It is never a one man show! Just that the team effort is evident in some, while in others it gets hidden or camouflaged.
Most tasks that we do, is repetitive! We rarely find exploratory problems - i.e. problems which requires one to test various scenarios out, not as a survey or an assumption analysis, but actually exploring to see if something works. The first time one starts of on any activity, the learning curve is exponential, almost everything is uncertain, one never knows what to expect next!
This first exploratory learning experience is very crucial to build on... its possible that many brave-hearts who attempted this exploration could resist or resign or repent as a response to multitude of challenges that the situation presented. Team members plays a crucial role in these situations; while the experience could demotivate the individual, the team members have to play a supporting role - assist and/or appreciate the brave-heart's effort. Reinforcing confidence is important, else the fear of loosing the brave-heart is very real!
The second attempt could build on the learning of the first attempt and it would benefit if the brave-heart guides the next volunteer attempting the task. Failing the guidance, the lessons could repeat and is not beneficial overall. If the follower attempting it, is innovative enough, possesses presence of mind and is creative enough and comes in with a knowledge of various technologies, it is would definitely create a leapfrog improvement and not really be a snail-paced progress!
It is essential to build the team and constantly communicate what is learnt to really be able to leapfrog.
To help get the abstract into a concrete, let me illustrate using an experience of mine (interested guys read on further... others could skip this):
We recently organized a cultural event after a gap of 5 years, I still recollect the very first attempt when there was chaos with participants coming in with their request of songs and getting them in CDs (to be played on a music player! - yes not a lap-top) and confusing the person in-charge of the tasks of playing the song to the right dance/drama! The program did go on well, but there were a lot of hic-ups and the person who had volunteered for the task still to this day feel bad about not handling this well.
Truth be told, it takes great courage for someone to volunteer in an uncertain situation, and the results shouldn't be taken extremely personal. This was the bed-rock on which I was allowed to try my hand out this year.
A crucial learning was to prempt the possibility of confusion, but getting all the songs in place, however given the voluntary nature and the spontenity that could arise, it would be difficult to program through the entire event... I alternatively, my understading of technology to be able to reduce the effort and at the same time be able to manage the spontenity that the event gets along with it.
At the event, I had to only wait for the right indication from the that was anchoring, and leverage surprises taking note of the time gaps/durations to prepare for uncertainties even beyond the plan. The saving grace was that, you can still visualize some amount of surprises and prepare for them.