Aug 30, 2010

WORD OF THE WEEK: Hypengyophobia

Summary: I get a little personal in today's post and share some background about my relationship to leadership. Then I tell you how this week's word, hypengyophobia, is—or isn't—related to leadership.

With the lack of blog posts I've been making over the last few weeks, I'm beginning to think I may have hypengyophobia! What is that, you ask? Well, maybe you can break it down and take a guess or two ...

But first, let me tell you a little personal background: I've been a 'leader' throughout most of my life. But the fact of the matter is until I was in my teens, I tended to lead only from behind the scenes. Attention made me uncomfortable. And I just didn't see myself as someone others could look up to as a decision-maker. I've learned since that my younger sisters saw me quite differently than I saw myself.

Once I did start taking leadership positions—say, as the president of my church youth group or as the managing editor of my high school newspaper—I still struggled with speaking up and asking questions. Unfortunately for me (and everyone I was supposedly leading), I thought at that time that question-asking equaled weakness. I've learned since that asking questions and truly listening to answers are important aspects of leadership. So is humility. But that's a subject for another post. I think the most sincerely important role for any leader is to ask for help whenever it's needed. So, as I begin my search for interns to help me manage my time, I'm presently struggling with posting blogs as frequently as I'd like.

I'm not just sharing these little tidbits at random. They really are related to today's Word of the Week.

If you've studied your prefixes, suffixes and root words, you probably already know that phobia comes from the Greek for fear. The most recent Top Ten List from Merriam-Webster is another list of phobias (something I've blogged about before). I confess to having ochlophobia, fear of crowds, and a touch of amathophobia, or an aversion to dust bunnies. But before we go trading secrets—I'm just dying to know what you have, of course—let me explain today's WOW.

Hypengyophobia (HY - PEN - jee - o - FO - bee - yuh) – an abnormal fear of responsibility. Hypengyos is Greek for responsible. This word entered the English language in the late 1780s.

So, what words on the list strike terror in your heart? Better yet, what's your relationship to responsibility? And does depression—our present brain challenge—ever affect your abilities as a leader?

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2010

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