top of page
  • Writer's pictureBenjamin

𝗔𝗺 𝗜 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗢𝗯𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗰𝗹𝗲?

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

Across diverse company industries, sizes, and cultures, one question always proves integral to a founder's success:

Will you do whatever it takes to grow, even changing your role and responsibilities substantially?

Founders who pursue an idea from scratch and turn it into a substantial company have already demonstrated admirable levels of tenacity and control over their environment. However, during the scaling process, those same skills can become detrimental, as a growing company requires a different type of leader.

I once worked at a startup where the founders often expressed frustration at shifting their responsibilities as the business doubled its revenues annually. However, they recognized that the company's needs took precedence.

Three years later, it was bought by First Data Corp, a fantastic exit for them.

This post will examine the signs that change may be needed and potential steps to reach the next level. Let's grow!

Signs of Trouble

The following observations may indicate that you need to change for the company to grow.

Plateau. Revenues, customers, and/or markets are not growing like before.

Lack of feedback. Leaders fail to seek input and ideas from the team, customers, and other stakeholders.

Lack of senior hires. The founders don’t hire people with strong experience or opinions.

Unwilling to take risks. The company stays with existing strategies rather than trying new approaches, even when metrics indicate a slowdown.

If you see these signs and desire change, consider ways to evolve.

Ways to Move Forward

Vision. Recognize that your role is part of something bigger.

A clear, future destination can push you beyond ego and fear to move forward the same way that looking at a point ahead allows you to balance on a beam.

Support. Surround yourself with people who complement any weaknesses in organization, management, strategy, etc.

Find mentors and advisors who will push you to do better. Ask them about the best ways to reach the next level.

Delegate. Encourage employees to make an impact. Focus on measurable objectives rather than dictating how they should work.

“When you become a leader, success is about growing others."

- Jack Welch

Simultaneously, it's incredibly hard to let go of what you birthed. If your ultimate goal is the future, invest in your team. Support the team, especially during their mistakes. Setbacks can make everyone stronger and better prepared for the future.

To optimize performance, ensure clear connections between business goals, team initiatives, and individual performance so everyone's work impacts company outcomes.

Growth Mindset. Recognize that skills can be developed and improved over time, making you less constrained to holding onto a particular role.*

Many founders taker adopt contributor, strategic, or board roles that they enjoy and that enable the company to continue growing.

If you believe that the company’s vision and growth supersede your role, consider how you may need to evolve as a leader.


* Learn more about Growth Mindset here

𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗲: 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗸 offers over 130 independent articles across 500 pages including leadership, growth, sales, marketing, operations, finance, and teams. In just five minutes, learn the best methods and practical options to activate your dreams.

Find our recent newsletter, featuring “Candor Creates Business Value” and “Lack of Control” here:

308 views0 comments


bottom of page