The 10 Archetypes of a Founder

The 10 Archetypes of a Founder

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“We are not one-dimensional, and our multiple dimensions are not static. Just as our bodies are made of many parts that form a dynamic, interwoven system that works together, so it is with our psyches. We are more awake, alive, and complex than we know.”

  • Ralph De La Rosa

In the age of Rage, Feels, and Freak-Outs, Ralph shares wisdom about how complex we are as humans.

Every Entrepreneur knows that they get to wear many hats.

While it’s overwhelming to be an entrepreneur shifting gears all the time, we probably wouldn’t last long in a job staying in one lane .

Today, I want to share 10 of the Founder Archetypes that we get to wear while building our company.

I’ll also share 1 system you can build to reference whats relevant while wearing that hat.

The Leader (aka the CEO)

  • The Leader understands everything so they can make decisions on how to get closer to the vision
  • At the highest levels, Leaders want to know the Latest Updates and any Obstacles around our priorities
  • Developing Objectives and Key Results, and reviewing them on a weekly basis will help Leaders navigate their organizations

The Hype Man (Marketing)

  • The Hype Man promotes amazing stories as a result of the impact of our organization.
  • Building a content creation system will help the Help Man collect and create stories
  • This will help the Hype Man create inspiring messaging that will be shared across our promotional platform
  • Eventual Role: CMO - Chief Marketing Officer

The Closer (Sales)

  • The Closer enrolls collaborators into co-creation
  • Closers are making deals with everyone in the ecosystem: clients, sponsors, podcasters, influencers, and more!
  • Closers must be able to create visions where everyone is winning (I call 'em Triple Wins)
  • A powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool will help Closers understand the status with every stakeholder
  • Eventual Role: CRO - Chief Revenue Officer

The Builder (Product)

  • The Builder is creating the machine that is bringing the company closer to their new reality
  • Here is the most common building playbook: understand, design, develop, test, launch, and measure
  • A product management system will transform what clients want (feedback) into a development plan
  • While Builders usually focus on the external product or service, they will one day realize that the business itself is a product
  • Eventual Role: CPO - Chief Product Officer or Chief Technology Officer

The Guide (Customer Experience)

  • The Guide is leading collaborators through the journey of Transformation together
  • Just like a new city or a museum, Guides deliver information, invite curiosity and provide you with instruction on how to take everything in
  • Coaches out there are excellent Guides, given their ability to hold space and explain concepts. However they don’t usually scale easily
  • Guides work with Builders to create product-led experiences to support journeys with emails, prompts in a software product, and recommended actions etc…
  • Along the way, Guides collect feedback and share with the Builder to iterate and improve
  • The System for the Guide is a Feedback Collection system
  • Eventual Role: CCO - Chief Customer Officer

The Financier (Finance)

  • The Financier runs the Money Machine.
  • They handle record-keeping, payments, and forecasts around the most precious asset any organization has: CASH (and not the System-kind I often refer to)
  • One of the first functions that Founders should look to outsource to a specialist is Finance, so Founders can focus on relationship building with customers and investors (the earliest sources of capital in an early-stage business)
  • The System for the Financier contains everything around Accounting & Cash Management.
  • Eventual Role: CFO - Chief Financial Officer

The Mediator (HR)

  • The Mediator gets involved when shit hits the fan between two parties.
  • The Meditator will help resolve conflict and dispute between two parties.
  • If the organizational structure is strong and coherent, the Mediator will rarely make an appearance. Either way, it’s good to call on the Mediator in case shit hits the fan
  • Sometimes it is an outside counsel, an advisor, or another external party. This person must be non-biased
  • The system that the Mediator must develop is one of impeccable space-holding to help everyone feel heard, considered, and empowered as they navigate conflict
  • Eventual Role: CHRO - Chief Human Resources Office/Chief People Officer

The Judge (Admin/Legal)

  • The Judge is responsible for the company’s compliance, regulations and legal matters
  • They usually are an extension of Outside Counsel/lawyer that is supporting the Founder in the form of contracts that are used to solidify agreements and protect the company from legal liabilities
  • A strong file management system to store all company documentation and contracts are important for the Judge to create success
  • Eventual Role: CFO/General Counsel - Chief Financial Officer

The Protector (Privacy & Security)

  • The Protector is an Archetype that is growing in popularity.
  • Between privacy laws and security breaches, the Protector must develop ways to protect the information of all collaborators of an organization.
  • The Protector will work with the Builder, the Operator, and The Judge to ensure the organization is in compliance with privacy laws (GDPR) and security tools to solidify trust with collaborators
  • The system that will support Protectors are security tools that are integrated throughout the entire infrastructure of the organization
  • Eventual Role: CTO/CISO - Chief Technology Officer/Chief Information Security Officer

The Operator (Operations)

  • The Operator is another version of The Builder who focuses on the insides of an organization
  • This person must understand how to build Business Systems made up of Team, Tactics, and Tools
  • The Operator oversees every element of the business
  • This side of a founder usually acts in opposition to the natural tendencies of the Leader which is focused on Growth
  • The Operator must consider how to elevate Teams so they can develop Tactics and Tools to be successful
  • Eventual Role: COO - Chief Operations Officer

The Founder Archetypes in Action

My wife and I often talk about how the different parts of us come out at different times of our lives.

From a trauma-trained therapy perspective, these parts are responsible for psychologically protecting us when experiencing triggers and experiences in life.

  • These parts are our ego’s best attempt to keep us safe.

From an entrepreneurship perspective, I invite you to consider that these parts are the protective responses to keep the organization safe from the infinite threats it has

Today, YOU are wearing all the hats (which is overwhelming).

Tomorrow, it is my hope that through developing business systems and increasing sales and profitability, you have the capacity to bring in team members to support your organization.

Today’s blog was a bit longer, and I hope that you enjoyed it.

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Thanks for reading, Ernesto

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