Start-ups and Small Organizatons

I remember reading somewhere that stated one shouldn’t work for a start-up unless a part of the founding team.

It is a golden rule to follow. I would stretch it to include small organizations that have yet to transform into a process-driven structure. The biggest thing going for a small, growing entity is the constant state of excitement and challenges employees get to be a part of. The challenges are enjoyable as long as they have a fair degree of control over tackling them and tapping new opportunities.

The biggest leap of faith for the founders to cross is the art of delegation. Depending on how small or large is the power of delegation, employees will tend to be either inefficiently used or lack direction. This is, in my view, the most difficult and critical leadership skill. It is what separates the great, big organizations from the myriad number of small and medium-sized entities.

Before the founders reach this part of the curve, the tendency is for decisions, strategic and operational, to be taken by a set of individuals, arbitrarily and informally. Without a set process, there is redundancy with the group having to decide on similar points repeatedly. If the organization is lean, this can still be managed. But, once it grows beyond a critical mass, the employees further down the organizational chain leave decisions to higher-ups and/or are left confused on the organizational growth path. This structure also breeds sycophancy of types subtle to the obvious since decision centers are individualized rather than consensus-based.

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Start-ups and Small Organizatons

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