It becomes like a founder's syndrome
: 'No one can do it better than me, and therefore I can't sell my business.' So the vast majority of advisers defer, defer, defer, because there is no trigger event, nothing pushing them to do it," he says.
"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
. "If time has colored that view, that's a shame.
Hehman said this is called "Founder's Syndrome
." He did a lot of research about it before he had "the talk" with McDonald.
He also discusses issues in running a non-profit school or organization, such as moving beyond founder's syndrome
, and gives tips on developing new programs and working with a board of directors.
There is a name for this: Founder's Syndrome
. So, when we want to begin the conversation on succession planning, we need to talk about Founder's Syndrome
as a potential barrier to success.
The very members who did so much to help build your organization may now be entrenched in "founder's syndrome
" and will try to organize a full resistance to change.
He is the author of "Moving Beyond Founder's Syndrome
to Nonprofit Success" (2008; BoardSource).
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.C.-based nonprofit that publishes guidelines and policies about nonprofit governance and management.
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." There's no uncertainty around what's good practice; it's not a good practice for the founder to remain on the board," said Crompton.
Jordan said the topic of founder's syndrome was a matter of open discussion among the board.
The term "Founder's Syndrome
" rolls off the tongue for many people, a casual phrase used to describe all kinds of negative situations involving the person who started a nonprofit.