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Can't Do Anything With Wrong Team

And three points to get you to a great team

diverse team can do it

You can’t do anything great with the wrong team … remember it!

Today I want to muse about team and why it's essential to think about the team from the very beginning of any project or business.

People, founders / creators / entrepreneurs, often think, once I raise money or once I make more money I will hire someone to do this for me (or instead of me). We all did it. It’s natural but also very limiting and therefore wrong way of thinking about team and hiring.

First of all, the rule No.1 should be - you are always hiring!

At least virtually in your mind. Whether you have money or not, whether you want to hire now or not, you are always looking for great people who match your beliefs and ambition and who have interesting skills that could up your game, business, product.

You need to meet a lot of people before you find good match(es) and you should always be looking to form relationships with interesting individuals that you can simply vibe well with.

Rule No.2 should be - it must be “Absolutely yes, amazing!”

When you are thinking about working with someone, if it’s just “probably good” or ok, don’t do it! I’ve learned over the years that it’s better to have less “Absolutely YES” teammates than enough “OK teammates”.

It sounds so logical, yet it is usually very hard to do in practice when you’re waiting for the role to be filled. I know .

Rule No.3 should be - don’t hire for a role

I know, I know, everyone tells you the opposite. Just read this till the end and you'll understand. When hiring, you should watch for these three parameters:

A/ core set of activities you want the person to take over;

B/ for adaptation and growth potential;

C/ for experience in set of activities.

Now, A is clear, and B and C are important so let me decode them a bit more:

Why hire for potential - because all is changing faster and faster, and everyone is figuring things out on everyday basis. It means it’s hard to hire for proof of work unless there’s high adaptation potential to learn the next better thing and unless there’s a strong will to grow. To grow with you, with the business, with the overall space.

When I just said everything is changing - why hire for experience at all? Well, you hire for experience in set of activities so you could do them faster and you would not repeat unnecessary mistakes. It does not mean you will need to do different activities - but if there’s B present, that’s no problem because you just saved yourself a ton of time and mistakes and you have someone who can figure “the new way” out.

Let’s quickly come back to A/ hire for set of activities rather than roles;

Roles are limiting. They were made to be proxy for two things that are now obsolete - power/rank in the company’s hierarchy and people’s replaceability.

Roles are artificially made boxes that make it easy for large orgs to produce salary-ranges, benefits, personal development plans, OKRs and KPIs, assign hiring tasks to HR and they also make it look like if you loose a person from the role - it’s just a box to fill by another hire (they may not really go higher get the pun?).

In today’s world it’s way easier to just look at your project/company and break it down to activities on innovation and distribution sides (+ add Ops) and then put them into Matrix showing activities:

  • You should be doing but don’t have time for,

  • You should be doing but don’t have skills for,

  • You want to be doing but don’t have time or skills,

  • You are doing and doing well.

Do this and you’re good to go hire or solicit help! Ideally within a pool of people you’ve met along the way and you know are great.

Don't forget diversity

There’s one thing I have to add, as a big diversity proponent, try to make as diverse friends as possible. No company or web3 project has a chance for long term success without diverse set of people working on it.

World is a big place, you understand it way less than you think and chances are there are more people living in parts of the world which you don’t understand than in those you do understand. So put in the effort. Diversity is hard, but it’s also fun and rewarding.

Now go make your real or virtual hires!

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