We’ve all done it. Whether it is creating a logo, writing copy, or programming; we have all been guilty of wearing hats for our companies that we just shouldn’t be wearing. At an early stage startup, when you are running lean and don’t have the budget to hire out a professional, it is not only acceptable to touch every aspect of your company, but it is necessary. Unfortunately, this type of attitude can’t be persisted if you want your company to succeed. While you may not want to be the boss all the time, one thing you need to ask yourself before doing something outside of your role is “Would I hire someone with my exact qualifications for this job?” If the answer is no, then stop what you are doing and hire someone who is qualified.
It is easy to let our egos get in the way of our success, and it is often more convenient to do something ourselves than to explain to someone else exactly what we want, but often times the easiest thing to do isn’t necessarily the best. As humans, we tend to convince ourselves that we can accomplish anything, but sometimes the best way to succeed is to get out of the way. If it was possible to be the CEO, CTO, Art Director, Senior Developer, and Director of Marketing all at once, then those individual titles wouldn’t even need to exist. The best leaders know what their skills are and, better yet, what their flaws are, and build their team to compensate for them. This sort of team building is a theme we often see in both reality and fiction.
The President of the United States isn’t an expert in everything, and he isn’t expected to be. He has a large board of advisers that help him make his decisions, and fill in the gaps in his knowledge and expertise. Every heist movie ever made consists of a team with specific talents that add to the abilities of the team as a whole. Even in fantasy, collaborative teams with unique skill sets are a prevailing theme. The Fellowship of the Ring, Dungeons and Dragons, Game of Thrones, Ender’s Game, The Avengers, The Justice League of America… the list is practically endless.
Nobody has ever succeeded alone, and being a leader requires having people to lead. Quit stepping on your company’s toes and start hiring the right people for the job. If you want it done right, do it yourself, but if you want it done well, hire a professional.