Being first doesn’t always mean you’re the fastest. In fact, I’d argue that sometimes being first means you’re the slowest.
Have you ever been on the leading edge of change? Whether that’s adopting a new process or perhaps integrating new and unfamiliar tools or software to improve your work, being the one to go first usually results in slower performance as we adopt to the newness before us. We also have the added challenge that, if we’ve gone first, there usually aren’t experts on our team that we can ask questions of. When we go first, we are the expert. Albeit the expert in in training.
I’ve often discovered that while slow-going, being first affords us a unique opportunity to shape how the change we’re embracing will be used and adopted by others. Being first also puts us in a position assist those who come behind us and offer them a smoother transition than we had.
Personally, I’d rather be involved in shaping change and guiding others who come behind rather than sitting around and waiting until the path is clearly spelled out. That’s why I like being first.