There is no one "right" way to live your life. The biggest lie that we seem to tell ourselves, is that we prefer, or believe in, one ideology over another --- the value of money, the value of recognition, the value of service, or the value of institutions. These are just the varieties of things that we can choose to prioritize over others. It does not mean one is right or wrong. Likewise it does not make you better or worse than others. As Joe Biden's mother used to tell him, "No one is better than you, and you are no better than anyone else." That is a very profound and insightful statement, because it cuts both ways: you must both be humble about your success, but confident enough to stand on your own two feet.
Some folks I meet, they work well within the realm of groups and institutions. They understand the levers of power, and they know who to talk to, and how to follow the rules and ultimately, super-cede and subsume their self-interests with the interests of the group. For doing so, they are greatly rewarded by the "systems" they subscribe to. These are my friends who find safety and comfort in the halls of government, or in the branches of the military, or in professional organizations and corporations. Specifically, it is not that they are more collaborative than normal people, or that they are proven leaders. No, it simply shows that they like working within clear rules and guidelines, with clear incentives and goals. They are just as creative, or just as fun-loving, as anyone else. I believe that deep down, this type of character believes the world is unstable and chaotic, and that in institutions they can find a semblance of order. When they pay their dues, these institutions ultimately reward and allow them to amplify their own goals and agendas. They learn that institutions use them, but they also use the institutions back. And so, in these environments they thrive. They are essential to functioning of our societies and communities.
I have also come across a second group of people, who I call "entrepreneurial salespeople". These are the folks who build things, who thrive from turning nothing into something. Some of these are the great "builders and innovators" that our current society idolizes, like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk (or Bjarke Ingels), but others are also the risk-takers and small-time hustlers that you never hear about. These individuals eschew tradition -- rules and institutions are stepping stones, which only slow them down -- for they are all about person-to-person interactions, and making the sale, or making something thought to be impossible actually happen. They thrive on ambiguity and uncharted territory, and I liken them to gold prospectors or jungle explorers. Yes, for them as well, the world is a dangerous place, but it is also exciting and full of opportunities. The greatest power that they have is their own relentless drive and spirit, and they "go big or go home". They have their own full confidence to build new worlds and make new connections, and they build the visions that people want to follow. Yes ~ if they fail, they usually fail really hard. But then they climb right back. These brave folks are what drives a dynamic economy -- the best and most positive aspects of capitalism. They connect and spearhead the institutions of the first group.
The third group of people are the craftspeople, who sincerely believe in the value of their own mastery and their passion. These are the folks who meditate, who pour years and decades of energy into a goal or a passion, whether it is music, athletics, carpentry, religion, or even software programming. Life is all about the dedicated energy you have towards a craft, and they value constant self-improvement and perfection. For these folks, there is often a strict separation between external and internal life. Likewise, they think: the outside world is a dangerous and chaotic place, so therefore I must cultivate a mastery, an inner garden of joy and intensity to find meaning and stand on my own. Folks in this third group are not necessarily bad at collaboration and teamwork - they just tend to compartmentalize those efforts towards their "external" side, and keep their genuine identity to their "inner" self. As much as these folks tend to be "silent", or just "minding their own business", they can be fiercely independent, and without them society will not have beautiful things or technology advancements. You respect them, as Bill Forsythe said, for their quality of attention.
I duly recognize that these group distinctions are also not clear -- oftentimes, you may fall into one "mindset" during some time in your life, only to move towards another during another time. You may live in all three mindsets in the course of a single day -- 1) supporting your institution on your job (team harmony), 2) making pottery after work (craft and mastery), and 3) selling your pottery as a side business at night (entrepreneurial spirit). But I want to opine that, for some people, certain mindsets take priority over others. And observing which mindset you tend to fall under can be essential to understanding yourself, and what makes you happy.