How To Lead A Startup: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

How To Lead A Startup: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

What matters is that employees feel included.

There is no single reason why employees join a specific startup. Motivations can range from the technology vision and track record of the founders to job titles and commute times. And the promise of an equity payday is always a factor.

But regardless of the initial draw, the reason why these employees stay comes down to one thing: how well they understand, contribute to, and feel a part of advancing the vision/mission of the company. That adds up to some interesting initial challenges for startup CEOs.

Be The Decider

There is no single style of leadership that translates into success for CEOs of early-stage companies. Founders can range from transparent to ultrasecretive in personality. Some create perk-rich environments while some go with spartan surroundings. Managementwise, they can be consensus-driven or top-down.

But one of the major predictors of long-term success is how decisions are made and communicated to the company. Not only are these initial decisions critical from a business and technology perspective, they establish a cultural tone at the same time.

Ask any startup employee and he or she will say that they not only want to be involved in these early decisions. More than that, due to their investments in the company—time, reduced salary, quality of life—they feel they deserve to be involved in these decisions.

That poses a conundrum for startup CEOs: Some of the people most valuable to a company in its earliest stages are also the last people you want helping you make business-critical decisions.

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