‘If you want to go further, go together’.

(Credit: Kimson Doan)

The African Proverb reads:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

I believe this, and have seen it work in my life as well as others. In a time where speed (and greed) wins, going fast and alone seemed like the best and only option. I grew up with the Sony Walkman, cell phones the size of a subway sandwich and dial-up internet! Not much web browsing going on back then. No-one could have imagined the speed, miniaturization, or capacity of technology today back then. Now the race for speed is barely perceptible. Sure, we will always want some something to run a little faster, or download quicker but it really seems to matter less in the grand scheme of things.

Junk mail arrives faster, pop-ups and banner ads are part of many apps and the distinction between what’s a distraction and what’s useful is even harder to tell. In this context, going fast by yourself is less fulfilling. I think a better option is to go further, together. I prefer ‘further’ over ‘farther’ because this is not about your distance from the starting point, as much as it is about the degree you can move an idea or concept forward, or take it further. Going further naturally lends itself to the synergy of the collective. Brainstorming, crowd-sourcing, or simple team-building all bring an energy to an objective that is difficult to cultivate alone, no matter how fast you can move.

Going further as a team can look slow, with all the overhead of managing people, but it is often the quickest way to achieving something great.

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