The most productive time is always at the start. The idea is fresh and the energy is there to do whatever it takes to find success. This is where you see the famous picture of the Founder selling the first big deal or installing the first product. They sleep on the couches in the office and do whatever is needed to build success.
The Pied Pipers
As the company grows and there is time for the Founder to step away from the 24/7 execution, they have time to return to what got them started in the first place. They capitalize on their knowledge, explore new avenues and spread passion around the organization. I think of these founders as the Pied Pipers of their teams. As an early employee you want to be around them, you are motivated by their knowledge and line up to follow wherever they plan to go.
This is the phase referred to as “Founder’s Syndrome” and where I raise the question. What if we used this point in the lifecycle to not take away from the Founder’s mentality but take that knowledge and experience into the organization’s next step?
There comes a time when the founder gets so tied up in the day-to-day that they become a manager. Often it’s running sales or R&D and time is spent tactically removed from continuing to develop new ideas. As the founder is buried in the tasks of being a manager, it often kills the entrepreneurial spirit. When you reach this point in the Founder’s lifecycle, this would be a good time to reset and take the next step.
I believe what drives these individuals is their entrepreneurial spirit and passion for innovation so what if we directed that back into the growth of the business. Give them the encouragement to step away from the day to day decisions and drive the next big initiative forward.