How often has “If I were President of the United States” run through your head? Don’t be concerned; it’s a rhetorical question as I suspect the answer is “frequently.” No one would probably want to elect me as President as I would institute an attack-hug approach to conflicts. I’m convinced that the world simply needs more love to solve problems. And I’m probably right, but attacking people with hugs is hardly the solution. I doubt Putin would be so agreeable to my smothering his country with affection. Luckily, I would have my inner circle to convince me that it is not the best strategy.
Ah, the inner circle. The most trusted advisors of the President; the ones who influence, support, state the (actual) truth. They are those that were selected because of their reliability, integrity, and commitment. Banding together to fight the most evil of foes, the ones that “no single superhero can withstand!” Wait…that’s the Avengers not the President’s cabinet.
Alas, this is not a superhero world we live in. You are the President of your life, and likely your business. Remember that. You are solely responsible for the decisions to be made concerning your company.
You are Captain America.
Before you break out your shield and start getting heroic, remember that even Captain America needs some close confidants to keep him in check. But where is the balance? Are you a part of The Avengers or aren’t you?
You’ve started your business on your own idea, with your own work ethic, with your own funds and time. To avoid becoming completely exhausted it is necessary to develop a core group of people that you can trust and bounce ideas off of. Making every decision by yourself will hinder your growth as a company. It will be a hard task to allow some of the control of your business to go to others, but it is a necessity. Think of a company that you admire or want to model your business after. Most likely they have an inner circle of department heads – sales, marketing, operations, human resources, general counsel. These representatives are what will make you strong and further your potential. As for prioritizing which of these you hire first, it depends on your own strengths and what you want to outsource.
Coming from a human resources background I suggest starting with hiring an HR/Legal representative, as they will keep you out of trouble. They will create the legal and personnel contracts, tax filings, and offer solid advice. Next, I would suggest an operations person to keep things organized, documented, and functioning smoothly. This recommendation is based on the assumption that as an entrepreneur, you are most skilled in sales and marketing.
As a leader, you are only as strong as your team. Allow your limitations to be someone else’s strengths. Figure out what your personal skill set is, and select your inner circle from there. Per the White House, “the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.”
So, Captain America, I challenge you to be like the President of the United States. You are the decision maker but make sure you have your cabinet – The Avengers.