The biggest mistakes Startup CEO’s make

Start up success comes from the ability to clearly articulate the vision and build the right team to deliver it. To many founder CEO’s make common mistakes when they hire the startup executive team.

Pass ownership to familiar cofounders and early employees

As you build the initial team there are going to be members who may not think they way you do. Cofounders often fall into the trap of hiring people who think they way they do.

But that does not necessarily give you the best talent in the market, be careful with applying titles to anyone in the early phases of organisational growth, soon you may need to hire more experienced professionals as you build out your leadership structure.

Not allocating enough time to hiring talent

Search takes time, finding the right person for leadership roles your organisation is critical so make sure you allow enough time to identity a large enough pool of suitable candidates, interview enough to optimise the best quality and identity which attributes of leader will help your company grow.

Spend time ensuring that the person you are hiring has experience relevant to your organisation. Don’t hire someone who has been leading a team of 1000 if you need them able to bootstrap a small 5 person team. They can double a team or optimise a team but chances are they would not be suitable to help accomplish the short term goals of your organisation.

Be careful not to award titles to people that might be hard to reclaim later when you need to appoint more experienced leaders, this is especially hard when you build a business with friends.

Not relinquishing responsibility even after hiring the right person

Be careful to make sure that you build trust and avoid micro-managing, nothing is going to frustrate a new leader on your team more than a lack of trust and constant monitoring.

Build the relationship and put plenty of time into working alongside them, structure decision making frameworks that are transparent and ensure that everyone is comfortable with how the decision was made, also ensuring that technical and business risk are all adequately considered.

Ali Ghodsi is CEO and cofounder of data analytics company Databricks.

Key Takeaways

  • Founder CEO’s can find it hard to recruit the right team that can help them scale effectively.
  • Be careful not to award titles to people that might be hard to reclaim later when you need to appoint more experienced leaders.
  • Watch to ensure that as a leader you are not holding control of all decisions to tightly, if you hired a leader to take control of a function learn to delegate the function effectively.
Synopsis of an article from Fast Company
3 biggest mistakes founder CEO's make when building that crucial first team
by Ali Ghodisi
published 21st September 2020

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