21 Nov TURNING FOUNDERS INTO CEOS
I provide executive leadership services for many vibrant, growing companies in the Southern California area. As many of these companies are still in development their primary leadership positions are held by the founder or founders of the company. It just makes sense. If it’s your idea and you’re building the business, you want to be in a leadership position and see the results of your creativity, equity and hard work.
The problem is that many founders are entirely unprepared to function as CEOs, a role which they in many cases assume. I often find that these companies have skyrocketing growth but their founders are not really well trained in the functions of a CEO. Further complicating this picture is the fact that many young, growing companies do not have a mid-management level in place so this produces a situation in which the founder is working in areas he or she should not be working in as the CEO.
Most of all it comes down to effective training and the limits of control. Most founders can be effectively trained to understand the role of a CEO and to begin to function in that capacity, looking at the big picture issues of their company effectively while allowing others who are specifically trained, experienced and credentialed to work in other capacities in their company. Founder CEOs whose company was their brain child also need effective coaching to allow them to relinquish control to other trained professionals so that the company’s organization and structural systems can grow and develop in concert with the company’s financial growth and scalability.
This sounds easy but it’s actually a very complex executive leadership function and is critical to the healthy development of these young and exciting companies.