The typical scenario is – there’s you, the founder, the head and the heart of your startup, and then there’s the team you are frustrated with. Sounds familiar, right?

The founder is the mighty untouchable and irreplaceable. The team is a bunch of money hunters to be replaced by the other money hunters.

This is a very common yet very sad predicament.

Instead of blindly following the common, try to pause and reflect on your team’s issues. How do the current issues differ from the previous? Have the previous been resolved? In what manner? Can I (as a founder) be the unconscious booster of these issues? If so, what can I change?

There’s also one more great question that you might want to use and that I borrowed from the author & coach Jerry Colonna:

How am I complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?

The question contains an assumption: you aren’t an innocent party at the biggest issues in your life, because in a certain way you let these issues happen.

If you are ready to accept that, then the next question is ‘Why?’ followed by ‘How do these behaviors serve me?’ followed by ‘What can I change from my side right now?’

Hence, your product development is not slow – it’s your expectations that are unrealistic or the way you ship that wasn’t aligned with your team. Your people will give you feedback on time if you set SMART goals and boundaries. The sense of urgency will be universal for all, if you, as a founder, communicate it to all your team members in ways they can understand.

Be assertive. Don’t hide from the team. Establish SMART boundaries. Choose your team members wisely, because you are as competent as your team is.


  • Alla Adam

    Smart Human | Lean Startup Coach | Investor | Author


    Alla Adam is an investor, and a master certified coach with an MBA, MS & BS in international economic relations and marketing. Alla also holds two executive education certifications from Yale School of Management and Harvard Law School, both in negotiation strategies. She is an affiliate member at The Institute of Coaching, McLean/Harvard Medical School, and HeartMath Institute. Alla is proudly future-proofing humans across the globe since 2003. Alla's Client list includes smart humans from such companies & institutions as Amazon, Google, Kraft Heinz, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Danone, PepsiCo, Nestle, JTI, Ernst & Young, BlaBlaCar, Forbes, London Business School, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, etc. She is an advocate for womxn & LGBTQ rights, and an author of two Playbooks: Million Dollar Coach Playbook and Million Dollar Investor Playbook.