I was working with partners in a business the other day.
Each partner thinks that they have better leadership and management skills than the other. A debate ensues. It takes up time. They’ve been in functional roles for a long time and want to lead the company, not work in it any more. But they both want to be the star pitcher.
Great idea, but is it possible to do? Baseball players train years in their positions. They work to their strengths. But business owners often think that if they own the company they should do the job they want to do, not the one that meets their strengths. Not the one that also is what the company needs.
And just talking about this issue reveals the difference between managing and leading. What hat are you wearing when you have this discussion with your partners? Are you thinking about what’s important to you, what you want and how you want to spend your time? Or are you thinking about what the company needs in priority over your own needs?
Wear the right hat when you think through where to take your company next. If you lead with your personal hat, you won’t see what the company needs. When you take care of the company’s needs first, very often your own needs get taken care of in the process.
A leader wears the company hat and puts what’s best for the company ahead of everything else. And that just might mean hiring a star pitcher. Not trying to become what you are not late in the game. Work to your strengths. Wear the right hat.