7 Qualities I Look For In Collaborators
We want the best.
Choosing the right collaborators is key for any undertaking. In the past, I often accepted any available simply because I needed all the help I could get. This taught me - sometimes painfully - to qualify those I work with.
Here are the seven qualities I currently look for in collaborators:
Self-development. I want anyone I work with to have a self-development, healing, or spiritual practice of some kind. I have practices that work for me. Your practice does not have to be my practice. However, I want everyone I work with to have some regular practice where they go within, see the places where they might be at fault, and become more integrated and centered.
Reads. Harry Truman famously said that “not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Lenin thought only those who read and understood theory were fit for party leadership. If you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, reading allows you to select the most interesting people from all of recorded history among those influences. I communicate through writing. Anyone who works with me will need to read to understand my values.
Direct. I want people who communicate directly. In The Intactivist Guidebook, I wrote, “the strength of our movement is the strength of our relationships.” Strong relationships require open honest communication. If someone has a problem with another, bring it directly to them. In Leadership Strategy and Tactics, former Navy-Seal Jocko Willick suggests that leaders should over-communicate, because in the absence of communication rumors abound. With direct communication, comes clarity, strength, and safety.
Skilled. I want the best. While I want those who share my mission, I also want people who could serve any mission because they are just so good. If I wasn’t making media on my current topic, I could do good work on any issue. Likewise, I want those who could apply their craft well to whatever they chose. Be excellent at what you do.
Committed. The change we want to create in the world will require courage under pressure. Those who work with me must remain on mission even in the face of personal and professional attacks. This commitment must not just extend to the project, but to those we work with. The opposite of cancel culture is loyalty culture. We want loyalty.
Aligned. Our mission, interests, and needs must be aligned. If we are working on the same project, we both have to want to create the same shared vision. This doesn’t mean that we have to have exactly the same perspective or needs. It’s possible to have different needs both served by the same project. However, they must serve the same goal. (If this changes, communicate it directly. See above.) For more on alignment, read The Intactivist Guidebook.
Loving. To love something is to take it as a part of yourself. Even in the places where our interests diverge, treat mine the way you’d want your own needs treated, and I will do the same. Related to this are the skills of listening and understanding others, both of which are prerequisites for behaving in a loving way.
Note that these are ideal. I don’t expect every person I work with to embody these perfectly. However, you are more likely to get what you want if you ask directly - especially if part of what you want is people who can handle direct communication. If you fit this list, I hope this draws you closer and increases the chances we work together.