The very best managers manage themselves out of a job. It’s the best way to build organizations and the ability to build an organization is the measure of the manager.
When a company is small, everyone must be a generalist. As the company’s needs grow, founders are spread thinner and thinner. First software development scope grows. Then the company must recruit new hires. Someone, typically the CEO, allocates more time to recruit and interview, replacing the CEO’s role in software development.
Next, the CEO manages product but as the engineering organization grows and the CEO faces other responsibilities like marketing, fund raising, PR, or business development. So it’s time to start building the product team and the marketing team. And so on and so on.
Each department begins with a seed – the founders, the first marketer, the first sales person, the first product manager. This person must then grow the organization in the same way as the CEO started it – by managing themselves out of their job.
At each step, a great manager performs a role for a short period of time, understands the work involved, develops the recruiting criteria for his/her replacement, ideally finds that replacement and then moves onto something else. This is the way to build high performance teams.