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The Top 5 Startup Don’ts of Effective Leadership that Derail Startup Growth

Effective leadership

In the case of a startup, failure always falls to the CEO, regardless of the actions of other executives or employees. It’s this failure to lead that causes so many companies to fail.

One key for every CEO to clearly define her / his responsibilities and outline the gaps and what else needs to happen to effectively manage and grow the business. The CEO must manage hiring executive leadership team members to do these tasks and fill the gaps the CEO has identified through smart delegation and holding each leader accountable for growing a team under them.

It is just as important that the CEO ensure that each leader is an effective manager and / or can be trained to be an effective manager. Otherwise, the company is doomed and failure is around the corner.

For each new leader, to build and manage a dynamic team, it is imperative she / he avoid the “Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome” and that starts with these 5 leadership Don’ts:

  1. Do not walk in the door thinking everyone before you failed – respect those before you as they likely accomplished a lot.

  2. Do not think your new ideas are new – most often they are not new and they have been discussed, presented and / or evaluated before you arrived.

  3. Do not walk in the door with an agenda – be humble and listen and learn before arriving at any conclusions.

  4. Do not prejudge, as hard as that is – even if you have outside perspectives beforehand, leave those outside, walk in the door and start with a clean slate – then arrive at your own conclusions.

  5. Do not walk in the door trying to move mountains – move a few pebbles while you learn, build credibility then develop a strategy to move mountains.

I would love to hear about your experiences with the “Smartest Person in the Room.” Give me a shout at or visit my blog and comment at

Remember, the key to leadership is Humility!!!