“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a team.”
This was one of the quotes I had written down when our Marketing Support Network leadership team had the opportunity to attend an off-site leadership seminar a few weeks ago. I had heard variations of it before, but this time it stood out. I wrote it down and looked at it on the page, I tweeted it out, and I let it sit in my thoughts for a few days. The more I thought about this idea the more one question kept coming back to my mind.
Can’t there be a happy medium between fast and far? Do we have to crawl if we go as a team?
I am guilty of wanting to go fast. My personality is such that when I see an opportunity or a goal, I run and chase after it as quickly as I can. It has led to some problems over the years as this full-steam-ahead-consequences-be-darned attitude tends to overlook some necessary steps, fact finding, or logical progression. I am working on this, but I still have a tendency to occasionally jump first and then look. Sometimes when I’ve looked, I’ve realized I’m not going to like where I will land. This can certainly be problematic, but the flip side is that if everyone spent too much time looking at where we might land, we might never jump.
In any organization, we need people who bump up the pace a little to keep us moving forward. But we also need people who see potential hazards and reign us in when they see a roadblock. We need people who balance each other out. We need people who think logically and those who like to dream big. We need people who have the historical knowledge to give us perspective and those who encourage us to try something new. We need everyone in between.
As our team has talked through what we took away from the leadership event, I have realized the happy medium between fast and far is not necessarily a crawl. Sometimes it might be. At other times it might be a walk or even a jog, but it’s a pace that keeps us all in check. That happy medium is a place where everyone brings their strengths to the table, where we acknowledge that everyone’s strengths matter, and we all get on the same page to keep moving forward thoughtfully.
I think the place between fast and far is a hard balance for organizations to find and maintain. It takes good communication, trust in each other, and a lot of teamwork, but I believe that it is worth striving toward. I believe the best and most successful teams work hard to find that balance and that is what leads to their success. To me, that is a goal worth working for!
What does that happy medium look like for your organization?