Walking Fast vs. Walking Far
There is an African proverb that goes “if you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together”.
(side note of irony— I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, and it just so happens that on the day that I do finally write it up, that Boston Marathon is won by Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai in 2:03. Yes, that 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 3 minutes, or an average of 4:42 for each mile. Proving that it is possible to run both far and fast).
I’ve always believed the notion beyond this proverb to be quite accurate.
Whether you want to do something on your own, or with a team should depend on what it is, there shouldn’t be a rule that is applied across the board.
The context of what you are doing, as well as the goal, should be taken in to account when planning how something gets done.
Too often I have seen co-workers, friends (or even myself) start making a plan based on what worked last time, instead of looking at what needs to be achieved next time. To be sure there are times when having systems in place is helpful, but that shouldn’t be the default. There are times when you need to “walk far” and times when you need to “walk fast”.
Working alone can often help you get things done…but over time it can cause you to burn out. Working as a community, you may not go as fast…but in the end (and with good leadership) the community is going to go a long way, for a long time.