8/6/08

You´re brilliant. We are hiring.

video
Challenge yourself against better players and you'll become star of the team. Google's Vice President of Search Products & User Experience, Marissa Mayer, reflects upon her personal experience working with some of the finest talent in hi-tech - and points out that working with the best empowers each player to excel.

Even if the above shared video does not exclusively apply for the entrepreneurial world (and comes from a big, established company – but one of my favorite ones), it definitively addresses an issue that makes a huge difference when entrepreneurs are passing from having a “business” into building a “company”: PEOPLE. And in fact smart people.

To be a “one man show” is something very common for entrepreneurs when they are starting their companies. It happens for many diverse reasons that go from the fact that at the beginning only the entrepreneur understands (and feels passionate about!) what the business is all about, till simply not having the financial capacity to even afford a couple of full paid staff. However only companies become sustainable and transcend, when the entrepreneur is capable to build a strong team of good people that live the values and culture of the company, and that has what it takes to bring it to the next level.

The (personal/professional) EGO (a person's opinion of his or her own worth) is in this context the strongest enemy of entrepreneurs. They sometimes feel afraid of bringing on board people that for some reasons they might consider “smarter”. Big mistake. Some are afraid of loosing control, some even feel guilty for not being able to manage everything by themselves, others are simply afraid of being shadowed … we can talk hours in a deeper way about the reasons why for entrepreneurs is so hard to “let go”, but - coming back to the video – I´d invite you to reflect on the reasons why it´s important (and enjoyable!) to do it.

1. “Challenge yourself against better players and you'll become star of the team”: By interacting with good people that bring into your company unknown practices by you, YOU CAN LEARN from them! Now, it also shows the other “side of the coin”. When hiring, make sure you get people that are not only smart, but willing to build real learning environments and share their experiences (knowledge, thoughts, visions) with each other. I do believe there are billions of capable people in this world, but not all of them are ready to work with an entrepreneur – exactly because of this reason.


2. “Entrepreneur is Entrepreneur” – “CEO is CEO”: The demand of talent of companies changes over the time. At the beginning a start – up needs visionary people, with execution capacity, with no fear to take risks, sensitive to opportunities and high ability to convince and negotiate. That´s for me an Entrepreneur. But once the company grows the need for functional/technical/management qualifications and educated leadership skills increases. At that point, Entrepreneurs should be ready to invite people in that can bring those set of talents on the table. The Entrepreneurs should not strive to be CEOs just for the sake of being one. Many entrepreneurs indeed do not enjoy that job role and the responsibilities that it implies – but afraid of bringing new people in, they fall into the horrible game of doing what they are not good for, and stop doing what naturally they enjoy and are excellent at.


3. “The world needs you, not only your company”: For me a real entrepreneur (no matter if social or business oriented) is the one whose playground is the world, the society, not the companies. Companies are just platforms that entrepreneurs enable once, and take care of for a certain period of time, but then they need to get sustainable through talent that the entrepreneur should be able to bring in. Well, that´s my vision, I identify a lot with serial entrepreneurship … but I know it´s not the only way of seeing it. Leave your “babies” with smart “nannies”, and be free to keep changing the world. That makes you bigger.

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