"I don't want to be the external face of the brand"

Management Today’s resident agony uncle, Octopus Group chief executive Simon Rogerson, offers advice on stepping into public-facing roles.

by Simon Rogerson

QUESTION:

My co-founder and I started our business four years ago; now we employ 40 people. Last year, she decided to pursue another project, so I bought her out. It’s been harder than I expected. She was always the public-facing side of the partnership, the one who led the pitches and got the message out there. I’m a classic introvert. I don’t like being the centre of attention, doing press interviews or being “the face of the brand”, and I don’t think I’m very good at it either. I’m trying to decide whether to hire someone to take that on so I can focus on actually running the business, or if that’s just passing the buck – people expect the founder. Any advice?

SIMON ROGERSON SAYS:

I can relate to this. While the co-founder route does create its own issues (typically around clarity of roles and responsibilities), it definitely makes you feel less isolated and allows you to talk to someone who instinctively “gets it”.

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