By Bob and Gregg Vanourek, co-authors of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical and Enduring Organizations
Entrepreneurs face three unique and pressing challenges in leading startups. The first is extreme uncertainty. Though they lack vital information and clarity, they must act anyway, sometimes placing make-or-break bets with their limited resources.
The second is extreme time pressure. Startups race to launch before their window of opportunity closes and before their cash runs out. They must somehow defy the odds and discover a viable business model even while the clock is ticking.
The third is extreme resource constraints. Early on, startups lack key people, money, hardware, software, systems, infrastructure and more. The game is bootstrapping—scavenging, negotiating, persuading—whatever it takes.
Each constraint on its own is daunting. The full trio can push entrepreneurs into compromising quality, abandoning ethics and adopting an extreme short-term focus.