Development of Leadership Principles and Leadership Program
Architecture for Hyper-Growth Tech Startup


A large hyper-growth tech startup set out on a mission to improve the delivery of critical management skills to its global managers. This is the story of how gothamCulture designed Leadership Principles and a Leadership Program Architecture to accomplish that goal.

The Need

Over the course of a year, this hyper-growth tech startup in the design/build space has grown to 850+ employees with offices in four countries. With their rapid growth and fast-paced environment, 150 managers, spread across a diverse array of disciplines, from architecture and design to the manufacturing floor, needed a system that would help them gain critical management skills in a way that would not interfere with their daily work.

The Intervention

In our partnership with the client, we developed leadership principles, supporting leadership competencies, behaviors, and expectations for each growth level at the company and leadership framework. Key activities included:

  • Conducted an inclusive needs assessment, engaging in several individual and group conversations with leaders at all levels and departments of the organization to identify the principles and behaviors that were essential for leadership success at the company.
  • Developed a leadership framework based on the principles, outlining leadership competencies, and key behaviors for each level.
  • Prepared a unique Leadership Development Architecture, where each leader would be able to personalize their learning through an individual “Leader Kit” that included suggestions for action learning and a system for tracking behavior change over time.
  • Collaborated with the L&D team, in a two-day design sprint on site, utilizing design thinking principles to develop a leadership development program that would fit the needs and working style of the managers at the organization.
  • Developed prototype course materials for the first general learning session, a four-hour “Manager as Coach” course, that the client could easily test and finalize with managers.

The Impact

Our close partnership with the L&D team meant that our design was something that the L&D team could easily own and adjust based on feedback from managers. By including the managers (the target audience for the program) in the design process, we ensured that the leadership principles and competencies, framework, and architecture would deeply resonate and enable behavior change in these leaders. The client has tested the design of the Leadership Architecture with a sample of managers at the company and received excellent feedback. Then, the client has rolled out the Leadership Principles and Architecture at the company-wide level.

About gothamCulture

gothamCulture is a management consulting firm that draws on our associate’s comprehensive expertise and experience in the areas of culture, leadership, and people strategy to provide innovative solutions and client-service excellence. Our work is guided by our deeply held shared values, including a commitment to each other and our clients, unwavering integrity, pursuit of excellence, relatable expertise, and authentic community. For more information, visit