We are partnering with a few amazing startups with inspirational founders for their leadership hiring and working together with them to ensure the right fitment of candidates; keeping in mind the attributes important for a startup leader. Sharing some of our takeaways from our recent experience & from our research:
Thriving in ambiguity – There is a lot unknown in a startup and a leader has to be comfortable working with chaos and finding a way out of it and see opportunity in ambiguity. Leaders in startups need to have higher comfort with risk and for such leaders, unpredictable ambiguous environments are a source of motivation.
Value for speed – Speed is a defining characteristic of a startup leader, necessary to make a serious competitive advantage. Speed and agility are key when it comes to product but speed matters to the rest of the business too — not just product. Such leaders are open to suggestions and have an open mind but are fast decision-makers; making mistakes and learning quickly.
Passion for ownership – It is important for a leader in a startup to be driven by a need to own products, projects, and initiative and be passionate about having control over the finished product. Such leaders are hands-on & they want to be in the middle of the buzz and hustle of the new venture
Persuasiveness – Leaders at startups must be able to sell their vision to prospective team members and initial investors even before they have anything else to offer. Confidence and persuasiveness is key in a leader for a startup; the belief that you can reach your goal and convince all the people whose help you need that they can too.
Wearing multiple hats – Leaders who are laterally aligned generalists (along with being a specialist in an area) knowing a bit or more of everything brings a lot more value to a startup. With few people capable of doing diverse things overall ROI increases thereby enabling startups to deliver more.
Instinctive learner – In a startup drive and hunger to constantly discover, explore, experiment, fail, revise, experiment again is key. Openness to new experiences & the need to explore and learn- it is a trait that most distinguishes effective leaders in startups.
Meena Iyer (Manager- Talent Solutions ), Khyati Rajani (Client solutions Specialist)
For additional reading on similar topics sharing some of our research sources:
HBR.Org (hiring an entrepreneurial leader by Timothy Butler)
The first-round review (Speed as a habit- article by Dave Girouard, CEO of personal finance startup Upstart)