Noam Wasserman’s book, The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup discusses dilemmas of entrepreneurship. Last week’s blog post discussed building the best team possible for the success of your company. This week’s discussion will cover how role dilemmas must be considered. Wasserman (2012) discusses what happens at the beginning of a start up with multiple founders. If there are multiple founders, there can be some conflict over what founder will obtain which role. Often more than one founder will desire to be CEO. Wasserman (2012) discusses the need to make roles expressly clear so that there are less issues in the future over major decisions for the company. Even at the risk of conflict, founders should make clear decisions early on about who has decision making power (Wasserman, 2012).
How Many Founders Should be on the Board of Directors?
In discussing role dilemmas Wasserman (2012) also discusses the issues of having more than one founder on The Board of Directors. Through his research of many companies, Wasserman (2012) notes that having more than one founder on the Board can cause decision making issues. Having only one founder on the Board of Directors could be beneficial versus having multiple founders on the Board. This decision alone could cause some disagreement within the founding group. However, most likely the CEO will be the selected Board Member and if roles have already been expressly made clear, there will be understanding in this area. Making it a priority to discuss and come to clear terms on issues that may cause conflict will be beneficial to lesson conflict and misunderstandings in the long run.
Some other considerations include the size of the board, whether or not to have outside directors, diversity to cover areas of expertise, and respect among board members. These considerations and more are covered in the Forbes article found at the following link:
Skills That You Can Teach and Skills That You Can’t
Eric Herrenkohl, in his book, How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team- Even If You Don’t Have a Recruiting Department, discusses the need to find and hire the right people with the skills that your company needs. Employees that have the correct skills are necessary for success.
Herrenkohl (2010) lists skills that can be taught and skills that can’t be taught. Skills that can be taught include “…technical knowledge, product knowledge, understanding of a particular client.” Skills that cannot be taught include “…motivation, leadership, commitment, the ability to sell, and the desire to achieve.” (Herrenkohl, p. 99, 2010)
Herrenkohl says, “There are skills you can teach and skills you can’t. Find a large pool of people who already have the fundamental skills you want, interview a lot of them, and hire the best of them. This is a simple formula for creating a team of A-players. (Herrenkohl, p. 110, 2010)
Do you want to have “A-players”? Consider taking Herrenkohl’s advice.
Recognizing and Appreciating the Less Obvious People
While looking for your prospective employees Herrenkohl (2010) lists some people that businesses may not initially think about. Some of those people include women such as those who are entering the workforce again after having a family, those who are relocating with their spouse, and single mothers. The point of looking in areas not thought about before, is finding unexpected talent in unexpected places. Taking the time to look into unexpected places may help businesses to find the perfect employees. Business owners who look outside of the box may find the best treasures! Happy treasure hunting!
Herrenkohl, Eric. How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team- Even If You Don’t Have a Recruiting Department. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
Wasserman, N. (2012). The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Zwilling, Martin. “Mistakes To Avoid With A Startup Board Of Directors.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 June 2015, www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2015/06/30/mistakes-to-avoid-with-a-startup-board-of-directors/.