In this post, Jason Lemkin evokes the necessary anticipation regarding the unavoidable turnover in key management positions.
When a startup is in a phase of rapid growth, and still at a fragile size, many things rely on VPs. According to a Carta study mentioned in the article, there’s a 50% chance any given employee will stay for only 3 years. And when it is a VP who leaves the company, everything quickly becomes very complicated if the organization is not ready.
Lemkin offers a few tips on how to prepare for this eventuality and encourages investing as soon as possible in a row of Directors who can replace the VPs.
Things just happen, even in the best cultures and start-ups.
People move away.
People end up not scaling or not wanting to scale.
People get tired.
People that have done it before, end up not wanting to do it again.
You can reduce churn on the team, but you can’t eliminate it.
So as hard as it is just to build out your first management team, if you want to do it right, you also have to start planning for if you lose any of them.