Strategies to Scale Your Team

Often, Founders scale their teams for the first time. They hear of fantastic growth rates, and have VC pushing for hockey-stick metrics and headcount as measures for growth. The main task for entrepreneurs in the scaling phase is to continuously align with everyone. Change brings up uncertainty in people, and not everybody might be as equipped to deal with it as you are. Here are some key insights:

  • Scaling a team sustainably means slowly. This might not be sexy, but slowing down the growth trajectory can create a robust and long-lasting organizational culture.
  • Scale in a way that is aligned with you personally. If you are 100% on board with the plans and strategy, people trust you. And trust is everything when scaling a company. 
  • When scaling, you continuously go through a storming process and things probably never settle down. Do not expect things to run smoothly (ever). 


Additionally, keep communicating clearly aligned goals. Everyone in the team should always know how their job is adding to the big mission, at any stage in the process. If not, clarify. 


Challenges when you move from Hands-on to Strategic Leadership

As you scale your team and organization, you transition into leading leaders. Often you promote your first hires into leadership positions. To set them up for success, many of the interviewed founders highlighted the need for support from a coach for their personal and professional development. When leading a team, all the personal topics, traumas, and challenges are magnified – and you don’t have the time to work through that with the attention that is needed for each person. 

Another aspect is handling the mounting pressure from VCs. One of the founders shared that you have to guard yourself to not simply hand through that pressure to your team. Keep your long-term thinking on more strategic initiatives. Keep pushing against VCs’ pressure with a calm structure and thought-through plans that take their perspective. 

One part that is not often talked about is that 15-25% of your team leaves during this transformation. Know that this is normal. Check with exit interviews if there are structural issues or personal leadership topics to be addressed. Otherwise, do not sweat this too much.

Miguel Baumann coaching blog
Hi, I am Miguel

I support leaders in tech to shine with confidence and take charge of their careers.

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