Recently caught this nugget of management goodness on Jessica Livingston’s blog:
Be able to evolve into a manager
Early on, starting a startup is all about the product. But that changes when a startup gets really big. A founder who wants to keep running the company has to become a manager. You don’t need to have management ability initially. There’s plenty of empirical evidence to show that you can learn this on the job. But you do have to be able to learn it. You probably even have to like it.
Designing cool products and managing people are very different things. Most people who like building things dislike the idea of being a manager. It’s a rare person who can be great at both. But you have to be to create one of the really big startups.
—Jessica is a cofounder and partner at Y Combinator. She is also the organizer of Startup School, the big annual startup conference, the Female Founders Conference, and is the author of Founders at Work, a collection of interviews with successful startup founders.
Be able to evolve into a manager. Yes.
In Managing with Aloha I assert that management comes first, and leadership second—and only after self-leadership. However it absolutely can happen the other way around;
—when you catch or give birth to a great idea, nalu it—go with the flow, and make it happen by indulging in every leadership instinct you may have, leading by merit of your good example (Alaka‘i), and infecting others with the contagions of your excitement and enthusiasm.
—in other words, Experiment!—Do it!
—when you enroll others in your cause (that thing about being driven by mission and vision), select those you want to be your partners—they are others you know you will love working with, and others you can mentor or will mentor you. Select others you care deeply about, in that you care deeply about seeing them succeed too.
—have that caring desire evolve into your being the best boss they have ever had. Want it, because you want to be a better person. A better person who also happened to have had a great idea, and ran with it.
—the ability to learn is absolutely critical. You will need to learn more about your idea, more about business models, more about markets, more about managing, more about leading—and more about yourself. Good partnerships help lift all of you in synergy, lōkahi kākou.
It all goes together.
Managing matters. However, you have to believe that for yourself before anyone else will.
Would you like to read more? Try this one: “I’m a manager.”
We Ho‘ohana Kākou,