No two companies ever start in the exact same way. Founder experience levels vary; skills vary; team size varies; initial capital can range widely.
In my years founding and growing businesses, I’ve learned to avoid being overly rigid when establishing roles at company inception. I know the things that matter most to me — leadership, ownership structure and culture — and they’re top of mind at any stage. At the same time, forcing things too early can end up limiting the company’s potential.
After all, leaders emerge over time, structure takes shape as the team grows and culture emerges as people find their identity as a team.
The Little League Startup Team
I often liken our early days at Built as those of a youth soccer team. Everyone did the same thing — chased the same ball around the yard.
And it worked. It needed to work. We were too young to do anything else, our talents weren’t yet fully discovered and we hadn’t yet learned all the rules of the game.
Over time, things started to happen. Chase Gilbert emerged as a leader, with a vision toward of the future of the industry and our team. Andrew Sohr found his role interacting with prospect and partners, and is leading us to great things in that arena. Others found what they were great at. I was able to step in as coach and lead.
Our team is also expanding, with talented individuals who have filled in where our early team had weaknesses. As people discover what they’re great at, they can leave the other work behind and produce even greater results.
Making a Run at the Championship
Forming a top-performing team that focuses on individual strengths is just the start of your ascent to the top. As you get people in the right places, leadership and culture start to make the difference.
Are your CEO, leadership team or board setting the right strategy for growth and success?
Is everyone on your team moving in the same direction? Are they incentivized properly to stay committed for the long-term?
Once you start answering ‘yes’ to all of these, you’ll be ready to make your run.