The role of the CTO isn’t necessarily to be the all-knowing programmer. Instead, it’s up to the CTO to make sure that the product is built in the right way.
This means there’s less coding and more designing, documenting, and communicating. All those require a great deal of knowledge, but also a good understanding of business goals and other concepts most programmers would much rather leave behind.
As a technical founder who has built whole systems on his own, I can tell you that having the most skilled programmers isn’t just helpful. I’d rather say it’s a requirement for any product to succeed.
A snowball effect
As a founder, your job is to hire smart people who can “take over” many responsibilities. The ones that you had in the very early days. Ideally, those people should be even smarter than you. That’s what you naturally want for the growth of the company you co-founded. The most qualified people doing an incredible job and educating You – at times. The most important thing about picking new employees for your team is to keep in mind that they should be experts in different areas and complement each other’s skills. At some point, all managers should understand that it takes a whole village to raise a child. Or in this case – a successful project or product. That’s why each member of our team should have unique knowledge that inspires others.
As we are experts in different fields with shared goals, we are able to think creatively and make brainstorming more effective. That’s what I call a snowball effect — every person contributes to the idea and a solid fundament is built. At the same time, there is a great possibility that one person could never get the same idea without colleagues help. Once again — teamwork makes the dream work!
That’s why I always look for experts. In the IT industry, innovative approach and continuous development are key. Mainly due to changing technologies, but also a fast-growing business area, which needs change as it grows. Skilled employees are extremely valuable because they enable continuous development and they have a much more creative approach to work. This approach also applies to crisis situations, in which the more schematic or narrow-minded employees simply get lost.
At the very beginning of your business journey, you should realize that you can’t control everything. If you have everything under control and you’re able to personally monitor, even the smallest processes that take place, it probably means that your company is not developing fast enough. The turning point in management is often when the manager states that he would do everything better … but he doesn’t have time. It is a signal that you need to rethink the issue of micromanagement and find employees who fill your gaps. Not only when it comes to time, but also knowledge. After all, even the greatest minds, have their limits.
Very often problems with delegating come from the fact that employees’ autonomy, especially when you’re taking your first steps in business, seem frightening and risky.
However, can you imagine hiring programmers weaker than you on purpose? Just to make sure you, the CEO, stay the best programmer in the room? They’re going to suck up a lot of your time because they will need your constant support and supervision. They will cause problems that you will have to fix and that’s because this will be more natural for them to look for help outside than to find a creative solution themselves. So instead of getting help, it will drag down your ability to be productive.
Hiring people who are smarter than you means that work can be confidently delegated over time. So you can focus on the important stuff — growing your business
The team of independent employees who do not need constant supervision is worth its weight in gold. One of the biggest successes of my company was the moment in which we created autonomous teams that can build a solution themselves from the beginning to the end. Each team, besides developers, includes a dedicated Product Owner, who is a link between the team and the client. Having such team, I can be sure that there is a specialist who will take care of the software at every stage of its development. At the same time, thanks to the fact that everyone works as a team, they can quickly and effectively communicate with each other and create consistent products.
The strength of such groups is that they organize their work themselves. Set tasks, estimate the time needed for completing them and make decisions in crisis situations, even when the manager is not around. Even though they’re building solutions on their own, the values that drive them are the ones they took over from you. So all their work, including the final result, represents everything that’s important for you.
That’s what being a good leader is all about. You don’t need to know everything about everything. You just have to find the right people to do the right job.
Originally published on http://mamstartup.pl/zespol/10551/zatrudniaj-lepszych-od-siebie-bo-tylko-to-ma-sens