empowered and engaged, particularly those who are creative to begin with.

Bottom Line

I’m going to miss the people of Collaboration, both my team and our clients. I will continue to be influenced by the values that have been reinforced during my time here — and I hope they do the same for you.

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