Having a rock solid team is the most important thing in order to find success. You can partner with friends, former coworkers, flatmates… in fact there is no right or wrong way to find the perfect fit.
However, we found being aware of these 4 items can help you get an idea of how easy it can be to work with a person. Either you’re an investor or an entrepreneur, here are the 4 most important items to look at before partnering up.
1. How do you distribute positions?
Many startups have a CEO and a COO, which doesn’t make any sense. COOs are here to execute the CEO guidelines in a big corporation. When you’re a startup, this position is redundant.
This choice usually underlines the fact that entrepreneurs don’t really separate their tasks and they don’t want to decide who’s boss. But this isn’t not about who commands, it’s about which talents each of you has and how these talents can achieve excellence in a position.
It’s essential for these teams to check how they work everyday in order to understand how each of them can be successful in a position.
2. Are you complementing one another’s behaviours?
Behaviours, NOT skills and experience. This one is harder to understand since it’s deeply connected to the way we all act. It’s not about what you know (such as software development) but how you act to drive a project. We often don’t know how some cofounders are able to balance their strengths and weaknesses.
The answer lies in behaviours. That’s what we mean by complementarity: how much can a team, according to their behaviours, challenge each other. They’re not the same and they’re not entirely different. It’s the in-between that makes complementarity and efficient teams.
3. How aligned are you in your perceptions?
We all perceive the world in a different manner. Take legal taxes: some entrepreneurs think you shouldn’t be involved in exoneration tricks (the legal kind) while others think you don’t have the choice since your competitors will do it if you don’t.
These are two ways of perceiving the situation, and there are no good or bad ways, it’s only a matter of alignement. This is why it’s important to understand alongside entrepreneurs how they perceive different situation since too many different views of situation can lead to misunderstanding.
4. How do you make decisions together?
We’ve seen how entrepreneurs may have diverging views: after perceiving something, we make a decision. It’s absolutely essential for a founding team to understand the correct process for decision making.
For some teams, it will be easier since they have a complementary way of decidiô making. When that’s not the case, worry not, it’s a matter of organisation: choose who makes decisions in which areas.
Two essential points:
- You have multiple decision makers: many profiles in the team like being in charge and making decisions
- You decide differently: sometimes you don’t agree with your cofounder since they don’t have the same priorities and objectives
- When dealing with multiple decision makers, separate your decision making areas. Create roles and give different tasks for each of these roles. For instance, one of you works on communication and the other one works on sales. Work separately and make decisions separately. Know you have to let your cofounder work in his area without interfering, trust them and if a mistake has been made, you’ve learned, move on 🙂
- If you decide differently, try to understand which one is the best at making decisions in any given area. Emotional people are great at communication, marketing, while more rational people are better at strategy. Discuss this with your cofounder and together, assign an area to whoever fits it better. Then, trust your cofounder and let them thrive in their designated area.
Whether you’ve already partnered up or not, take some time to check these points. Since relationships are key to build a solid company, it’s definitely worth a little bit of time and thinking with the team.