How To Build A Great Relationship With Your Founder 

Apr 11, 2024 | Blogs

Integrators/COOs, working with your founder is probably the biggest challenge of your role. 

Founders, you can be a serious challenge to manage and leverage. 

If you’re a founder or entrepreneur, pass this to your leadership team, especially your COO.  

It’s a statement of fact that the relationship between the team and the founder is fundamental to achieving shared goals and driving growth. The COO/Integrator sits in the middle as the Governor of Chaos if you will – the Chief Executer, the Manager Of All Energies. 


Here’s how to make it work: 


Embrace the Founder’s Vision 

Every successful business venture starts with a vision. Understand and align yourself with the founder’s vision for the company. Immerse yourself in their aspirations, values, and long-term goals. Ask questions. Get into the details of it. Feel it. Feel how it interlaces with your personal vision and mission. Find your place within it.   


Communicate Openly and Transparently 

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship. Foster an environment of open dialogue and transparency with your founder. Regularly share updates, insights, and challenges, and invite feedback and guidance. Don’t go into too much detail, they’ll probably hate it and won’t understand it anyway. Be prepared to fight the corner of a case or of a fact when they do need to hear it, however.  


Demonstrate Ownership and Accountability 

Take ownership of your responsibilities and hold yourself fully accountable for your actions. The level of commitment needs to be ‘all-in’ ‘ride or die’ level, fully taking on the outcomes of what you’re doing. Nothing will annoy your founder more than excuses. Come with solutions and what you need to be able to deliver on objectives instead.   


Cultivate Trust and Mutual Respect 

Cultivate trust and mutual respect with your founder through integrity, reliability, and professionalism. They’ve given you their baby to hold, that’s tough. They’re watching to see if you hold it carefully, like you would your own. Be the one they can always rely on, the one they can come to.  


Support the Founder’s Leadership 

Respect the founder’s leadership and decision-making authority always. Recognize the founder’s expertise and experience, and leverage their guidance to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Never ever allow a situation where a team member gets a no from them and then comes to you to seek a different answer. It is always one answer.  


Ready to Win? 

Get this right and approach the rest of your organisation with the same attitude and your results will be astounding. This is about changing the culture of business and building something radical.