Your idea is great! Your purpose is awesome! You have strategic outcomes and heart-felt desires! Becoming a founder or head of your own company, it is necessary to be a leader of others.

This concept is simple, the activities to be that leader are not all easy. To be a successful leader in a startup, please consider:

  • Have a plan. This sounds simple, but it’s best to chart your course before heading out on a full-speed adventure.
    • Write down your goals. (SMART Goals: Smart Measurable Action-oriented Relevant/Reasonable Time-sensitive)
      • Create deadline dates / milestones dates.
      • Design activities necessary to achieve goals.
      • Anticipate barriers to overcome on the journey.
      • Recognize who the people are that will help you toward your cause and who might cause resistance to your cause.
    • The culture of the organization will be your competitive advantage. Know your values and build an environment congruent to this perspective.
    • Create job descriptions: Know the top five activities for each position, and where you want the individual to spend 80 percent of their time. Startups need employees who are flexible, reliable, dependable, curious and willing to do the job until it is complete.
  • Hire the right people for the right position.
    • It does matter who you bring into your organization. People are the key to your success.
    • Each hire has a major impact on the culture so ensure you are intentional with each individual, without compromising.
    • Consider psychometric tools, e.g., OAD ( to close the gap in regards to knowing how an individual communicates, what their work styles and motivators are, etc.
    • Don’t get stuck pursuing the absolute right person for the long-term. If you are having challenges finding the appropriate person to get you from Point A to Point D, consider hiring someone that will get you from Point A to Point B and then look for the next right person for the job to get you from Point B to Point C and maybe beyond.
    • Hiring an individual for the wrong reasons will come back to bite you in the arse. When this person ceases contributing at the level of standards enjoyed by others, resentment may seep into their domain and this can spread and infect others. Prevent this epidemic, read:
  • Create a collaborative culture.
    • Meetings are venues for collaboration.
    • Set times for meetings and honor your own timing and that of others.
    • Colaboration leads to brilliant decision making. Operate along the lines of creating: “Meetings That Matter”™:
    • Keep communications open; encourage feedback.

In the leadership role you need to come from a place of “certainty.” Trust those you have put into place to augment your abilities. Remember, great leaders do not make decisions! They create opportunities for their trusted resources to make choices in order to achieve strategic goals and heart-felt desires.

Know your key results, stay focused and keep the organization focused on these results as well. Ensure they’re relevant!

The choice is yours!

Stuart Friedman is president of Progressive Management Associates. He is a business visionary who guides organizations through cultural shifts. He promotes environments that inspire collaboration, transparency in the pursuit of strategic outcomes and heart-felt desires. Reach Stuart via email: