Hey Growth CEO, “Amazon Your Own Nut Bag”!

What kind of growth CEO leader are you today AND tomorrow?

Determining your leadership style is one of the most difficult aspects to manage. This issue is exacerbated as your company grows as your leadership style morphs with the changing needs of your company and your companies support network.

As an example, you usually start with a high-touch persona when your staff is 5-15 people.  Everyone knows each other and you know much about each employee. Not so much when you are managing a 200+ staff. One of the risks as you redefine how you lead is that you allow some negative indulgences to creep into your leadership personality.

When do you know that you – as a growth CEO leader – have jumped the shark?

Leadership is a fickle beast that has many variables including:

  • your personality
  • the type of company
  • whether you have co-founders or are a single founder
  • investors and a board of directors
  • the stage of your company
  • the industry that you operate in
  • the local “norms”.

One story I heard recently, really captures how far your leadership style can drift. In this company, they always had mixed nuts (as well as water, coffee, snack bars, etc.) as part of their offerings for the staff. Turns out the CEO hated a certain type of nut and would spend some time separating the bad nut from the rest of the mix.

As the company grew and the pressures on his time increased, he appropriately began to delegate tasks to his direct staff. Unfortunately, he decided to delegate separating the bad nut from the mixed nut and this was apparent for all to see.

In my mind his leadership style jumped the shark. This task sends a very bad message to everyone in the company; that he is so important that he cannot spend even a few minutes to separate the nuts. Think of the precedent that sets and the ripple effect for how other staff delegate tasks.

My simple response to him would have been, “hey dude – Amazon your own nut bag”!

 

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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