Life, Liberty, & Happiness

I Love Founders


have a very special place in my heart for founders of businesses. For the people who have the guts, GRIT and skills to start a business from an idea - and turn it into something real.

These founders are sane enough to know that every day is a fight for survival against daunting odds. They are crazy enough to believe they can succeed anyway. And retaining them in meaningful ways is essential to the long-term success of any company who acquires an entrepreneurial startup.

Too often, Boards think about running a company as an operating and execution job, flanked by rigorous financial models and metrics. And don’t misunderstand me here - operational excellence and financial integrity are certainly important. But when we reduce company leadership to simply metrics, milestones and financial targets, we negate other very important components of a business - vision, heart, and love.

  • Founders have unmatched vision. Without the founder, the acquiring company may lose the vision that will take it forward; the vision that will adjust the strategy to the changing market; and the vision that can see the future in their mind’s eye.
  • Founders are the heartbeat of the organization. Without meaningful engagement of the founders, those acquiring a business may lose the heart and soul of the company. The heart and soul of a business are the stories (the “remember when” stories, the “scary times” stores, the “I can’t believe we did that” stories). And the founder is often the keeper of the stories. These stories form the nucleus of culture and commitment to excellence.
  • Founders love the business in unique ways that only a founder can. They fund holiday parties out of pocket because the company can’t afford such events, but they matter. They know employee birthdays and kid’s names. They show up for weddings and funerals. They nurture the team through the worst of times and celebrate with the team in the best of times. They love the people - because the people are the business.

This is where founders excel. Not just for their GRIT to try entrepreneurship in the first place, but for the vision they have for the company, for the heart they have for the mission, and the love they have for the people.

About Dr. Michael Burcham

Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.

“I built and sold a $40M company with Dr. Burcham as my mentor. This is the thing: if you EVER get the opportunity to learn from this man, from that moment forward, you’ll list him as one of the most influential people in your life, even if you live to be 90. And, you’ll know how lucky you were to have that opportunity and you’ll immediately say YES to any chance to be in his presence again—his wisdom is that impactful.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann

Former CEO, Letter Logic

“If you are looking for a trusted mentor and coach for yourself or your leadership team, I highly recommend Michael Burcham. He has worked with me as my executive coach for well over a decade now. Our conversations and his feedback have helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills. He’s a trusted advisor that I can confidentially speak with about any issue—and I know I’ll get valued feedback. I highly recommend him.”

Ryan McGrath

CEO, Asset Living

“Dr. Burcham’s depth and breadth of experience makes even the most ADD entrepreneurial leader sit up and take notes! His coaching skills bring out the ‘best you’ possible. He selflessly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly—leaving you with an authentic and moving experience sure to spur action and professional growth!”

Julie Lenzer

Director, U.S. Department of Commerce


Get In Touch

Looking for a professional development coach or a career change?

Do you need help developing your management teams or creating a strategic plan?

Wanting to build engagement around innovation or teach your team to build investor value?

If you are ready to develop winning strategies, contact me today to schedule a confidential discussion.

Contact Michael