Greatness at Scale Requires the Wisdom Others - You Can't do it Alone.

You'll quickly hit your limits if doing everything by on your own; be wise and seek the help of others.

May 30, 2018 - 2 minute read -

Rocket launching into space.

Recently over the past few months at my job at LinkedIn, I’ve realized that there just isn’t enough time to deep dive into every single problem I encounter. The inner architect and engineer in me craves wanting to peek under the hood of all the amazing abstractions and tools we have. The environment I work in is fast-paced, we have hundreds of codebases and lots of amazing work to accomplish and it cannot be done by a single mind alone.

A few things I quickly realized while working at LinkedIn is:

  • to be a highly effective engineer here you need to balance the amount of time you remain working alone on a problem and the amount of time you interact with others seeking help and feedback; both are equally important.
  • You need to let go of your ego, shame or whatever it is that holds you back from asking for help.
  • You run the risk of blocking your team if you don’t ask for help.
  • Your limiting your personal growth if you don’t ask for help often.

Asking for help is easy for people who’ve gotten use to doing it, but for those have been taught to simply do everything on their own, perhaps due to cultural upbringing, or haven’t been in an environment where asking for help is critical, it may take some time to develop the habit of just asking for help. Just do it though! I’m grateful for this environment that I’m in now, it’s helped me be more proactive and unashamed to ask for help.

When I look at the impact and scale at which LinkedIn operates, I’m constantly reminded of the fact that this wasn’t done by a single mind. No single mind can hold enough information to compete with the collective years of knowledge of thousands of other brilliant minds.

Do you feel that you are leveraging the power of your peers effectively? If you aren’t asking for help often, is it because you don’t want to feel inadequate or dumb? If so, take comfort and remember that all of the most amazing things around us in this world didn’t just come from one mind, but many minds.