What Can One Person Do?

I'm all in favor of teamwork. I like the sharing of ideas, the leveraging of individuals' skills, and the camraderie that comes from working with other people. However, I notice that a lot of my work habits are focused on insulating myself from others.

It's not that I avoid other people, or that I try to keep them away from me. Rather, a lot of my habits are focused on eliminating any dependence upon others. I keep everything I can on my own machine, in case the network goes down. I keep my own backups of important files. I know how to set up the server software on my own machine in case the real development server goes down or gets funky. When something breaks, I tend to fix it myself and then notify others later, rather than co-ordinating with them first.

While this self-reliance and initiative keeps me out of a lot of jams, I wonder if it interferes with teamwork. Would we work more closely together if we were more dependent on one another? Are we each doing a lot of redundant work to keep ourselves self-reliant?

Being dependent upon others is a little scary, as is having others depend upon you. You never know how they might unintentionally mess you up, and there may even be a few who will do with it intentional malice. But I have learned that I can trust others. If I ever think I can't trust my co-workers, it will be time to find another job.

Even with that trust in others, I am going to continue my self-reliant habits. Groups don't really accomplish things; individuals do, and I want to be an effective individual.

© 2003-2023 Kristopher Johnson