Strategic Market Leadership

Go Fast - or Go Far? - or Both?

Wed, 2015-07-29 16:54 -- tomjonez


Last week I provided some thoughts regarding a traditional saying that was shared by a friend recently:

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” - African Proverb

In response to what I wrote last week, I received a couple of thoughts worth sharing.

Robert Cairns replied as follows:

It is an interesting, thought provoking proverb, but certainly not a maxim. Depending on the circumstances, it may be that a team of two or more people with defined roles and tasks could outpace a single person. When I started my Community Management business in 2004, I did everything with a little clerical help in the evenings. Once the business was large enough to contract the accounting and bookkeeping out to another one-person firm. My Customers making accounting inquiries received much quicker service, and I was amazed at how much more free time I had to solve technical issues (especially in the field) and grow the business.

Excellent insight Robert.  And from Sean Hughes, the following question was posed:

What if I just surrounded myself with fast people and accomplished both? (i.e. both fast and far)

It seems as though, once again, a simple proverb did not capture the whole story.  The excellent responses noted above (among others like them) are evidence that Leadership is both an art and a science; short proverbial insights only ever capture a piece of the story, at best.

Thank you, Robert and Sean, for your responses and valuable insights. Together we do a much better job of painting a picture of practical leadership insights.

What are your thoughts on “going it alone” vs. “teamwork”?  Do you agree with the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”?