There are three basic roles for leaders, and whether it’s just you and Frank in a garage or 1500 of you, it’s important that you understand this model so that you can tear it down. This is a descriptive, not prescriptive model that is intended to explain how the different types of leadership evolve and stratify over time. It describes the high-level responsibilities of these different leaders, and how these different roles might (or might not) communicate with each other.
DISCLAIMER: As a means of easily explaining these roles, I’m going to express them hierarchically from an org chart perspective. There are entrepreneurial folks out there who are going to shake their fingers vigorously in my general direction, saying, “Keep our orgs flat! Titles are toxic! Why are you forcing bureaucratic power trips on me!”
These folks haven’t seen shit. It’s a good thing – the lack of preconceived notions keeps them mentally and entrepreneurially limber – but they haven’t seen shit. They don’t understand how groups of people organize, nor have they ever attempted to build something with more than a handful of individuals. They have an intense belief in the power of the individual. This is their bias because this is who they are: a handful of bright people with a dream.