The Evolution of a Leader

By Chris Marks

Founding a start-up and running a large high growth company are two roles that come with completely different job descriptions. They require different skill sets, different temperaments, and tend to attract different types of people. As a result, it is no surprise that so few early stage entrepreneurs transition to successful large company CEOs.

But there are founders who have made the transition. And what they will tell you is that it doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a lot of self-inquiry, hard work and intentionality. The path is usually littered with good mentors, tough conversations, and more then a few mis-steps.

Late last year, I taped an interview with Bart Lorang, co-founder and CEO of FullContact for my Annual LP Meeting. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bart since 2011, when I invested in him and his two co-founders working out of a basement in Denver. Since then, FullContact has grown to over 200 employees, and Bart has grown with it.

As always, Bart was fairly reflective, and offered some great insights on the inherent challenges of serving as the CEO of a high growth company. I particularly enjoyed this response on how his leadership style has evolved over the years.