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.