Outsider After the Fact: Leading in a Founder-Present Business

  • Felicity Kelliher
  • Patrick C. Flood
  • Chris O’Riordan
  • Malcolm Higgs


This chapter discusses the challenges of an outsider leader running a business where the founder remains in an active role in the business. Grace O’Shaughnessy, the youngest business leader featured in this publication, considers her early management career in Kylemore Bakery and Lir Chocolates, each founder/family businesses, before reflecting on her progressive roles in Java Republic (an independently owned founder-led coffee and tea distribution company, focused on the B2B market) as GM, MD and, more recently, CEO. The nuances of differentiating between two leader roles—one insider and one outsider—are discussed, as are the necessary role negotiations and renegotiations as an organisation grows. Contemplating the debate as to whether an outsider leader should be sought out by default, Grace considers the nuances of selecting someone for their skills, regardless of gender, age or outsiderness. The chapter closes with a conclusion and reflection.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felicity Kelliher
    • 1
  • Patrick C. Flood
    • 2
  • Chris O’Riordan
    • 1
  • Malcolm Higgs
    • 3
  1. 1.School of BusinessWaterford Institute of TechnologyWaterfordIreland
  2. 2.DCU Business SchoolDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  3. 3.Hull University Business SchoolUniversity of HullHullUK

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