The Low Trust Founder May Hit a Wall

The Low Trust Founder May Hit a Wall

One of the most terrifying realizations founders have at some point in the early years is how little they know about the more advanced aspects of scaling consumer brands.

It could be a volley of SPINS jargon thrown at them.

Or a broker’s counter-intuitive suggestion about which accounts to pursue next.

Or vetting and partnering with co-mans to obtain the best product quality outcomes.

These are complex subspecialists in operations, sourcing, and analytics. Even if you’ve run a company before in another industry, CPG has an exceedingly complicated administrative profile as a physical products industry vertical. 

You can learn it, but why try to learn all this yourself? I mean…why do that?

At some point, you have to trust other folks to guide you on specific topics. You can also dedicate time to upskilling yourself in topics that suit you or that you find intrinsically attractive to study.

But occasionally I encounter a low-trust founder who just has to be the expert on everything in their company because it is their company. 

You need to be the intermediate knower of all significant topics, not the expert on everything. Expertise has to distribute itself across people who founded and did not found the company. There’s no other way to sustain rapid growth, make it to scale, and keep growing.

Oh, it’s possible, you might get to eight figures being a low-trust know-it-all with a revolving door of leadership…but at some point, people will learn through their networks that “no one can work for that guy.” I know people like this. 

Having a coach observe recordings of meetings is a brilliant way to gain perspective on your overall level of trust. Get on this early if you are growing fast.

Dr. James Richardson

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