From Founder to Leader

This article discusses how founders become leaders. They actually talk about the warning signs of being stuck in ‘founder-mode’ and not moving to ‘leadership-mode.’ Here are the ten signs:

  1. You’re holding on too tightly.
  2. You’re keeping stuff in your head.
  3. You’re spending too much time in the weeds.
  4. You’re hiring fans.
  5. You’re not building a team.
  6. You’re not listening.
  7. You’re not focusing on the customer.
  8. You’re building a culture by default and not by design.
  9. You’re avoiding some tough calls.
  10. You’re not managing your energy well.

To become a true leader, make sure that:

  1. You’re creating a compelling vision of the future. You’re telling the story of where the company is going and why it’s going there. You’re being clear about outcomes and how you’ll measure success along the way and at the end.
  2. You’re aligning thought and action. People know the strategy and plan to realize the vision. Everyone knows their role and responsibility. Actions are coordinated and people know who’s doing what, and by when. You’re establishing a common language and process tool kit embedded with leaders at every level to ensure consistency in execution.
  3. You’re growing leaders at every level (including yourself). As you scale you will need leaders everywhere who are agile and adaptable. In addition to driving business results you are making time to ensure each team and each individual are doing their own work of personal and professional development.

I expect that this may resonate with many in our community as SIs are often founded by technical entrepreneurs who struggle with this transition. If you find that you are in this mode, feel free to contact Exotek. We’re here to listen and help.

September 19, 2023