Are You a Leader, a Follower, or a Collaborator?

Lead, Follow, or Collaborate?

Or some combination of all 3?

🙂

One of the interesting parts of participating in blog challenges is following writing prompts that cause you to think about something new, or at least, from a new perspective.

One of these writing prompts posed this question:

 

Do you feel most comfortable being

a leader, a follower, or a collaborator?

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Well, let’s think about this. Perhaps 20 years ago–or more–I would have said I enjoyed being a leader. I was active in church, sang in music groups, led Bible studies, served in various leadership roles in local and state homeschool groups, and even taught workshops at annual homeschooling conventions.

 

NOW — over the past 8 years — well, I’m not nearly as socially involved. While freelancing from home certainly has its advantages, and there are many online social and professional networking groups — it’s still not the same as being “out there” face to face with people. I wouldn’t be comfortable at all, now, in leadership roles, or at least none that involved speaking in front of people. In fact, I’m really nervous about the fact that I have to do an oral defense of my dissertation when the time arrives for that!

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“Leadership is based

on a spiritual quality;

the power to inspire,

the power to inspire

others to follow.” 

~Vince Lombardi

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I think now I’m more comfortable as either a follower, or perhaps a collaborator. Of course, following depends on how reliable and genuine the leader is. If he or she simply has charisma, but lacks in sincere people skills, or willingness to extend a helping hand, then I wouldn’t be impressed, nor have any interest in following that person or his/her cause.

 

On the other hand, a strong yet caring leader with a cause worth following — then I could get on board with that. In addition, when it comes to work and projects, I tend to be a visual learner, and it really helps to have someone lead by example, as well as SHOW examples.

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“One measure of leadership

is the caliber of people

who choose to follow you.”

~Dennis A. Peer

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Out of the three choices, however, I think I have really become most comfortable with being a collaborator. Although I sometimes enjoy the solitude and working independently, which is what happens the majority of the time, I really enjoy working as a member of a team. This is great for the social and professional interaction, but also for the sharing of ideas and working toward a mutual goal.

 

This collaboration in my areas of work happen frequently. Most of the writing clients I have proofread and edit work themselves, or have editors who do so. This ensures the clients get the type of quality and finished content they desired.

 

The field of instructional design is an especially good example of collaboration, because it typically involves a team of professionals, from the client and/or project manager, to supervisors and head instructional designers, to content writers, editors, instructional designers, and subject matter experts (SMEs). Each member plays a crucial role in adding components of a course, for example, and the entire team together has the mutual goal of producing a finished product. I am pleased to have taken part in many such projects.

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“Teamwork is the ability to work together

toward a common vision.

The ability to direct individual accomplishment

toward organizational objectives.

It is the fuel that allows common people

to attain uncommon results.”

~Andrew Carnegie

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So How About YOU?

 

What role do you most comfortably fill?

 

Do you think you could (or do you) manage more than one role?

 

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Confronting Fears – Facing Forward

Put Fears Behind You…

Eyes Straight Ahead of You!

😐

We have already completed nearly two months of 2017, so it might be a good time to reflect on fears confronted, lessons learned, and progress made – and then take all we have learned to build a plan for success as we focus forward on our journey through the next 10 months of 2017.

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One ongoing lesson I have learned: I still unintentionally procrastinate, put things off, and don’t always finish what I start. I think it’s primarily due to taking on too much, getting overwhelmed, becoming anxious and fearful, and then losing my motivation.

 

For today’s post, I’m borrowing part of a note I published on Facebook awhile back, particularly addressing the issue of facing fears.

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As so often happens, I derived inspiration this morning from reading some devotional thoughts. These thoughts then prompted a lengthy reflection and revelation. I want to share this in hopes it will likewise touch others who may need to hear this.

 

Do you struggle with fear of the known or unknown?

 

Have you ever considered that Jesus knows what it’s like to be afraid? Think about the mobs of angry religious folks who followed Him around, threatening to injure and kill Him, and the demons and Satan himself who taunted and confronted Jesus.

 

Think about His time in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood, asking the Father for a reprieve on what Jesus knew must happen.  Yet He then accepted God’s will and prayed for strength to face what was ahead of Him – knowing that suffering and death awaited Him.

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I am thinking about many times I’ve been afraid…

 

I especially remember the terror of being trapped in a second floor apartment because of a raging fire.

 

I remember praying loudly and specifically, “Jesus, help me! Help me get us out of here alive!” The “us” was my 3-year-old son, my 4-month-old daughter, the 2-year-old autistic child I was babysitting, and myself.

 

I remember the utter fear and anxiety about the idea of dropping those small children – and my infant daughter – one by one, out that second story window, into the waiting outstretched  arms of the two police officers who had arrived before the fire department.

 

Yet… God was there, He knew my fear, He provided His protection and calmed my fears enough to save all the children and myself. I’m convinced His hand and His angels stood between us and the wall of flames which then chased me out the window as soon as I had cleared it in my plunge to the ground.

 

God was there as I faced the fear of death and He carried me through the valley of the shadow of death for about two to three days before bringing me out to the other side into full consciousness. By His grace and divine intervention, I am alive to tell this story, and to give Him praise and glory for the lives the children and I still have.

 

Jesus understands fear and distress, as does Father God, Who had to watch Jesus suffer and die. He likewise comforts us as we face hardships and fears, and endure suffering and eventually, death.

 

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For the rest of this post – I thought I would mention fears I have faced over the past year and into this year. Perhaps you can relate to some of them!

*Concerns about family members and friends in a variety of life areas.

*Concerns over relationships with family, friends, and business associates and clients.

*Concerns over personal health issues.

*Concerns over finances.

*Concerns over not having enough freelance work – and then having too much, and not being able to keep up with it.

*Concerns over not meeting expectations, on personal and professional levels.

 

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Yet through all these things – God has been, and continues to be, faithful. I have learned I just need to take my concerns to God, and gain confidence from Him to overcome the concerns. I need to face the fears head on, and focus forward instead of constantly glancing over my shoulder at the fears threatening to consume me.

 

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So What About YOU?

 

What kinds of fears have you encountered and confronted recently?

 

How have you overcome them and how will you use what you have learned to build a better action plan for the rest of 2017?

 

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Just for Fun – Ask Dear K. Lee for Advice!

Dear K. Lee…

🙂

So just for fun on this midweek day, I thought I would repeat my post from a past blog challenge suggestion: Write a post like it was an advice column! 🙂

So here you go, folks, this is your chance to ask “Dear K. Lee...” a question!  😉

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[Source: morgueFile Free Photo]

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I welcome your questions and as long as they are reasonable and decent, I’ll do my best to answer them. I can get this started with a couple questions people frequently ask me…

 

Q:Dear K’Lee, is it too late for me to go back to school at 39 [47][52][any age over 22]?

 

A:Definitely not!! I’m a major proponent of lifelong learning. I earned my Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree at the age of 50. Now, at almost 59, I’m within a couple months of having my Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree.  Online learning, especially, makes it even more convenient for adult learners to return to school, whether for individual courses or entire degree programs.”

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Q: “Dear K’Lee, is online dating safe? Can you really meet a decent man [woman]?”

 

A: “On the first part of the question, it depends. You do have to be careful about how much information you choose to share. You should also exercise caution if/when you decide to meet someone in person. Let someone else know where you’re going and always meet in a public place.

 

On the second part of the question – yes, of course, but then I’m biased, since my hubby and I met online over 14 years ago!  🙂 We first began chatting at the end of 2002, got together in person in 2003, and got married in 2006. Please note: I did meet some less than desirable, indecent men before I met my hubby – so again, see my answer to the first part of the question! But yes, it is possible to meet decent people through online dating – and if you’re especially blessed, that man or woman may end up being your “soul mate.” 🙂

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Hubby  Dave and me with our Desi pup!

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Next?  🙂  Feel free to ask a reasonable, decent question in the comment box, and I’ll do my best to answer it!  😉

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So What About YOU?

 

Are you currently enrolled or have you considered enrolling in a course or degree program?

 

Do you have any experience in online dating?

 

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Evaluate Your Strengths – Gain Confidence in Your Abilities

It’s Time…

🙂

 

That’s right, it’s time — we’re closing in on the end of the second month of 2017 already, so if you haven’t done this already… it’s time to evaluate your strengths and to gain confidence in your God-given abilities…even if it means sometimes stretching outside your comfort zone. You can usually do this IF you do in fact have confidence in yourself and know your strengths.

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Along with myself, many of my fellow freelancers are going through some stretching these days, because of ups and downs with different clients. In God’s infinite wisdom and timing of events – it amazes me when one of my devotional readings addresses this very topic.

 

I frequently mention Joyce Meyer, as she’s one of my favorite motivational/inspirational speakers and Bible teachers. I had the privilege of attending a couple of her seminars many years ago and meeting her in person.  So from Joyce Meyer’s “The Confident Woman Devotional” (of course, guys can benefit from this, as well!), I wanted to share this bit of wisdom:

 

“An important thing in gaining confidence is that you must absolutely know your strengths. What are you good at? Do you even know? Have you seriously thought about it or have you been so busy thinking about what you are NOT good at, that you have not even noticed your abilities?

 

Make a list of what you are good at and read it out loud to yourself at least three times a day until you gain confidence in your abilities. Make positive affirmations to yourself every day about your qualities. Thinking about what you’re good at is not conceited; it is preparation to do your job with confidence.”

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Obviously, there’s nothing “magical” about positive affirmations – yet positive self-talk certainly is better than negative self-talk, and you may just discover you feel better about yourself and feel your confidence growing!

 

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So What Are YOUR Thoughts?

 

Have you taken time to really think about, evaluate, and write down your strengths?

 

Do you feel confident in your abilities?

 

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What Are You Doing for YOU in 2017?

Are You

Taking Care of YOU?

🙂

 

That may sound like a selfish title or idea – but it really isn’t. Think about it – if you do all you can to take care of yourself, it means you will be a better person for all those people in your life who care about you.

So what are you doing for YOU in 2017?

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Here are some ideas (implementing in my own life, as well!)

 

Pay attention to your health. Work on losing weight if you need to, exercise regularly, eat a more balanced diet, and get more sleep. Promoting physical well-being, along with mental, emotional, and spiritual health, are all part of essential “taking care of you” time that will have positive effects now and in the future.

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Have you thought about going back to school or pursuing a first or additional degree? I highly recommend online education, since it provides a convenient and flexible means of achieving those goals that may otherwise be out of reach  through traditional classroom learning. How about just an individual course or two in areas of interest, either for business or pleasure?

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Consider socializing and networking more. This not only fulfills that need for human interaction and companionship, but potentially opens doors to new opportunities you may not otherwise have accessed on your own.  Forums, Facebook groups, and other virtual settings are especially helpful for freelancers who work from home, as they can provide a supportive,  encouraging environment  – again, for socializing, but also for networking.

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How about hobbies? Have you always wanted to learn how to crochet, quilt, scrapbook, or make dolls? Maybe, like me, you have put off special projects that you have wanted to do for YEARS. Maybe this will be the year for a breakthrough!

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Organizing collectibles? Perhaps you enjoy collecting NASCAR memorabilia, or various kinds of antiques, or numerous other items, and have yet to organize your collectibles or display them adequately so you can enjoy them.

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Take some time in this second month of 2017 to decide what you can do for YOU this year, that will ultimately make you a healthier, happier person – for your sake, as well as for your loved ones, your friends, and your business associates.

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So What About YOU?

If you made plans to accomplish goals this year, how’s it going?

Are there special things you would like to do to take better care of YOU in 2017?

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