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.
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.
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.