MacDonald Ventures

The benefits of working with Collaborators

by Charmian Anderson

Nineteen percent of the American population falls within a stage of human development in which collaboration is a natural phenomenon.  They are magnificent people, for the most part, always dedicated to something outside themselves.  (For example: quality product, quality service, fair pricing for goods, discovery of new information in their field, and better use of existing knowledge).  They spend almost as much time trying to help other people reach objectives as they spend on their own.

Collaborators are inordinately honest.  As a result they tend to cluster because it is too exhausting to associate long with people that do not possess this value.  These men and women are much less enculturated than their peers.  They care about the society but they look to themselves to originate their own expectations for performance.  They decide what attitudes and behaviors will produce daily satisfaction.  Even though they are not enculturated, they are not rebellious.  They are accepting of states of affairs they consider unimportant.  If, however, they encounter injustice they can become hot and indignant.

Their demeanor and sense of humor is not hostile.  Quantitatively, they joke less than most people.  They are not superfluous, tend not to harm others, and will not fill conversational space out of nervousness.

Collaborators frequently own their own business, manage a business, act in the capacity of a consultant, or if they work within a corporate structure they possess the skill of an entrepreneur, whether they choose to establish an independent business with those skills or not.  They are democratic and elitist.  Democratic in the sense that they are willing to listen and learn from anyone, regardless of age or social class.  They are elitist, not in the sense of being bigoted, but in their insistence upon surrounding themselves with people who are genuine, interesting, interested, often hard working, exploratory, loving, bright and living their lives in a way that directly reflects their personal values.

Collaborators are creative not as Mozart or Gauguin who possessed natural genius, but in the sense that they see truth and what's real in life, and respond to it with less inhibition.  Their ideas are fresh and original, almost childlike.  One reason for this is that they discriminate between means and ends.  Most people concentrate on reaching goals without relaxing fully into moment by moment activities and experiences that take them to those end points.

Money is absolutely not a primary motivator.  Yet, as a whole, this group of people makes more money than any other segment of the population, except chief executive officers.  Their focus is centered on more abstract issues like aesthetics, integrity, quality performance, health and fitness, experiencing life fully, discovery, and the well being of other people.

Without giving the impression that collaborators are saint-like it should be noted that they are by no means flawless.  For instance, they can get so caught up in their work and feelings of certainty about who they are that they can sometimes bulldoze over the feelings and opinions of people in close proximity.

Interestingly enough, these people are very sensual, sexual and loving.  Perhaps more alive and sexual than any other segment of the population.  They are more likely to fuse sex and love, which makes them more monogamous.  They do not find satisfaction in having sex with people that are not dear to them.  Despite great sexual aliveness they can abstain from sex for extended periods of time if there is no person nearby that they feel love for. 

Charmian Anderson

Reference texts for more information:
PERSONALITY & MOTIVATION, Abraham Maslow, 1970;

NOTE: Another term that can be substituted for collaborators is self-actualizing adult.

REPRINTED FROM:  "On Changing:  Attitudes & Behavior in Personal Life and In Business," Issue 4, Winter, 1984. 

Copyright: Claude Whitmyer & Charmian Anderson, used with permission.

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