I have learned many valuable lessons about leadership and the necessity of collaboration and utilizing different skills to contribute to greater success. Last year, during my freshman year, I learned how to best work with a team. It’s somewhat funny because I remember recalling at the time how much easier it would be to just work alone: groups are often inefficient and you are left thinking you could be getting something done a lot quicker if it was just you. Now, I have the opposite feeling and understand it is actually much harder to work alone because others cannot collobrate and supplement your weaknesses.
This year, I have been tasked with leading a social action project on my own, without a team. This at first was a bit of a struggle for me as I had become accustomed to the social action project format of collaborating with a team. While overwhelming, I believe that working alone is sometimes necessary. When in a team, I could rely on others to do things that were not my strength while I specifically focused my work on areas I knew I was already strong at. By working alone, I have had to learn how to not depend on others and get the ball moving on my project on my own.
There are important and necessary lessons learned when working both with a team and alone. While it is essential to be self-sufficient and know how to complete something on your own, I actually think it takes more leadership to be part of a group, because you’re interacting with others and can’t always have things your way. You have to learn how to be a good listener and be conscious of the space you might be consuming.