The question of what qualities makes a good Founder has risen a few times. They need to be passionate, courageous, persistant, creative and be willing to adopt as they grow their business.
In our group conversation the discussion was what is a Founder and what roles do they play? A variety of Founders play different roles. In a group, a business and non-profits. What kind of culture do they create. If it’s not one that is co-operative, collaborative, positive, warm, then they can be a liability. This is when they are kicked out of the company or asked to leave. Even a parent’s role is to prepare their children so they can fly on their own.
A Founder needs to sail the business, nothing really is a direct route, there are zig zags, other options that pop up, as they say now “pivot” the direction it’s going. You may find partners along the way. For the last couple of months I’ve been focused on finding a co-founder or partner, after my advisory meeting today – my team asked me just to trust myself that I have enough information..let’s get a crowdfunding campaign going. As another friend pointed out to me, don’t worry about finding a partner one may come along as you raise the money for the kitchen. What I also realized if I don’t continue to be the leader with the vision and passion then there will be those people who will say..she couldn’t do it.
After a Founder leaves, the vision may be modified .. some Founders adapt or develop what they call a Founder’s Syndrome. According to Carter McNamara, he finds it’s more typical in smaller companies.
If a Founder has a plan or exit strategy for the company 1st, they are less likely to have a Founders syndrome. They need to be willing to let go and let someone else move the organization in the direction for the betterment of all.
1. It may be that the founder’s greatest gift is converting a dream to reality by inspiring others with the ability to keep the dream real (and they will have their dreams, too!).
2. The best thing for him or her may be to leave the organization once that dream is real, when the dream evolves an organization that others should take forward.
3. No great leader leaves without ensuring their organization survives their leaving.
4. A sound transition plan, mutually developed with Board and staff, ensures the organization is passed on to capable hands.
5. Hopefully, the founder stays and goes on to see the organization become a stable and well-respected organization — an organization with a resilient and far-sighted leader who embraces change, most importantly, knows how to manage it.
Read more about the Founders Syndrome Here is a whole library of information for businesses and nonprofits.