There are many factors that can affect a startup's ability to scale. In my book Blitzscaling, we describe "Organizational Scalability" as one of the factors that can potentially limit the scalability of a startup.
By "organizational scalability" we are referring to the ability of the startup's management to lead the company through the many challenges that will confront them in the successive stages of scaling. This concept can cover aspects like prior scaling experience of the founding team and key leaders, the strength of the team members in key roles in the company that are critical to success, etc.
But at the most basic level, startup founders need to get along with another if they expect to be able to scale. My experience in the startup world has taught me that if people do not get along in a team the startup is doomed.
Bad interpersonal relationships are one of the two most fundamental reasons behind the failure of most founders to scale their startup, and I will explain why. There has never been a case where a single individual has built a billion-dollar company. No matter how good you are at what you are doing, no matter how great an idea do you have, you can not succeed on your own. It is just very difficult to succeed as a founder all by yourself because you always need to have a team, co-founders, employees, advisors, etc. All these positions are taken by people who are different from each other and it is not hard to imagine that they will not always agree about everything.
So one of the most important abilities that you need to acquire is the ability to mediate conflicts and resolve conflicts of interest between all these people. You have to create a balance and serve as a buffer in your team to provide your startup with a good future, instead of allowing it to become a team that could break down at any minute. As a founder, you have to be the glue that glues everyone together and knows how to communicate so that the people around you work with common purpose.
Members of our community have ample opportunities to work through these kinds of challenging situations by consulting with peers and our partners and experts. Those who want additional guidance focused on leadership development can participate in our topic-driven MasterMind groups focused on different areas of scaling challenge, including building effective relationships with co-founders.
We can support you in tackling the conflicts in your team and become a master of interpersonal relationships, a skill you will need if you hope to scale your company.