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When Should Founders Leave A Business?

When Founders Must Go?

in the world of rapid development, a research was carried out by professors of Harvad Busines school and it was identified that in some stages founders who propagate the vision for the business are expected to step down as CEO.

is it a good step to take?

is it not contrary to the goals of enterpreneurship?

when is it necessary for the founders to step down?

these are the questions bothering me in the isssue of enterpreneurship.

For example, how will ZENITH Bank cope if Jim Ovia should step down. How will other company that have risen as result of the vision of the founders cope when the board feels they are no longer capable to lead the company.

well, does it depends on the choice the founder makes at the begining?

It is being said "the greater the achievement of the founder when the business is growing the higher the tendency for the CEO to be replaced."

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15 answers

Journalists, politicians and activists like to talk about themselves as "stakeholders". I thought that was obvious.

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Jephmos: do you have a copy of this research by the Harvard professors?

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You should leave when

1. the organization has matured to the point where it can exist without you.

2. when your presence becomes a hindrance instead of a help.

3. when you don't feel any excitement any longer about the company's goals or vision e.g If you are no longer interested in being head of the world's top mercenary company.

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@ loverbwoy,

I agree with you. The founder does not necessarily have to step down or leave his company. He could remain as the chairman of his company.

@ Seun,

if Stakeholders are not owners or employees,then what stakeholders are you referring to?

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That's not what I meant by "stakeholders". I was talking about people who are neither owners nor employees.

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I'm talking about stakeholders as in shareholders and directors; people directly involved with the business.

those are "militants"

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Are you saying that these militants want more profits for the oil companies they are terrorizing?

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stakeholders usually want the same thing as the founders more profit! and you cant get more profit if you ignore your customers so whether its a one man business or many others are involved, customer service would still be their top priority if they want more revenue.

negotiations would imply getting other peoples opinion before taking a decision

straighforward decisions by a responsible individual? Erm two heads better pass one

Most one man business will crumble in the long run, they run out of ideas, get tied to some project and become less innovative

stelios hajj

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Founders shouldn't need to leave business, but they can relax an give others chance to prove their capability on a particular business. The great entrepreneurs do not leave their business but they give others chance to showcase their ability. But at the end, when they journey their way to the great beyond, automatically they will leave. Where are great people like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and many others today. But the Compaies they left behind are still in existence.

In view of these watch your investment to grow beyond what someone can just pull down in one day before you can relax.

Nice time.

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You know you're working in a political institution rather than a soulful business when your work tends to involve "stakeholders" instead of customers, "negotiations" instead of straightforward decisions by a responsible individual, and "elections" instead of appointments. When the company is owned by everybody (that is, nobody!)

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i guess Seun ment, when the organization's activities and decisions are now governed by external interests, which are not in line or most cases, contravening the founding visions of the organization.

As for when the founder should leave, he is the person to decide that, and he should have done that right from the inception of the vision.

I pray also for most Nigerian Entrepreneurs to appreciate this need and take succession as a major decider when developing their organizational system.

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@ borrado

Good point.

True visioners establish a structure that outlives them.

In fact in the advanced world when a company is successful the owner sells down his interest, like Dangote is doing. I look forward to a time in Nigeria when we will have business set up by Nigerians that are a hundred years old or more,

This will only happen when Nigerian entrepreneurs let go of their sit tight attitudes.

A Bill gates will always be relevant to Microsoft in spite of the fact that he is no longer involved in the day to day running of the company.

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The founder does not necessarily have to go or step down he can play the role of the chairman.

how will zenith cope when jim ovia steps down? he is not the only one that knows how to run a bank is he?

I actually believe some people leave their own company -maybe not totatlly but the day to day stuff because they want to re-energise, want other people with better and current strategies to move the business forward

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When the company no longer belongs to the founder but has become a political institution, the founder should leave. A business without soul is not worth wasting one's life on. One should start a new business with the money.

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