How Many Hats are You Wearing?

By Lakecia Carter, PMP

Someone asked me once, “Do you wear many hats?” Being a PM, I’m sure you can guess that my answer was, “Why, yes!” I explained all the different “hats” and how overwhelming it can be. Wearing many hats or in other words, juggling several areas of responsibility, can be good and bad. The advantages are exposure to variety and growth, which I love. The disadvantage is that we run the risk of being ineffective in our roles. We can stretch ourselves so thin until we burn out completely.

If you wear many hats, here are three ways to keep those hats from tumbling over:

1. Remember you can only wear one hat at a time

This doesn’t mean you can only be good at one thing. It means that whatever hat you are wearing at the time, you need to be your best at it. Being fully present and productive in any aspect of your role requires total focus and discipline.

2. Realize when it’s not your best hat

I have great news – you don’t have to excel in EVERYTHING! Accepting this truth can relieve a load of pressure. Why? Because there is someone else who wears that hat very well. It’s your job to connect with that person. It is not a sign of failure or weakness to delegate to someone else. If you can’t delegate the task, then seek advice and learn how to perform better at it.

3. Change hats frequently because one size does not fit all 

Change is all around us. We have to be prepared to adapt to different people and situations at a moment’s notice. Be sensitive to those dynamics and switch hats depending on the situation at hand. You may even have to toss it if it doesn’t work for you anymore!

Next time you think about all the hats you are wearing, keep in mind that you want to lead effectively. Don’t stretch yourself too thin and most of all put your best hat forward!


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