Semih Idiz | Aug 15, 2018 | 0
The Biggest Obstacle for Development: “Founder Syndrome”
Companies, associations, political parties, and every institution that might be mindful are willing to achieve the initial goal.
Therefore, all institutions aim to produce good and quality services to the people in the geography where they live.
The founder leads the way as a person with all positive qualities and leads those who believe she/he. The founder is dynamic and determined. It seems to know the needs of all of its stakeholders and shows positive attitudes towards meeting their needs with years of experience. This positive energy that he has put around now placed the founder in a charismatic place. After a while the founder begins to feel a sense of clarity, and now she/he believes that nothing has prevented the institution from succeeding for too long. This belief begins to destroy the features that the builder exhibits for the success of the institution. Now the founder has gotten a virus but it does not accept the virus and unfortunately the institution starts to prepare the end. The name of this virus is also referred to as “Founder Syndrome” in the social literature.
“Founder Syndrome” begins to manifest itself by focusing on the personality traits of the construct rather than focusing on the mission of its functioning. “Founder Syndrome” is a serious problem that affects organizations and their development. The greatest damage to the institution is the founder herself/himself, who gets caught the founder syndrome.
A founder who gets caught up in this syndrome starts to change the function of the institution. She/he tells the institution that her/his baby in his explanations and she/he does not want him to suffer any harm. Now, the main decision-making body in the institution has somehow become the builder itself, decisions are taken very quickly. No one can see exactly what’s going on. Everyone at the institution is responsible for approving and supporting the founder.
No plans are made in the institution anymore. Even if it is made, it is not done with the influence and knowledge of the stakeholders. Stakeholder needs are no longer important. objective criteria are not taken into consideration. The important thing is the happiness of the founder and the needs she/he has set. The task of the Central Executive Board has now been to support the decisions of the founder. There is a constant “Sir, you know the best, how do you like it” situation.
Stakeholders from inside and outside start to be afraid of the founder. The process has entered one of the most dangerous turns: fear! Only the founders are forced to lie to her/him around because they are happy. These lies start to build up in the likes of the founder and they are constantly advocating self-defense, in a continuous attitude. She/he talks about how well he does, she/he does not know who she/he is.
In this phase, fear is no longer felt in the founder, but it is resistant to change, even though it was previously open-minded. The founder starts to build a new status quo and founder only believe supportive arguments rather than individuals who say the truth. One-sided communications start to dominate meetings with founder and she/he always mentions importance of her/his decisions at the meetings.
The institution starts to be governed by the founder. This is exactly the example of an authoritarian institution. The founder is very tired, her/his nerves are exhausted. She/he makes wrong decisions. The founder, along with his other colleagues, is no longer from glass, but behind a hard, visible, transparent wall of iron and brick. The plural concepts such as “being a team” and “us” have been replaced by “I”, and processes like “I have done” often begin. No more stakeholder needs remain. Stakeholders are “others” and do not even bother to give information on processes because they are othered. Stakeholders are now only affected by the consequences.
For the future of the institution, some weaknesses and ambitions of the founder should be abandoned. However, this syndrome is often unconscious. The founder is unfortunately deaf and blind. Even though the Board of Directors and employees are often aware, their influence is ruled by the founder and they can not do anything other than watching the situation.
In order to get rid of this syndrome, the founder needs to be open to communicate and to learn new things. There can be establish a democratic platform to debate problems within the institution. An up-to-date and applicable “Action Plan” structured around the mission of the institution and taking into account its future goals should be developed together with the Board of Directors and other stakeholders rather than the founder.
Institutions become independent from the individuals, they starts to develop itself. Therefore, “founder syndrome” is quite significant problem for every institution in the world and individuals do something to eliminate the founder syndrome in their instutions for their development.