Ten factors which differentiate the Great Founder from others

I have had the rare privilege to work with many founders – some at the beginning of their journey – and take it from me; it’s not easy being a founder.

They experience more emotional highs and lows in the commercial world than any other group of leaders.

Chief Executives may feel that they carry a huge burden and responsibility with them when asked to lead large corporate organisations, but the pressures involved are different and less.

Compensation packages and notice periods available to the corporate leader cushion the fall for many who fail.

Founders walk the tightrope each and every day of their growth journey, often without a single piece of support to help them should they slip up along the way.

Describing founders as courageous doesn’t begin to do them justice.

Founders are the rarest of rare animals

Founders are the rarest of rare animals in the business jungle. They operate like a hybrid – part hunter, part gatherer, but mostly part survivor.

Survival forms part of their commercial DNA from an early stage on their growth journey.

The need to constantly evolve is a natural and ‘must have’ part of their nature. Change is a constant. Innovation is critical. Flexibility is a given. Multi-skilling is a necessity if survival is to be achieved, particularly in the early days of a fledgling business.

Mistakes are made each and every day of the founders working lives. If they are lucky, the cost of each one will prove to be nothing less than a valuable lesson learned. The financial cost will hopefully be minimal and never drastic enough to affect the desire to deliver their ambitious plans for the business.

Under achievement will culminate in their demise – the equivalent of the business Dodo – an outcome they fear more than anyone else.

However, being a founder has its up side.

It’s also an exciting time for them. Each day involves travelling to the ‘commercial mines’ armed with the tools necessary to seek out clients for their products and services. The ‘opportunity’ drives them forward. Their pioneering approach enables them to stake their claim in their chosen marketplace.

The penalties for failure can be brutal, but the prizes on offer for those who make it on the business growth journey are enormous.

Success on the journey brings riches beyond the wildest dreams of even the most ambitious founder.

The mark of a great founder

Like any other type of business professional operating in the workplace, great founders exist and differentiate themselves from other founders.

The knowledge gained on the growth journey and the lessons learned along the way enable great founders – at the appropriate time – to pass on their wisdom and experience to others. This is important if they wish to see their business continue to grow and prosper.

Many founders realise this, but sadly it’s often too late to use their experience in a positive manner on the journey. Great founders on the other hand, realise the importance of transferring wisdom quicker than others.

There are many other factors which separate great founders from other founders. These include the following:

  1.  Great founders play to their strengths and surround themselves with talented people with skills and expertise they don’t possess
  2.  Great founders know when to hand the baton onto others with the talent to take their business to the next level of growth
  3.  Great founders have a sense of purpose and meaning which enables them to change and make changes on the business growth journey
  4.  Great founders never compromise on the unique spirit that inspired the people in their company in the early days of their journey
  5.  Great founders have the ability to inspire others to join them on what may appear to many to be an impossibly challenging and difficult journey
  6.  Great Founders are able to remain focused on the ‘bigger picture’ whilst staying close to the day-to-day operational requirements of the organisation
  7.  Great Founders have a sixth sense of what is right and wrong for the company at any time on the journey
  8.  Great founders are accessible to everyone connected to their company
  9.  Great founders are modest about their contribution towards the success of their company
  10.  Great founders understand when to let go and when to say no


Working with a great founder is an extremely rewarding experience for everyone connected with the business.

Great founders are generous individuals. They respect the contribution and sacrifices made on behalf of their company. Reward plays an important part in the way they recognise performance and loyalty in the workplace.

Being part of a growing business led by a great founder is a unique adventure enjoyed by very few individuals. If you currently work with a great founder be thankful.

Working with a great founder will change your life for the better.

Best wishes on your business growth journey, wherever it may take you.

John Stein – Founder of the winning (formula)®


Tags: , , ,

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 10th, 2013 at 2:42 pm and is filed under Great Founders, Leadership Development, The Business Growth Journey. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply