As an experienced, successful entrepreneur, you know you’re good at what you do, you have a proven track record successfully launching companies.Yet as your company grows and evolves into a major player in the world economy, you may find yourself foundering, and struggling to maintain a desired level of success. Why? It is because, constitutionally, entrepreneurs do not have the experience leading larger, more mature businesses.
Common Reasons Entrepreneurs Struggle at Leading Larger Companies
Entrepreneurs are known for being deeply vested in the companies they start. This relentless passion is great in that it helps them overcome adversity common with launching a business. But once a business has stabilized and entered mature growth phase, that relentless energy can prevent CEOs from making hard decisions necessaryto take the business to the next level. They often become to invested in the initial vision, ignoring the whole picture. The forces that helped launch your company, including your management style, need to evolve as the business grows.
Another factor, which hinders the transition from business owner to great leader, is lack of certain managerial skills. For instance, you may be a passionate, critical thinker with a lot of drive, but you may lack an intuition about how to manage your people to ensure they are working effectively and efficiently to maximize ROI. Most Leaders are not born to be so, but Leaders can be developed.
Still, entrepreneurs maintain certain mindsets – scientists might call them “paradigms” – about how leaders should behave and what they should think about and focus on. Moving to the next level of leadership often requires relinquishing control, which is hard for many entrepreneurs who are self-described “control freaks.”
What you can do to transition into a great leader
If you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur or key leader in a business who’s in the throes of a leadership crisis, consider these strategies:
- Partner with effective managers, coaches and consultants who are strong in areas where you are weak
- Learn and utilize the knowledge they teach to help grow your company
- Engage in constant, never ending business education and self-discovery
- Continually learn and practice the leadership skills you need to see your company succeed.
- Pay attention to what works and what does not, with respect to your leadership skills, and do more of what works.
For a company to sustain growth, the visionary founder and the key leaders must make the transition to skilled leaders. For more information about how to do this, sign up for our newsletter, which offers practical tips for developing your leadership skills to increase your company’s bottom line.