Founder Leadership Series Part 3: Two Elements of Self-Mastery

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 grow muscle in:

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

▶ Two styles of communication: Communicate to Influence & Communicate to Manage

▶ Two elements of self-mastery: Mind-mastery & Energy Mastery

Session 3: Two elements of self-mastery: Mind-mastery & Energy Mastery

Scaling a business can be relentless and challenging. Combine an SAS obstacle course and an ultramarathon and you have a pretty good idea of what it takes. Resilience is key. At few other times is so much required of a founder CEO than in the scale up stage of business. If you’re full of resentment, anger or despair, or if you are physically and emotionally worn out because you’re pulling eighteen-hour days or have a prodigious hangover, you’ll come unstuck fast.

In this webinar we break the concept of Self Mastery down into two separate but related buckets, namely Energy Mastery and Mind Mastery. You can view the on-demand webinar below, and get access to associated resources by clicking 'send me resources'.

Energy Mastery is about developing strategies to help you manage your stress levels, and to ensure you have enough physical, emotional and mental energy for the founder marathon. Energy Mastery can’t be something you try to squeeze in around the edges of your eighteen-hour work day if you’re going to survive as a founder and genuinely give your business what it needs. Energy Mastery has to come first, not last in the Founder Survival game. If you put it first, everything else becomes first class.

In the webinar we explore two very simple tools to help you build an energy mastery strategy, namely the 3 energy tanks and the stress-o-meter:

Mind Mastery is about understanding and managing the sub-conscious processes which can be most damaging for founders. In the session we explore two of these:

▶ Negative thoughts and beliefs that become self-fulfilling prophecies

“My co-founder is an arse and I can’t be doing with him” leading to partnership break down

“My investors are a headwind and just slow us down” leading to dysfunctional relationships

“I’m not a manager” leading to a poorly managed leadership team

Add you’re own unhelpful negative belief here…

▶ Unmet ego needs that trigger unhelpful shadow behaviours

A need for approval… triggering people pleasing and avoidance of tough discussions

A need for control… leading to micro-management and disempowering management

A need for power… leading to arrogant or at worst despotic behaviour

Add your own gripping ego need here…

During the webinar we explore how unhelpful beliefs and unmet ego needs play out for founders. We also explore a simple, though not easy, solution namely that, when you’re triggered try to do the opposite of what you want to do. If you want to avoid someone - spend more time with them… if you want to shout - listen… etc.

Together mind mastery and energy mastery become the foundation of your success as a founder.  Without this self-mastery, at best, you’ll be a hostage to your own negative beliefs, mood and mindset, and at worst, you’ll blow your business up in a fit of pique or a self-sabotaging blaze of glory. The problem is that, while these topics are easy to understand they are very challenging to implement. It’s difficult to prioritise well-being when your email inbox is overflowing and everyone wants a piece of you. It’s not easy to differentiate between ‘Bob triggers me and I need to get over it’ and ‘Bob is a poor fit and I need to exit him’. 

One of the biggest benefits of having a founder coach is the chance to unpack these challenges with an impartial and experienced 3rd party. If you’d like to find more about the coaching programs VC Talent Lab offers founders who are looking to scale their leadership, their team or their culture get in touch

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