Leadership and startup growth
by Startup Montréal
6 January 2022
6 January 2022
A discussion with Guillaume Parent, Founding President, Gallea and Virgile Ollivier, President and Co-founder, Livescale.
What does it mean to be a good leader? Our two guests for this edition of Startup Wednesdays agree that a leader must know at least how to inspire, guide and bring consistency to a group of people so that they progress in the same direction. A leader is a person with vision who knows how to foresee the unforeseeable, takes initiative and doesn’t hesitate to go where other people won’t go.
It must be said that there are different types of leaders and different concepts of leadership.
There are technical or knowledge leaders who act as experts in their field within a startup, sharing leaders who stimulate discussion and contribute to the corporate culture, and the type of leaders more often citied, who manage human and material resources associated more with corporate management.
The market is full of resources, training, readings and podcasts for every taste. However, a few tips could help you find the right tools.
Mentoring may be the most concrete tool that allows rapid progress for all kinds of leaders. Networking among leaders and mentors can be created through our company whenever possible.
Virgile and Guillaume capitalize on very human leadership. They listen to their teams and endeavour to show a lot of empathy when a special situation arises. They also both work on development of emotional intelligence.
The first step is to ensure that the individuals around the table share the same vision, even if they have competencies that are often complementary and come from different fields. Defining a common vision will allow you to refer to it at any time when making important decisions.
The dynamic between co-founders leads them to more questioning of each other’s leadership. This is a healthy process because it stimulates a constant evolution of people and business.
Having several leaders is a source of wealth to look for information in different sectors of the organization. This is a concrete way to do more listening within teams.
Leadership will have a major impact on the ability to create a solid foundation for the company, seize opportunities and anticipate different growth scenarios. If these factors are present, it will be easier to make the company operational in a growth context.
In a startup context, you must be aware that you’re building an aircraft while in flight so you need to know how to adjust constantly.
If you want to execute quickly, even in periods of risk, such as COVID-19, you must be able to see what’s coming and write the different growth scenarios that can be envisioned in the business context in which you are operating. If you have already learned from the start to deploy quick and efficient recruitment and induction processes, if you have a good knowledge of your brand message and your products, you will find it easy to be agile in adapting and modulating them.
Ultimately, it’s a question of knowing your indicators and trusting your instincts.