The basic definition of the word is to work with others, cooperate.
I love this word! Well, most of the time.
At some point, early or late, or maybe off and on, we learn that we are not to
simply plow through life doing what we like and ignoring our own flaws, lack or
basic need for others.
The input and critique (regardless of delivery) of others is often indeed more
a help to our own growth than is the praise and “anything you do is cool” stuff
we so often get from friends.
I laugh as I remember the first time someone said “That guy’s a legend in his
own mind”. Later I was thinking “I hope I don’t think of myself in that way”.
You may be able to do a lot but there are plenty of things I cannot and never
could do, nor learn to do properly. Some might read that and think “Nonsense,
you can do whatever you put your mind to”.
Hmmm. I turned 60 recently and I can tell you from long experience that I
CANNOT do anything I want to accomplish/work and practice hard enough at/
study, assemble mentors, etc., etc., and therefore WILL become the next
Picasso! Now, stick figures I’m o.k. with… but… 🙂
I’m not saying “Give up, it’s useless”, rather that there are times that’s
exactly what we should do.
There are also times that getting certain things done are just not possible
or would cause us and those around us far much pain if we’d only humble
ourselves and learn how to “play with others” better!
And here we reach “collaboration”.
There are just a few things I’d love to be truly guilty of in my lifetime and
one of those is being a collaborator with good-hearted, spiritually gifted and
talented, skilled people.
The fact is, I have been blessed with just those sorts of relationships for
most of my life.
Now if I must simplify how, I’d say find, link with and accept the pain of
ongoing relationships with such people. If they have the same sense of calling
and commitment you do, you will stick together for the long haul, at least
some of that group.
Over time you will accomplish amazing things… but not alone nor as a group
of arrogant, fiercely independent but rather humbly DEpendent friends who learn
to love, respect, correct and stick tight to one another for whatever the
common cause(s) may be.
Think about all you have learned from others in whatever years you’ve lived so
far! Was it not the fact you and they collaborated (in whatever ways) that
brought you any true measure of success or did you do it all by yourself?
Someone fed you, taught you how to walk, talk, write, listen, drive, play this
or that musical instrument, study, apply for a job, on and on it goes!
Had my friend John Herrin not brought both drumming skills but management
input I doubt REZ Band (which I and my wife fronted for 28 years) would have
lasted more than about 10 years. I’m certain we’d have never seen the sheer
number of concerts and responses we saw.
Had two other friends, Roger Heiss and later Ed Bialach not brought their
sound tech skills we’d have never had the records nor live sound mix anything
close to what they became.
I could go on and on.
My wife, Wendi, has been a super collaborator in my life on so many, many
levels. Our children and grandkids and countless others have benefited from
input and co-work we’ve done together.
My pastors have blessed me continually with collaborative input that both kept
me on track but also provoked growth and ultimately both encouraged and
protected others via me. People have no idea how often the brightest things I
say have come from them.
Don’t be misled thinking you have to come up with your own independent sort of
“brilliance”. There is just nothing like the joy of a team succeeding due to
gracious, messy, imperfect but loving collaboration.
Collaborators, I love ’em! I enjoy BEING one. How about you?
Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn