Four Ways Functional Leadership Empowers Start-ups 

Over the next few months, we will take you ‘Behind the Scenes’ at JourneyLabs to share aspects of how our company is able to re-imagine a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that solves everyday gaps in engagement.  JourneyLabs saw the need for immediate communication and engagement with a platform that allows organizations to reach out to their clients. When clients request help, our software customizes the business process and operationalizes the protocol providing each participant with a personalized experience. 

We are passionate and committed to building the best journey management platform on the market.  growing to over 20 members who support all aspects of our SaaS platform software and its development, we empower organizations to leverage that last mile in communication.  To do that, each team member plays several utilitarian roles and leadership is instilled at every level. 

Building a software platform and scaling for growth, companies and entrepreneurs break their backs finding the right talent to match and marry their budding company cultures. This becomes even harder when startups and first-stage businesses like JourneyLabs looks to scale. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), “Leaders need to recognize that the methods for leading and motivating staff that they used in the startup phase may no longer work.”  Building a team to scale involves empowering your employees to act more like entrepreneurs.  While this may come naturally for early employees in a startup company, as the company grows, there can be growing pains involved in staying connected with team members. 

It is important to anticipate and manage expectations.  Here are four ways functional leaders can empower teams and keep them together: 

1. Instill leadership at every level. 

Know when and how to empower your team.  Team members need to be coachable.  Build internal leadership for team members’ roles aligned with the goals and objectives of the company. 

2. Foster communication from day one. 

Setting expectations for communication empowers your team.  As the company scales, coach and encourage team members to provide feedback that is part of on-going and meaningful dialogue. 

3. Share the big vision. 

When team members are enrolled in the big picture of the company’s mission, vision, and values, they understand better when they are asked to take on non-traditional roles. 

4. Acknowledge contributions. 

Particularly in a startup and first-stage business culture, as everyone steps up to adapt to roles that they may not be familiar with, it’s important to acknowledge contributions as part of a regular feedback cycle. 

“Scaling [a company] doesn’t mean that ventures should disavow their start-up identities and embrace large-company dogma once they’re poised for growth,” according to HBR.  “But those prepared to manage that growth—and to learn new ways of operating and behaving—stand a much better chance of making it in the long term.” 

As our platform and our company continues to scale, so does the talent and experience of the JourneyLabs team. To manage leadership at every level of an extraordinary team, we keep communication open and transparent.  This is done by sharing company objectives each week and deciding together where support is needed.  Functional leadership and team development empower more meaningful relationships within our business and with our partners. By incorporating these actions within the company, we build functional leadership as we scale which results in stronger and more meaningful relationships with our clients. 


Dawn Jensen is Head of Creative Marketing at JourneyLabs. A Florida native, Dawn is a graduate of the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Defense Information School (DINFOS). She is a social business, digital media and marketing strategist for start-ups and first stage businesses, and has been known to travel some distance for good BBQ and iced tea. For more information about JourneyLabs or to set up a demo of the JourneyLabs platform, email us:

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