A condition whereby very successful creators of a company gain an exaggerated sense of their own value. In such cases, their conceit can wind up harming the very organization they built from the ground up.
There's always tension in a leadership transition, certainly with board and staff members," he said, adding that Melia's departure had nothing to do with differences in fundraising strategy but rather concern regarding founder's syndrome.
Doctors can't write a prescription to treat Founder's Syndrome, nor are they likely to diagnose it.
Founder's Syndrome usually occurs when a founder is unwilling to step aside to make a clean break from the organization and the belief that only that person knows what's best for the nonprofit, according to Linda Crompton, president and CEO of BoardSource, a Washington, D.
Crompton said it's critical to understand the problem: "The difficulty that we're referring to in founder's syndrome is the realization that the organization is going through stages," she said, just as a product has a life cycle, it's the individual who's aging.
Crompton's prescription to avoid Founder's Syndrome is to have the founder step back for a year and not serve on the organization's board.
Jordan said the topic of founder's syndrome was a matter of open discussion among the board.