On Choosing Your New Venture "Team"

In preparation for my upcoming interview with Barbara Corcoran--"Queen of Real Estate" and one of the "sharks" on ABC's Shark Tank--I'm reading her book Shark Tales. The book reads quickly and with sufficient detail to provide relevance and currency for any entrepreneurially-minded person.

Although I haven't finished the book, she makes some excellent points about the importance of character, passion, and purpose to the entrepreneur and the new venture creation process. I read this on p. 288 today and thought I'd share it with you:
"If you're going to build a big business, sooner or later you have to hire the right people to help you run it, and when you do, you'd better pick them carefully...The best people have the essential qualities of character, energy, and thankfulness. If someone lacks integrity, you'll find he won't be there for you when the going gets tough. If someone is apathetic, he won't make it to the finish line. And if someone is not appreciative at the onset, you can count on the fact that he'll stab you in the back when there's real money on the table."
So, what do you think? Do you agree that what matters is character, energy, and thankfulness? Just yesterday in class, we had a solid discussion on the importance of trust to the enterpreneurial process. When you are a nobody, your concept is unproven, and your business is unknown, your trustworthiness is one way to establish yourself as a legitimate option in the marketplace. This trustworthiness is a factor of others' perceptions of your ABI; your ability to do what you're claiming to do, your benevolence in making decisions that are to the benefit of others rather than only to yourself, and your integrity fueled by reliable behavior that matches your words.

Be on the lookout for my writeup of the upcoming interview. Should be a good one...

1 comment:

Joel West said...

It's impossible to create a successful startup if the team lacks passion. Those see it as "just a job" will undercut any effect of the founders' drive to create something new.

At the same time, founders tend to overestimate the commitment they can expect out of employees, even early ones.