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From Founder to CEO

You took the decision to quit your full time corporate job to become your own boss.  To make this life changing plan, you probably had an entrepreneurial sprit that was restrained in your salaried job - you took the risk and it worked out!

Today you are now a business owner, taking the new company from an employee of one (you) working out of your spare room or a corner reclaimed in your bedroom and now have grown the Company to include employees, an office, clients, a P&L, VAT returns and a whole heap of additional responsibilities. 

Congratulations, you have succeeded where many have failed.  The challenges do not stop here though.  You are now at the helm of a growing business and quickly approaching a crossroads. At some point in the not too distant future, your business will become too big and will require you to rethink how you direct the Company.

Your leadership style will need to change to keep growing the Company, you can no longer manager the team as a Founder, working in the business by getting hands deep into the day to day work.  You now need to step back, take a breath and start leading the Company onto your intended vision.

But how do you do this? 

If you want to see your Company move from a growing start-up to a professionally managed Company, prepare yourself for a second - equally important, and a potentially more challenging transformation, is your own transition from the Founder into a Company Leader.

We are delighted to launch our mini Podcast series  that gives many suggestions and ideas along with show notes and downloadable tools.  Each podcast lasts no longer than 15 minutes, breaking down how to grow and scale both yourself and your Company. 

To give you a small taster of the Podcast contents, here are some pointers on how to make the transition from Founder to CEO:

  1. Let go of your ego

It’s natural that you will feel protective of your Company, it’s your baby after all. However, ego can be the downfall of many Founder.

Ego will either strangle your Company growth as you feel that you are the only one that can do the job right so you over stretch yourself holding the Company back at the same time – or ego can cause you to over employ headcount, as a team sitting outside your office door is highly important to you and your ego to show you made it, potentially overstretching the Company finances.

Let your ego go, employ the right team and share your knowledge by training them and enabling them to take on responsibility.

  1. Stop micromanaging.

 
A huge mistake Leaders make is micromanaging, hovering over the shoulder of the team member tasked with the job, waiting for them to make a mistake so that you can point them in the direction you would have taken.

Once you’ve delegated a task, don’t snoop over your Employee’s shoulder as they’re working on it. Set clear expectations for how the results will look and a concrete deadline, steer ad guide to get them to the end result.

  1. Give praise and recognition.

When an employee does well, praise them for it. Give credit where credit is due. This will create a positive and productive work environment where employees feel valued and motivated to produce good work.

However, remember to deal with non-performance when it first appears.  If you have hired correctly, stopping a mistake at the beginning gets the Employee back on track, saving you having to take a harder decision further down the line and potentially having to rehire. 

  1. A leadership style for each situation

 
Leaders that don’t make it are the ones that do not adapt their leadership style to suit the needs of the followers they are trying to influence.  To be a great Leader, you need to adapt your leadership style based on the readiness level of the person you are trying to influence. 

You may have the position power within the Company to get things moving, just by being the person in change makes things happen when you ask, however how you ask and how you detail the task in the first place is important.

Delegation is important in your transition from Founder to CEO, however delegation is not abdication.  Some team members will easily understand what is required of them and how, others will need more support and help to achieve in the first instance.

You as the leader need to recognise the situation and how you need to adapt your style to accommodate the employees needs.

We hope you enjoy listening to the Podcasts.  Please let us know your thoughts and comments.

 Click Here to Listen to the Podcast Series

 

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Claire Donnelly

Written by Claire Donnelly

A Business Growth and HR Strategist helping medium size companies to Scale Up using proven systems. Claire is an MCIPD qualified Human Resource professional, with 25+ years’ experience working within various industries and 10 + years’ experience of HR practices throughout the Middle East. As a HR Generalist she has held a number of senior and Board level HR positions. She is experienced in working at both strategic and tactical levels.

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