It’s a cliché to say that founders flounder, but unfortunately, that’s usually the case. Wild exceptions like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell aside, executives who start a business or project fizzle more often than not once they’ve gotten their venture on its feet.

Entrepreneurs actually show their inability to switch to executive mode much earlier in the business development process than most people realize, as my stories will reveal. But the reasons executives fail to “scale”—that is, adapt their leadership capabilities to their growing businesses’ needs—remain fuzzy. It’s simply assumed that there’s an entrepreneurial personality and an executive personality—and never the twain shall meet. I don’t think that’s true. I believe most ...

Get Build a Successful Business: The Entrepreneurship Collection (10 Items) now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.