Is it hard to delegate as a startup CEO? Great question, Alison. There are many different types of founder CEOs and for some of us, it's nearly impossible. We hear about the outliers, like Steve Jobs, who found success and maintained obsessive control. My experience is that successful startups require exceptional teams chockful of A-players. The best team players tend not to last long in startups where they feel micromanaged. And if you cannot retain and challenge top talent, your startup is likely to sputter out. (For more on this, see Dan Weinfurter's new book "Second Stage Entrepreneurship: 10 Proven Strategies for Driving Aggressive Growth.")
That said, many other founder CEOs are quick to delegate and share responsibility. I fall into this camp. I learned early on thanks to my struggle with ADHD and dyslexic that I need to work through other people to succeed. For example, if it wasn't for my friend David Amos in middle and high school, I would have never been able to access my locker. He memorized my countless combinations over the years and kindly made sure I could get my books. That was a huge lesson for me. I realized that the world is full of helpers if you are kind and willing to ask for help.
At the end of the day, my success has been the direct result of an amazing assortment of very talented people who have felt compelled to help me make my various visions a reality. I owe them everything.