Today’s post courtesy of the Dave McClure school of vocabulary.
About a month ago I was meeting with a seasoned entrepreneur. After 10 minutes I felt like we were old buddies because we had both been through the trenches of startup tech land and had had similar experiences.
He was recounting one of his higher profile startups to me. He founded the company, raised a bunch of money, built the product and established a good reputation and market position. But five years into it he has brought on a senior management team, had stopped growing at the same meteoric rate and started to lose some enthusiasm.
He said that when talking with the board and with investors he realized that he was no longer visionary in this particular field and certainly no longer passionate about it. It happens. But since he was still the CEO people still always looked for him to set the direction of the company. He was the founder, after all. He realized he needed to leave.
He told me his motto, which is one that I’ve always lived by. He said, “The reason I needed to go was the I believe that you either lead, follow or get the fuck out of the way. I was no longer leading, so I became the problem.”