Working together makes all the difference
I love the draft horse example. Here's a similar, more personal example that I've observed. I use the leg press machine at the gym, doing a mix of single leg press repetitions and repetitions with both legs. My maximum repeatable weight with both legs is more than 2x my maximum repeatable weight with either single leg. That makes me think how a team is like a body that a) depends on each specialized type of muscle doing what it is best for, and b) shifting burden from more fatigued to less fatigued muscles to achieve maximum sustainable effort.
I've certainly seen teams where an individual reaches the "fatigue" limit of what they can achieve on their own, and passes the baton to someone else who can carry solution-building further. What's interesting is that over time such teams tend to rely less on hitting the limit as a signal to hand off, and instead a) collaborate more from the outset, and b) hand off sooner than reaching that personal fatigue limit.
As a leader, monitoring team health and needed adjustments is much like an athlete deepening their understanding of their own body, reading the signals they're receiving, and adjusting accordingly.
Great write-up! The "going faster alone" was so true for me early in my career and really held me back as a leader. Once I accepted that a team would go slower, I finally gave up on personal fastness, and we got so much more done!
Agile development seems to increase output through teamwork, although it's not stated explicitly. I dislike it when I hear from an exec "if I only had one amazing developer to get things done...". It's almost never the right approach, and it doesn't scale.