I have taken some time to write this post because I did not want to write it with anger or disappointment. I need to let it sit and marinate and be able to extract the lessons from it.
I had the opportunity to be absorbed by an organisation last year. It was a big blessing because it found me when I was completely lost and had no more moves when it came to Inteco. The opportunity to be in a room with like minded women been exposed to knowledge was a no brainer. I was beyond grateful and ready to get on with it. The opportunity came with many other opportunities. I was exposed to different ideas I had never explored before. I met many people who in turn propelled me further than I could have ever possibly imagined. I remember my time there with fondness.
However, the best and fastest way to learn is from other people’s mistakes. As much as there were positive interactions I also extracted lessons from the negative ones. The biggest one is the importance of having a vision monitor or vision bearer in the organisation. As a founder I am very well aware that the hats I am wearing now will be delegated to others in the future and soon I will have to let go for the business to grow. All I will be to Inteco is a founder.
I loved the idea of letting go and starting a new business venture. Letting somebody propel the business beyond what I had imagined. However, now it seems a little bit naive. The venture that you start is your child. You hold the vision of this venture and you are the only one who can see the potential of it. It is up to you to communicate that vision to your team. Most importantly it is up to you to guard your vision.
There are many organisations I have interacted with that have had a problem with the founder not been there thus, someone coming in and crapping all over the vision. There are no systems in place to check that what it is that you as the founder wanted the business to do and to achieve is actually been done. The way many founders transitioned was running out of the door never to be seen again leaving power to one person without any accountability what’s so ever.
As a result, your beloved organisation can fail to serve the people you aimed to serve. It will leave a wake of disgruntled consumers who will never interact with your organisation again. In addition, they will carry their negativity and spread to whomever cares to listen. An angry consumer is a dangerous one. Lack of a vision protector can lead to a toxic work environment where people are selfish and paranoid. It will fester a sick environment where employees will just be coming to work to pass the motions and not be your brand ambassadors.
As a young founder, I have dreamed of every aspect of the business how I want employees to interact. What impact I want to make. The business models. The type of marketing I want to engage. Everything has a vision. For someone to come in and dilute or worse tarnish that vision is scary. No matter if you leave and never look back you will always be known as the founder. It is your name that is attached to that venture. That is why you must have in place systems in which you can monitor the vision you had for the company.
Apart form the founder I will always be the vision protector.