Full Stack Employee: The 3 Hats

Christian Genco at MicroConf this year described a mental model he uses to compartmentalize when he is in different modes of thought. He called it The 3 Hats where he divides his time between: CEO, Manager, and Worker. This is my interpretation of his system.


Primary question: What is our purpose/vision?
Primary focus: Intention

  • Reading
  • Blogging, emailing, writing
  • Networking, outreach
  • Vision and direction
  • Long term strategy
  • Entrepreneur


Primary question: What do we do now to get to that vision?
Primary focus: Planning

  • Delegation
  • Define what needs to be done
  • Prioritizing
  • Hiring
  • Organizing
  • Turns vision into action plan
  • Long and short term thinking
  • Tactical


Primary question: How do I get it done right now?
Primary focus: Action

  • Get stuff done
  • Just go down the task list
  • Coding
  • ACT! DO!
  • Hyper focused on the here and now

A great takeaway from this was that if you’re able to effectively split these roles, you’ve structured a workflow in which you can outsource each part when needed. That is, if you’ve built a system where the Worker is structurally independent, you can theoretically hire a virtual assistant to do that work with a little guidance.