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Outlier’s Path

Creating Yourself Continuously

Last week’s post about the Roles of a Founder, which spans being a creator, an operator, a manager, and a leader, received a lot of engagement. Some founders mentioned that they rotate through those roles and then rinse and repeat. Some said they actively put on different hats depending on which meetings they attend:

  • Creator in a new product brainstorming session.
  • Operator in a weekly business review.
  • Manager developing team members in one-on-ones.
  • Leader in setting culture and direction in all hands.

Some noted that they found the zone where they are most productive and have hired others for the other roles. Some of my partners noted the many founders growing and evolving in the four distinct roles.

The responses to the post remind me of a Richard Feynman quote or tweet, “You’re under no obligation to remain the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.” Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter wrote, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” which is also catchy, but the title is not as descriptive of what you need to do, which is to “create yourself, continuously.”

Both quotes remind us that the only way to grow our companies is by growing ourselves or creating ourselves, which involves an ongoing journey by embracing change, adapting to new circumstances, asking for feedback, learning new skills, trying new ideas, and developing new strategies that have yet to be perfected. Feynman’s words remind us that we have agency over how we want to transform ourselves over time, and that changed person can vastly differ from who we were a year ago or even yesterday.

In a world of accelerating change, how will you create yourself continuously?