Let’s talk about your founder type. There are various types of founders, and some are better than others at taking this amazing idea of impact and improvement for their customers and sharing that idea in such a way that everyone feels connected to it, owns it, and feels like they are a part of that impact when they work for you. Other founders aren’t great at it but still find a way to make it work.
Steven Gray, Andrew Knight, and Markus Baer got together and wrote an article about startup founder types in Harvard Business Review and I want to share those with you.
- The delegator. This person doesn’t just try to get information out of their teams about how to get the work done, but on all of the pieces of the business, the moving parts, the whole landscape, etc. This increases buy-in and ownership. The problem with this founder is they don’t clearly draw the lines around what is and what isn’t up for debate.
- The dictator. There is clear ownership of an idea and the leader paints the picture of what the business or project should look like. Ambiguity is reduced and then everyone has to now focus on making that vision come to life. On the other hand, there is less room to influence that vision or direction.
- The designator. This is the perfect balance between the previous two. They define what can be up for discussion and what is off limits and has already been determined.
Now look within yourself. What type of founder are you? Do you allow everything to be discussed, potentially causing delays, do you allow minimal input and increased production but then potentially creating less ownership, or do you balance the two? There is no wrong answer, you simply need to be aware of how you lead. If you like the idea of being the designator more than where you are sitting today, then make the change. Decide what is established vs. what can be discussed in your business, share it with your team, and start driving that change.