How to Build a Brilliant Team A Dale Carnegie top executive reveals who you need and where to find them.
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An innovative idea may inspire a new business, but it takes brilliant people to make that business a success. Michael Crom, executive vice president and chief learning officer of Dale Carnegie Training and co-author of The Leader in You: How to Win Friends, Influence People and Succeed in a Changing World, discusses the first step to startup success: assembling your team. Read on for Crom's advice on finding the best people and filling leadership roles--while still saving some cash.
What's the most important position to fill at the outset?
No. 1, you need to assess your own competencies. As the founder, you really should have a very strong vision and clear goals for the company. If you're not able to meet that need, that may be the very first thing you have to fill in terms of leadership roles. You need to look at creating a competency map of what you need for your own company: Very often for startups, fundraising and relationship-building are going to be key. Selling skills, project and management skills--those are ones that come to my mind instantly.
What personality traits should entrepreneurs look for?
It's important to look for people who are real go-getters and are passionate about the goals you have for the company. Also, look for people who have past work experience that's relevant to what you're doing, particularly people who have worked in small companies, because they aren't used to having to worry about other people doing things for them. They're not used to worrying about corporate rules and regulations, which you may not have in a startup, so they can be more independent in their ability to do things, and they don't mind crossing over barriers and doing multiple tasks. Experience in a large company can be valuable, but save those hires for when you're beyond the initial startup phase.