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#5 Blog

Week 6 #5 blog

Hire people at the right time.

Hire under these 3 Dimensions:

1) Recruitment

2) Rewards

3) Control

“The dilemmas that founders face in choosing new hires, like those they face in choosing founders, fall into the Three Rs: Relationships, role, and rewards.” (Wasserman, 2013, Loc No. 3240).


1) Relationships

2) Roles- Must face 2 challenges: creating new C-level and VP-level positions that did not exist before “upgrading” existing positions (loc no. 3366).

3) Rewards

CEOs tend to feel more comfortable with hires they already know (Wasserman, 2013, loc No. 3293).

Risks of hiring Friends and Family:

Teams whose members have prior relationships are less likely to discuss sensitive issues and face major damage to those relationships if things go wrong. Friendship needs to come second because of the higher responsibility to the collective. Hiring people with strong ties to other cofounders can introduce the same problems as hiring friends and family.

“It is crucial for founder-CEOs not only to diagnose and correct the problems that arise from hiring the wrong person, but also to anticipate when a decision that was good at the time may need to be rethought because the startup has arrived at a new stage of development.” (Loc 3759).

What to do when an underperforming or non-scaling employee is also a friend or family member. Founders with prior personal relationshi8ps with their hires are less likely to discuss sensitive matters. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake and “hiring slow.” (loc 3777). l

want new hires to be prepared for the challenges of integrating into a tight-knit founding team (Loc 3332). Evaluating a hire’s fit with the startup is difficult. It can be harder than evaluating her skills. Interviews can help you feel whether they are or are ‘Not really one of us.’ (loc 3341).

Conclusion: Keeping the A-Players You Hire

C-players don’t typically become A-Players. Accept the hand that has been dealt to you.

I must be an effective leader and coach so that I can keep my A-Players. A-Players want to work for strong leaders (loc 2967).

“A-Player Principle: A-Players want to work for leaders who know where they as top performers fit in the future of the business. Time invested in clarifying and communicating your vision pays off by helping to keep the A-players that you hire.” (LOC 2981).

I need an organizational strategy to keep my A-players. Start with goals l want to achieve and what success looks like for my business.

An organizational chart is a quick way to analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in my current team.

Steps to follow:

1) Invest my time with my A-players first

2) Provide my B-players with coaching and accountability

3) Turn some borderline performers in A-players by scaling down their roles

4) Replace C-players and below with people from my farm team

Do 2 things to implement thing.

1) Objectivity

2) Time

The most powerful words to an A-player are “I was thinking about you.” (loc 3053). Speak one-on-one with A-players about their careers. People want to know what their boss is thinking about them.

Commit to motivating A-players by strongly motivating them to the idea of moving to the next level in their careers and lives.

“A-player principle” A-players don’t want to be taken for granted. Make sure they know where they fit in the future of your business.” (loc 3076). “Leaders who create great companies never do it alone. They always create a team of A-players.” (loc 3089).


Wasserman, Noam. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls

That Can Sink a Startup (The Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and

Entrepreneurship). Illustrated, kindle ed., Princeton University Press, 2013.


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