Lead, Follow, or Collaborate

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

The NaBloPoMo writing prompt for today is this question:

Do you feel most comfortable being a leader, a follower, or a collaborator?

Well, let’s think about this. Perhaps 15-20 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 — or over the past nearly 5 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!


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.


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 team together has the mutual goal of producing a finished product.

Shared with Facebook public by Inspirational, Motivational, & Moral Stories for All.


How about you readers? What role do you most comfortably fill?


[Posted as part of NaBloPoMo--December theme: Blogging About WORK].

3 thoughts on “Lead, Follow, or Collaborate”
  1. I can be comfortable in all three and I agree with Kathy about going through phases of each. Overall I consider myself to be a leader. I question everything. I think having to count on myself at a very young age has contributed to me becoming the leader I am today.
    Dana recently posted..Embrace “I am enough”

  2. Very good.

    Oddly, I think I am comfortable in any of the three stations you talk about here. I’m a capable leader; I can follow; and I love collaborating. I cannot think of which I prefer doing most, because each situation is different.

    That being said, I highly enjoyed this article!
    Andrew Ross recently posted..ATTENTION: EMI and fans of the RIAA

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