Founder Leadership Series Part 1: Three Modes of Leadership

Founder Leadership Series: How to scale your leadership as you scale your business

In this three-part series, we explore different dimensions of leadership with Rachel Turner, author of The Founder’s Survival Guide and co-founder of VC Talent Lab. Throughout the series, Rachel shares simple tools to help you lead your business effectively from start, to build, to scale.

To survive and thrive as a founder, you need to understand what your business, people and stakeholders require of you at different stages of business growth and have the ability to adapt your leadership style and behaviours accordingly. To do that you need to understand and develop muscle in:

  1. Three modes of leadership: Brave warrior, Considered Architect & Wise Monarch
  2. Two styles of communication: Communicate to Influence & Communicate to Manage
  3. Two elements of self-mastery: Mind-mastery & Energy Mastery

Part 1: Three modes of leadership: Brave warrior, Considered Architect & Wise Monarch

In this webinar we unpack the three modes of leadership and how they play out at different stages of business growth. Click the button below to get workshop materials sent to your inbox.

When founders hit scale-up challenges they typically double down on the things that made them successful as start-up entrepreneurs. They work harder, pitch more furiously, run from problem to problem putting out fires. The problem is that the superpowers of start-up leadership are the kryptonite of scale-up leadership.

At VC Talent Lab when we start work with a founder we map the trajectory of their company and what that will require of them as a leader: 

The next thing we do together is look at their default leadership mode, and how that will need to adapt in order to meet the evolving needs of the business. To keep this memorable we use the WAM model which refers to three key leadership modes most founders will need to develop and which correlate broadly to these three stages of business, namely:

Brave Warrior

Considered Architect

Wise Monarch

A founder’s ability to spot the mode of leadership their business/team/project needs, and their ability to lean in and out of each mode, is crucial to their success as a founder. Yes they can hire great warriors/architects/monarchs but they will still need to manage/lead them. 

To get a sense of your default leadership mode, have a go at this quick self-assessment:

When I see a problem:

A I take action

B I think about the system I need to change to solve it at core

C I reflect on who I need to influence to solve it

I am powerful because:

A I am good at what I do

B I lead a high-performance team

C My key stakeholders believe in me

I like to focus on:

A Product and sales

B Talent and systems

C Culture and vision

I spend most of my time thinking about:

A The month

B The next quarter

C The next year

I am great at:

A Pitching and sales

B Managing high-performance

C Inspiring audiences

Mostly As - Your default is Brave Warrior

Mostly Bs - Your default is Considered Architect

Mostly Cs - Your default is Wise Monarch

Now ask yourself… “How well does my default mode match with the challenges and stage of growth of my business?” 

If you want to understand more about your default mode and how to strengthen the leadership modes you’re going to need to successfully grow your business, VC Talent Lab provides bespoke Founder Scale coaching programs designed to do just that. 

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