Scaling up with confidence: How coaching supports founders in nurturing high-performing teams
April 16, 2024

Scaling up with confidence: How coaching supports founders in nurturing high-performing teams

As founders of scaleup businesses, the journey to growth and success is never easy. Nor is it a linear path. It is filled with significant challenges, massive levels of uncertainty, and pivotal decisions: decisions that can fundamentally affect the growth potential of the business. 

Amidst the complexities of scaling operations, one critical factor often determines the trajectory of a scaleup: how effective you and the other founders are at nurturing the right environment where people can truly thrive and perform. 

Get the people bit right, and your business results and growth will follow.

This means making sure your teams are energised by the work they do.

Ensure they are having fun. They care about doing good work. They take pride in what they deliver.

These behaviours drive quality solutions and valuable service and delivery outcomes, keeping customers returning and attracting new ones.

To enable your teams to flourish in this way, you need to be able to nurture high performance and create a culture for scaleup growth. We coach the founders we work with to achieve this. Let's explore what that looks and feels like. 

The power of founder coaching for scaleup success

Coaching is pivotal in guiding founders through the unique challenges and opportunities of scaling their businesses. 

But what exactly is coaching, and how can it help you?

Coaching is a series of empowering 1:1 (or team, if relevant) discussions that help founders clarify their thinking, behaviours, decisions, and actions. We enter into the coaching relationship with the fundamental belief that you have the capacity to grow, develop your approach, and achieve more extraordinary things than you are currently. 

It is a process of 'facilitated self-reflection', where your coach helps you to look in the mirror, understand and recognise yourself, and then take steps to better leverage your strengths or adapt areas that are not working as you want.

From clarity, we can act. From action, we can change.

We help founders gain new insights into why they behave the way they do, reflect on their emotions and thinking, and identify patterns and beliefs that are holding them back or preventing them from moving forward.




Coaching equips you with the tools and insights to navigate the complexities of scaling your business and creating the right environment where your team can thrive and flourish, even amidst lots of change.

Developing your leader mindset and capabilities

One of the primary benefits of coaching for scaleup founders is the opportunity to shift from a founder-to-leader mindset. 

This reframing of thinking helps you recognise what beliefs and patterns of behaviour create constraints for the team and the business and how you can approach that differently.

Our coaching work supports you in addressing your priorities, enabling you to drive the agenda and take your business to the next level. These interactions sit alongside our 'Founder Focus' sessions, which stimulate you to consider your growth strategy, scaleup culture, operations, organisational financial effectiveness, and customer value proposition.

Together, this work helps you build trust, increase team ownership, and stimulate more creativity in you and your teams.

As you shift your mindset from founder to leader, you develop new perspectives, thinking, and skills: communication, participative decision-making, embracing constructive conflict, and leading and enabling change.   

All vital skills for the scaling business. 

Insights to support your next-level leadership

The first step towards any form of development is learning about yourself—your strengths, your unique qualities, how the team, your peers, and even your customers perceive you, and areas you could work on.

We integrate market-leading leadership and personality tools with our Scaleup Leader 360 diagnostic to build a holistic picture of who you are and how this translates into impact with those around you.

These insights form the foundation of our Founder Coaching programme, helping you clarify core strengths and uncover blindspots or ways in which your behaviour impacts others you were unaware of.

The Scaleup Leader 360 examines behaviours across three core domains:

  • Leadership effectiveness: the extent to which yourself and others see you as being an accountable leader, able to communicate with impact, build relationships, manage conflicting priorities and make sense of the world around you;
  • Driving results for now: the extent to which you collaborate with others, coach for impact, drive growth, execute plans and use systems;
  • Growing for the future: the extent to which you create a compelling vision of the future, adapt how the business operates, generate new ideas, put ideas into action, and commit to constant learning and growth.

Through these insights, founders gain new perspectives on how their leadership style and personal preferences impact those around them.

This enables us to create a targeted development plan specifically geared toward helping you become the leader the growing business requires.

Building a culture of high-performance

At the heart of every successful ScaleUp is a high-performing team driven by a shared vision and culture of excellence. 

Coaching supports founders in building and nurturing these teams by fostering collaboration, communication, and accountability. 

Our team of qualified coaches work with founders to define clear roles and responsibilities, set performance expectations, and cultivate a culture of continuous learning and development. 

By investing in the growth and well-being of their teams, founders can create an environment where every member feels valued, empowered, and motivated to contribute their best work.

Power up your scaleup through founder coaching

In the fast-paced world of scaleup businesses, quickly adapting is critical to effective pivoting and execution. 

Sure, strategy is vital. 

Effective execution delivers results. 

We can drive these changes through forceful direction and control.

But with a growing team and the need to coordinate and engage others in experimentation, active change, and iteration, adopting a more inspiring, participative style of leadership is fundamental. This approach enables you to embrace the collective strengths and capabilities of the team. This approach engages others. This approach invites the team to bring their best ideas, energy and commitment to the work they are doing.

Without this kind of leadership, the scaleup business is limited by the founder's time, bandwidth, and creativity alone.

Unlock your business's potential by unleashing the entire team's creative energy. 

Talk to us today about how Founder Coaching can help you unlock your leadership potential... and your scaleup team's full performance potential.

Written by Barry McNeill | Founder and Managing Director of Work Extraordinary

Barry has over 25 years supporting leaders and teams to be more effective in driving business outcomes, such as growth, customer service and impact. He and his team have helped numerous founders, founding teams and growing organisations to develop new ways of working to achieve scaleup growth, enhanced culture, improved operational effectiveness and customer impact. You can connect with Barry through his social channels at the top of this page.

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