That is if you want to extend your skills beyond your domain.
That is if you want to work with people.
That is if you have reached a limit on how much you can do on your own, and if you need a helping hand.
There is only so much one person can do in isolation, to affect change, to build big things, and to make an impact. There is only so much that one person with a well-written program, can do in isolation. But with a team, your ability to accomplish things multiply tenfold. You can make things happen much faster -- years, not decades. You can have other people challenge your ideas more quickly, so you know when you are going down the wrong path sooner. And most importantly, you can build a lasting community, and a place of endless invention and creativity. You learn that you are taking care of a team, not just an idea.
You can critically look at your vision, outside of yourself.
I think that in the previous past 3 years, I had been chasing technical skill, and hungry for technical knowledge. I do not find myself a capable professional, and there is still so much I do not know, as I continue to know more.
- What drives a development program?
- How do you detail a roof drain and leader?
- How do point clouds in BIM reconcile discrepancies in the field?
- How do you hang electric drops from a theatrical ceiling grid?
- How do you set up a backend server?
More recently, I think I've learned that, perhaps technical expertise is not what I excel at, or perhaps there are other foundational skills that I have not thoroughly explored. And these are skills for collaboration, and for dealing with people, clients, stakeholders:
- How do you drive an effective community planning process?
- How do you manage client expectations?
- How do you coordinate tasks, plan ahead, and delegate work?
- How do you communicate effectively?
These so-called "soft skills" are perhaps the most difficult of all. People are unpredictable, and full of emotions and ideas. Mastering such skills, I think, carry forth a lot more weight than rote knowledge -- though you certainly also ought to have a sufficiently deep foundational knowledge in a domain as well (and never lose your own vision).
All buildings start with relationship building.