Management and Vision

Management is a skill and it doesn’t always coincide with being a visionary.  It is super hard to separate both when visionary skills are the beginnings of a start-up.

This past week I was in a board meeting where the founder had both.  She has built a company with an incredible culture.  Many of the employees have been there since 2015.  They love the company and they obviously feel connected to the culture as the company continues to grow.

There are two things that struck me that I am starting to see from founders.  One is more self-awareness.  She brought on an incredible female COO who is taking over a lot of the management issues so she can be out there in the world talking about the company and the vision.  Having a solid number two can make all the difference.  Knowing you need one is even better.

The second thing was the type of company she wanted (including her co-founder) was important from day one.  One that is truly diverse.  When the Chief Product officer presented we saw the work org chart with photos of each employee.  I had them pause and look at the photos.  The last two programmers they hired were women.  There were 12 people on the product team’s chart and a myriad of faces.  They have worked hard at that and this diverse foundation is built throughout the company.  They will continue to hire making a conscious effort to ensure diversity in the company.

The success of companies is sometimes just a perfect storm.  Having a leader who understands management, aka culture and treating people with respect and helping them grow as individuals is so important while being a visionary at the same time is just not the norm.

I am going to steal a line from my daughter’s weekly posts playbook which is revealing the company (restaurant in her case) at the end of the post.  The company here that I am proud to be part of is Sweeten.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Deirdre

    I love this post. I am excited to check out Sweeten. It sounds as if the team is on the right track. Love it! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Pranay Srinivasan


  3. lisa hickey

    I love this! It occurs to me as I read this that management is the ability to put in place a tangible structure to support both your vision and the economic sustainability of the business for the long haul. Both are different skills and not often intuitive to people. Being both a dreamer and a doer is the mark of an awesome leader.

  4. JLM

    .Since time immemorial, leadership and management have been different things.Leaders provide the vision and set the destination. They take groups of people to places they would never contemplate left to their own devices.Leaders values inoculate the organization and are the seed corn for the company’s culture.Managers oversee resource allocation. They ensure the journey is comfortable and under control at all times.Eventually, the culture belongs to the company and is energized by the entire enterprise.No leader in the startup world has the luxury of being solely a leader, a visionary. It is a constant changing of hats until the organization is big enough to be able to afford a COO.This generation did not invent sex, leadership, management, or culture.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  5. Howard

    It’s not a coincidence that women-run businesses are more successful when they also have women investors and board members. Thanks for being a big part of Sweeten’s story, Joanne!!

    1. Gotham Gal