Why Lead in the Early Stage of Innovation? – Weekend Reflections for Leaders

Over the last several weeks, we have been sharing some concepts for leaders considering making a transition from a large company to building the next chapter of their career in a smaller, early-stage venture.

Leaders who have built an effective set of skills while working for a large company are needed in the early-stage to help bring innovations forward in the market. The risk of all of us being “Amazoned” in the not-too-distant future is real. Being on the forward edge of innovation in the early-stage is one way to stay ahead of the threat of becoming extinct as marketplaces become more efficient in serving customers.

As we conclude this series of writings, it is important to ask ourselves the question, “Why lead in the early-stage?” Remaining on the career path of leading in a large company has its benefits, along with some challenges, but leading in the early-stage on the forward edge of innovation adds a new level of complexity and intensity to our leadership our journey.

We need excellent leaders to drive the next wave of innovation in the early-stage. Here are a few thoughts to help encourage you to take your leadership to a new level in the early-stage.

  1. Leadership in an early-stage venture helps others: Beyond the pressure of the business, the competition, and the money, leading others in an early-stage venture provides us with a unique opportunity to connect with and make a positive impact into the lives of others. Leaders can make the world a better place, one person at a time. Life is designed to be in community with others and leadership in the early-stage puts us on the forefront of connecting with others to make life better. Our leadership in the early-stage can support a purposeful life as connecting with others to meet a tough challenge like bringing innovation to the market is what gives life meaning. 
  2. Leadership in an early-stage venture is for the long-term: All great innovative ideas, business models, and technologies do not succeed in the market. As a matter of fact, most don’t.  Our leadership in an early-stage venture is not defined by a near term failure or success in the business. Today’s bonus check, exit payout, or write-up in the paper may define the short-term impact, but our leadership is defined by the long-term personal impact we make on others.  When our actions consistently build a foundation based on trust, teamwork, respect, and commitment, we prepare our teams and business for success over the long-term which will define our leadership legacy.  
  3. Leadership in an early-stage venture chooses the hard things: Bringing innovation to the marketplace is not easy. As President John F. Kennedy tried to rally the nation to the cause of going to the moon, he said, “We choose to go to the Moon…and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills…” As leaders in an early-stage venture, we choose to do the hard work in order to set an example for others and lead our teams to reach their full potential. It is the most effective choice and most of us would prefer to be remembered as having done the harder right rather than taking the easy way out.

As our markets grow more intense and complex, leadership in an early-stage venture or a large company will continue to demand our best effort. I wish you all the best to keep moving forward in your leadership journey whether in an early-stage venture or a large company, and count me in to help.

How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is david@harvesttimepartners.com

Please download some FREE resources at www.harvesttimepartners.com I hope you find them helpful in your journey.

Also, for those leaders in healthcare, the opportunity to be at the forefront of creating and scaling life-changing innovation resides in the early stage. This sector needs strong leaders like yourself to drive innovation in the years to come. I wanted to share a link to a program specifically for leaders in healthcare who are looking for insights into building the next chapter of their career in the early-stage. I was asked to contribute to this program based on my experience of leaving a large healthcare company and building my career in the early-stage. Please take a look at the link below.https://www.wearecomvia.com/next-chapter/