Because you are reading The First Year, you are probably in the early stages of starting a business. At the moment, your company is all you think about, and the company is all about you. It is worth noting, even now, that as your business grows your role will need to change over time. Brad Feld wrote Company Stages – Revisited some months back, but I just came across it. In it he relates the basic stages of a business as described by Barry Culman, President of Spacial Data Analytics Corp. The names of the stages correspond to human development stages — birth, teenager, young adult, adult and senior citizen. And in each stage the leader’s role is different.
- Birth – Leader is the core driver of revenue.
- Teenager – Leader comes “in-house”.
- Young Adult – Leader is an evangelist.
- Adult – Leader deals with external forces.
- Senior Citizen – Death or rebirth.
Of course, that final stage is a long way off for you today. But the point is, you will need to recognize when your company is entering the next stage and adjust your role accordingly. (Or if you don’t want that next role, look for a successor and start planning what else you will do next.)