Hire Deliberately and Slowly

I’ve started layering in organizational health/optimization work with some repeat clients. As the data comes in across companies, one startling fact keeps reappearing. 

The companies that hire deliberately, minimally, and with zero expertise overlap seem to hum the most. They have the least bullsh*t internally.


A lack of expertise overlap eliminates the number one source of political horsesh*t – redundant viewpoints. Two marketing leads fighting to control the narrative. Two sales leads trying to determine the account strategy, etc.

I can’t tell you how many startups have 2-3 marketing people who think they should be the marketing ‘lead’ for the company. And they are distributed awkwardly across poorly distinguished roles like VP Brand, VP Marketing, and VP Creative.

All this leads to is ego battles, promotion-driven fighting, and cannibalization. And it kills culture.

When you bring in a functional leader, bring in just one!

Make it clear.

And make sure they respect the other business functions before you make an offer. Early-stage startups have no time for jaded functionalists with loads of baggage about other functions. Let them stay at BigCo.

Dr. James Richardson

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