Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess
A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read allIf the Shoe Fits posts here
Jody Foster is chair of the department of psychiatry at Pennsylvania Hospital; immediately after receiving her MBA she has a very different experience assessing startup teams for VCs considering investing.
…to understand who the main players in that company were, how the team functioned together, what kinds of personalities they had, and which ones needed watching as the company, and the venture capitalists’ investment, grew.
I’ve said for years that people aren’t faucets and can’t/don’t turn their feelings and attitudes on and off depending where they are; Foster puts it differently.
“People are people, no matter what industry they are in, and they bring their basic personalities to work,” says Foster. “When they act out in inappropriate ways — by, for example, bullying employees who work under them, compulsively micro managing, displaying narcissistic tendencies — it can be devastating to the entire workplace.”
Founders need to evaluate potential new hires as objectively as Foster would.
That means ignoring their skills and looking at the whole person warts and all.
Your team can survive a person with great attitude, but weaker skills, until they strengthen and grow.
What your team won’t survive is the so-called star with superb skills who brings with them the traits Foster mentions or any that are in direct opposition to the culture you are creating.
They will destroy you.
Image credit: HikingArtist