How to Deal with Founder’s Syndrome

Building Healthy Collaborative Organizations through Facilitative Leadership

*A four session, remote, intensive, highly interactive online course!

For mission-driven leaders, building healthy collaborative organizations can be difficult particularly between our founders and their team members. Conflicts or resistance can even happen between team members that have been in an organization for a while and the newer members.

These conflicts can lead to increased turnover rate, staff silos or cliques, isolated and overworked founders (or founding members), and a lack of accountability. Founder’s syndrome is painful for everyone involved. Founders feel under- or unappreciated and overworked while their team members often feel undervalued, micromanaged, and bullied. In our collaborative teams, we certainly do not want to create the unhealthy dynamics that have often guided us to our current teams.

Getting past this common challenge, enables teams including their founders to work better together while building stronger and more effective organizations, leading to happy, successful, and fulfilled staff and more easily actualized missions.

surviving founders syndrome

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you’re a founder or if you’re the staff or a member in a team in a mission-driven organization, non-profit, or cooperative. This is for you if you have a collaborative workplace that is not quite working and there is tension between founding or long-standing members and the rest of the team. And, this course is for you if you work with teams as a business or cooperative developer or consultant.

If you’re a member of a team experiencing some of these symptoms, this course is for you:

  • Decisions are made by your founder often without input from the team
  • The founder is deferred to in all matters regardless of their actual expertise.
  • Snap decisions and decision reversals are common without any explanation, warning, or consideration of the impact to others.
  • Information flow throughout the organization is stilted or actively stifled, with the founder at the center.
  • Employees can often feel like they are not paid to think but simply to deliver on orders, which themselves can change at the drop of a hat, undoing weeks of effort.
  • Founders usually have an ‘inner circle’ of people they ‘trust’ to whom implicit power is conferred through their proximity to the founder.

If you’re a founder experiencing the following symptoms, this course is for you.

  • Being overworked with a sense that everyone is relying on you; everyone comes to you with their questions, even if you don’t have the answers for them.
  • Feeling isolated, alone, and/or afraid that you will let everyone, including the organization itself, down.
  • Spending too much time in the weeds of the organization and not enough on the big picture.
  • Decision fatigue, i.e. being the one to make all or many of the decisions in the organization can lead to exhaustion and reduce one’s ability to make good decisions
  • A sense that you cannot get your team to step up to leadership
  • A feeling of being trapped, underappreciated, and criticized behind your back, while at the same time being adulated.


This online course spans over four intensive, hands-on, and highly interactive sessions diving into what is really at the heart of the founder’s syndrome happening in your team.

Over the last four Thursdays of May, we’ll hold remote sessions via zoom that will be recorded and shared with the course participants for their own review.

  • Session 1: May 10, 2018 1:30-3 ET
  • Session 2: May 17, 2018 1:30-3 ET
  • Session 3: May 24, 2018 1:30-3 ET
  • Session 4: May 31, 2018 1:30-3 ET

Early Bird Pricing thru Friday, April 13th: $150
Regular Pricing: $199

*Last day to register is May 9th!

  • collab course

    Collab 101 Online Course – Sliding Scale

    Suggested Price: $157.00

What You’re Getting from this Online Course!

Dealing with Founder’s Syndrome Curriculum

Session 1: Understanding founder’s syndrome (in your team)

  • See the research
  • Recognize the symptoms
  • Understand the consequences
  • Analyze yourself and your organization

Session 2: Learning transformative practices, part I

  • Create a clear standard meeting practice
  • Track your organizational information transparently
  • Build agendas together for real inclusivity
  • Leverage the power of a tension-holder

Session 3: Learning transformative practices, part II

  • Make power explicit by understanding who has the authority to do what
  • Learn how to decide collaboratively and efficiently
  • Understand how to track your team’s progress cohesively together
  • Recognize the importance of practice

Session 4: Implementing the basics

  • Identify the place to begin
  • Craft an introduction
  • Outline your path forward
  • Reap the benefits

Your Benefits:

  • Learn how to redistribute responsibility and expectations
  • Manage the tendency to overcommit and underdeliver
  • Strengthen leadership that’s not dominating
  • Learn how to change a team or organization incrementally (and meaningfully)
  • Make and facilitate innovative and collaborative decisions
  • Increase trust in the process and in each other
  • Improve satisfaction and recognition
  • Facilitate productive collaborative meetings with clear outcomes
  • Obtain workable and effective accountability
  • Use these skills over and over again



If you have any questions about the course, please reach out to us at

Meet the Instructor:

Cecile Green is a visionary, entrepreneur, experiential philosopher, and farmer with a passion for assisting mission driven organizations achieve their visions. As an integral scholar practitioner and life long learner, she holds a B.S. in Community Supported Agricultural Systems and has over two decades of experience in entrepreneurial environments. She has participated in nearly a dozen organizational launches and built from the ground up four successful businesses.

Read more about her here. 

Cecile Green


Register for the course today!

  • collab course

    Collab 101 Online Course – Sliding Scale

    Suggested Price: $157.00

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