How to develop your personal leadership style when scaling

Self-doubt is always creeping at some point. Are we good enough? Am I doing the right thing? Are we on the right track? This comes quite naturally with the constant pressure and the overload of information and opinions available. 

Know, that you are not alone in this. Almost every one of the 30 founders I spoke to has shared something along these lines. What defines your success is how you deal with it. Often talking to a coach or finding a group of like-minded founders you trust can be helpful. 

Prepare yourself for this shift from team member to CEO, reflect actively on it from time to time, and choose consciously how your role is shifting and what is required now. Knowing yourself deeply and focussing on creating a board of advisors for you that you can fall back on are helping with self-management


“I think there is not one single leadership style. It evolves with the stage of the company. It’s a continuous challenge to find your style. And when think you found it, you have to change it again.” Cinzia Silvestri, CEO Bi/Ond


Your leadership styles need to evolve as the company grows. If you want to grow and scale: Let go of your expertise. Educate people around you to take over. Your task shifts to ensure people’s success and make them better than you. And then let them take over. Ask yourself these questions to assess your own role:

  • What skills do I need to develop to face the challenges ahead?
  • Am I still the right leader? 
  • What expertise do I need to bring in?
  • And what personal support do I need when things get stressful?


As one founder put it: Don’t let ego destroy your company – be clear on what you know and what you can’t do. Be honest and bring in the right people and give them the right responsibilities and ownership”. 

Managing yourself: Strategies for building resilience and coping with Uncertainty

Many founders have recommended steadfast personal routines to be built before things get stressful. That could be mindfulness, regular sports, healthy nutrition, enough sleep, strong personal connections, and a good support network are all essential. Building them in the easier times helps you stick to (most of) them when things get rocky. 

Find ways to properly relax away from a screen and embrace”good enough for the moment” as this allows you to breathe while still hitting your milestones. Consistency in self-care is key. 


“Being vulnerable is your strength because by being open and sincere, other people will connect with you. Instead of holding up this mask of, ‘I know exactly what I’m supposed to do here.” Rune Theill, Rockstart


Another theme that keeps coming back is that of personal networks and opening up with vulnerability. It’s hard because you keep up good professional stories all around. Find the palace where you can let your guard down. Other entrepreneurs, a coach or psychologist, friends. One reflection from a founder is to “open up much more for people to be part of my inner circle”. 

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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