But Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. Genesis 13:5
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. – Helen Keller
A wise man once said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I’ve discovered that, indeed, there is a time to go alone and there is a time to seek collaboration. When you are first starting out in any endeavour, you need to cast a clear vision, set the pace, and demonstrate personal commitment to show the world the value of your offering. Though you are aware of the need for the support of a dream team to bring your vision to completion, never be afraid to initiate your mission alone. As you make personal progress, you will realise when it is time to begin to seek collaboration or build a supporting cast.
I love the way Helen Keller puts it. Alone you can go really fast, however, you will still achieve little in comparison with working with others. Consider running a 100m dash as going alone, and a 4 X 100 relay race as working with a team. The relay team covers four times the distance covered by the individual sprinter. Going alone versus collaborating may spell the difference between being a “flash in the pan” and establishing a legacy. Collaboration allows you to leverage the skills, talents and perspectives of others in your circle.
Seeking collaboration requires the development of excellent relational skills. Understand that people want to win in life. Hence, if you can help them win in an area that is meaningful to them, they will do anything to help you succeed too. In other words, make your interaction with people a win-win situation. Don’t be self-centred or self-absorbed with simply achieving your own objectives. Ensure you seek collaboration with people who share similar values and principles with you.
Another aspect of collaboration is to seek mentorship. Mentoring fast tracks your progress and puts you in a vantage position. In addition, you have access to the wisdom and knowledge of those who have gone ahead of you. In addition, you have the opportunity to build on their successes too.
3 things to remember as you seek collaboration:
- Don’t attempt to go it all alone lest you fall into the same trap again and again.
- Don’t be an inconvenience to people who have been of help to you. Rather, ensure you bring benefits to those you partner with
- Don’t be insensitive or cold to their needs. In other words, don’t turn a blind eye to their requests. Let them know they can count on you. Have their backs.
What meaningful association do you require to take the traction of your vision to the next level?