For startups, the early days can feel exhilarating, even romantic: a handful of dedicated employees all focused on an original idea, solving problems as they arise and growing the business in the process.
But with that growth comes a range of leadership challenges—ones that can be easy to overlook until it is too late.
“You can wake up one day and realize, ‘Wow, there are a lot of rumblings in the organization,’” says Michael Xenakis, an adjunct lecturer of innovation and entrepreneurship at Kellogg. “And you go from ‘we’re fine’ to ‘we’ve got a real issue.’”
Xenakis, whose 16 years of experience as an executive at OpenTable included helping to take the company public in 2009, shares three tips for leading a rapidly growing organization.