I had already express my concern in a previous article about the hero vs team approach. That was related to work and way of interacting within the working environment.
In this other article I want to dig a little bit more, and express in more extensive way, why the model based on a single "hero" is dramatically wrong, not only for the hero itself, but also for anyone applying it In a production context, finally it is also very negative for the society and the development of arts and science.
There are two main models in any fields, related to human behavior when dealing with human interactions. Those two are applicable everywhere and for everything.
We can label them as:
There are then different grades for both, such that a grey area is often present, making very difficult to understand, when a "solo" is performing good inside a team, or vice versa, when an element of a team, is playing "solo".
What is concerning is what model and at what level should be used and when, to get the best from both.
The models come from very far, and we are often driven to forget it.
The roots for both come before the harvesters/hunters time, where team approach becomes more and more crucial for the success and the survival of the individuals.
The solo model was something that would have not allows the evolution of a tribe or the development of culture and arts.
The hunters had to share and agreed tactics to kill big prey. Harvesters need to collaborate to increase the land used and the variety of crops, more they need to specialize to be more productive, and then agree and share what they collect to get other things they need.
Innovation, inspiration, collaboration and sharing were the result of the constant need to survive.
The creation of villages then cities is not a "solo" product but a team effort.
The evolution of philosophy, arts and science was not due to a single man, but to a contribution of interactions that was driving people to develop such arts in respect to their natural disposition.
In war times as well (as an extension of the hunt) was not a single man winning (don't trust Hollywood's movies), it was the combination of soldiers and generals that was giving the good or bad results.
The good or bad balance of the solo/team behavior writes all the human history, giving us time of grow and success and time of darkness and loose.
The point is that in the last two centuries, we in some way were push to forget that simple concept. We have seen the degradation of the team concept from the leading position to a position more subordinate to someone else external to the team taking decision and responsibility.
Pointing the finger to a single point will not be correct and fair, but I will not be so wrong saying that country as United States and other "new" nations, help a lot the "solo" model to become more dominant. By dominant I mean unbalance in respect to the real "solo" model history in the interaction with the "team" model.
Again find the roots of how and why is so easy that many would say it is a shallow identification, but for me is so clear that I cannot prescind from it.
Most of the "new" countries were funded and compose by the most "simply" people migrating from more evolutes and articulate societies.
In some cases, like the American continent, the "new" countries had replace existing ones with much more history, knowledge and understanding creating a cultural damage that would need thousand of years to get recover.
Anyhow the point is that "culture" and "history" are not empty words, and cannot be count following the order of a couple of centuries. These are terms that extend their values cross the millennia, where two thousand years ago is yesterday, not a far undefined past.
Trying to build a social or economical model, going by shortcut, not considering the roots, leads to dysfunctional results.
"divide et impera", is a well known concept in IT, and it normally refer to the very useful approach of simplifying huge and complex problems by splitting them in to smaller ones, that will results easier to manage.
But referring it to a social (or economical) model, it will result in something far to be positive.
The mechanism to push people to do not aggregate, to work as more as possible for the "solo" selfish model is based on pushing the people DESIRE for whatever, the important is to let the people think that it could be achieve by themselves for themselves.
Cultures that have thousand of years, have included in their daily life mechanisms to protect individuals from this bewitchment, including in the religion concepts that strongly underline the negative aspects of the DESIRE as personal achievement, underling how illusory and caduceus is to base our life following that path.
Religions have being the tools that humanity had used for millions of years to help itself to keep out of trouble. Unfortunately some times, some "solo" selfish had use religions as well to drive humanity to the wrong path. But this is another article.
For what we are concern, we need to focus on one aspect, which is that the lack of full understanding of religion and social model had leave open the door to manipulation. That was the status of almost all the "new" countries, where implanting the CONSUMERISM was much easier then in countries where existing behave and traditions would have not easily allow it.
Consumerism is based on desire, which is base on the "solo" selfish unbalance approach, which is the way society can be kept under control.
Note that here I am talking about the "solo" unbalance approach, the one that is not related to the "team" model but work only for himself.
It is obvious that such mechanism would not be easily adopt unless masquerade with positive values.
That was achieving platting a net of false referral, starting from creating the idea of one over many, or that one can rule over many, or in the daily life, such as actors, singers, or like self made man (last one was Steve Job, not the real man but the myth), or more in depth and complex (not going to discuss it here) the idea of one man as single saviour of the whole humanity (unfortunately this comes from much more far and is the real issue here).
All those were adulterations of positive concepts just pushed a little bit such that from positive become, disruptive, as a good "solo" from inspiring can become dominant.
I think it quite clear why such approach and model is not good for people, not even for the "hero" or "solo", giving at the end in the long term he/she will gain only illusion.
But why this is bad also for companies?
Team work is what allow a company to prosper, as a society or a family, a company needs to have "replaceable" elements, balance resource, common/shared grow and knowledge.
A good "solo" that works as inspirer today will become part of the team tomorrow, ready to be inspire from someone else.
Try to have ONE as champion/hero of the company is probably the worse thing a company can do, that represents a cul-de-sac for both the "hero" and the company.
Good companies don't need such false identities because will push to have the team, growing and acting good, such that any part of it can expose and represent successfully the whole team.
Task for the more experts is to leverage the others and be ready to get inspire by them, without being the selfish "solo".
Real team work start from abandon the DESIRE to be the only one, to be the ONE, and see how much far we can go as a team.
Following the same model good companies are not the one that push to be the only one, but the one open to the interaction and collaboration, focus the grow on the participation and not on domination.
Nowadays is difficult to find such approach, most of the companies are acting in a "solo" selfish mode, externally and internally.
This is what needs to be change if we want to have again, grow, innovation, and productivity. The strength coming from the team model is such that a net of dynamic small entities can easily oppose the current trend that see the overuse of the DESIRE and CONSUMERISM, good only to destroy millions of years of human history.
Trying to put also in more familiar terms:
"Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country."
(Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/kennedy.asp)
Reporting well known interpretation from Friedman: "a free man will neither ask what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country, what can I and my compatriots do through government to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes and, above all, to protect our freedom? And how can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?" (Milton Friedman "Capitalism and Freedom")
Just connect the points and you will see how easy is to see the "solo" selfish model in the first part "Ask not what your country can do for you", and how instead the team model is the reflection of "ask what you can do for your country".
Finally instead government put "aberrated capitalism model", and you will have the current actors of the show.
1) Aberration from the team side is the "communism" model driven to his excess, not talking here because already failed and quite evident to anyone, so no reason to shoot on the pianist.
2) I heard of people choosing a company because a "hero" was there, I feel pity for them, because it is obvious that they have no idea of what they are doing.
Last comment I was just touching and summarizing in a 2 hours article what should be discuss in books. My purpose here was not to do so, but just to give few dots that could help people to open their eyes.
Freedom, is a great word, we must remember that freedom ends as soon as we have one over the others, no mater in which fields.
Without freedom grow is almost impossible, real grow.