Why the Founder Should Not be the Sole Decision Maker in a Start-up

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

An entrepreneur is always extremely passionate about his/her startup, so much so that they often feel the need to be involved in every bit of the business. They end up getting so involved that they find it difficult to let go of the reins to let another person take charge. However this leads to creating a blind side for the founder's errors.


A founder should be able to forego of some of the responsibilities and let other core team members take charge of important decisions. A global example of failure because of forcibly being involved in every nitty-gritty of the start-up is of Travis Kalanick of Uber. Refusing to let another person hold the decision making power resulted in the ousting of Kalanick himself from his company.

Entrepreneur India spoke to experts about why a start-up founder shouldn't be the sole decision maker in a start-up.

Founders Shouldn't Waste Time in Micromanaging Operations

An entrepreneur obviously has many things going on at the same time. Running from one meeting to another, calls with investors, building partnerships... there are just too many things that an entrepreneur needs to look into. But while taking part in all, it's but human that the founder leaves room for errors. Therefore, it is important that the entrepreneur builds the vision of the company and then delegates the tasks creating mission points for the employees.

A founder's decisions need to more about the overall strategy and not about micromanaging operations, believes Chiranjiv Patel, Regional Director, Entrepreneurs' Organization (South Asia). "Efficient operations require quick decisions; which isn't always the case when only the founder is taking all the calls. One of the key success points for startups is forming processes and structures for a sustainable growth. That's where founder's maximum time needs to be utilized," he said.

Complete Control Could Drive Inefficiency

If a founder always forces his/her own ideas on the team, it could result in creating a dislike towards the entrepreneur from the employees' side. Srikanth Sundararajan, General Partner, ‎Ventureast, said that attempting to control and make every decision would tend to drive the organization towards inefficiency, while also inhibiting growth. "All of this, even when the entrepreneur may have the right intentions," he said.

Given that India's start-up ecosystem today boasts of merit-worthy mentors who are successful entrepreneurs, top executives, angel investors etc., and an entrepreneur should leverage the same. "It is also critical that he/she has a core executive team to bounce ideas, these could be co-founders, ideally," said Sundararajan.

Agreeing with Sundararajan, Patel believes that pooling the expertise of teammates makes decisions more focused and informed. If the founder is pulled in all directions and if there is a lack of proper information/unavailability of time, it may lead to a bad decision, he said.