Sign to direct your obligation
One-way sign to direct your obligation
Christian Leborg
What I should do? What I could do?

What are the obligations of a founder?

An obligation is an entrepreneur’s duty to be true to the values she shares with other stakeholders.

What are obligations for entrepreneurship? An obligation is a set of ideals that makes a founder feel that she has no choice. Obligations drive entrepreneurs to start a company and bring the venture to fruition. Obligations can be a sense of justice and empathy for disabled users, for people in remote areas, or for customers with low income. Why are obligations important for you as a founder? Obligations drive founders to do what has never been done before. Stakeholders also have obligations that propel them to act. A new company has an obligation to keep its brand promise to its customers. How do obligations work? The commitment is a fundamental value that shapes the personality of a new company. The obligation may be conveyed to the stakeholders, but ideally, the stakeholders should agree upon a value system. A startup has a duty to its stakeholders to make a profit, but the company’s main obligation is to act in a socially responsible manner.
“I’ve always felt that we should try to live our lives so as to leave the world a better place.” – Daphne Koller, Co-founder of Coursera
When do obligations kick in? The sense of duty that founders and members of an organisation feel is strongest in the idea phase. All decisions throughout the life of an organisation are shaped by obligations. A business has an obligation to society, which is part of its purpose to produce offerings according to consumer needs. Who are entrepreneurs obliged to Entrepreneurs feel a responsibility to help their community of users, employees and investors. Founders have a commitment to earn a living to provide for a family, or to continue the legacy of a family business – and they are obliged to themselves and what drives them. What do founders feel obliged to? For entrepreneurs, the drive to start a business often feels like an obligation to a community, neighborhood or geographic area. Entrepreneurs may feel obliged to a neighborhood, country or society as a whole. Most of all take on this burden to be autonomous and change the world for the better. I have always felt an obligation to my sense of self-expression. In later years though, I have found that having an obligation that is bigger than myself drives me even harder. Do you have a strong obligation concerning your company? If you are not yet an entrepreneur, what do you think would be your strongest obligation in a start-up? Please write your thoughts in the comments below.

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.