Rarely is a business founded with the perfect team. Most often it is a lone entrepreneur or tech person building a great idea into a viable business.
But if you get to a certain level of success you are going to need a team to execute on your vision. But how does one recruit an ideal start up squad? Do we take pointers from coach Bombay and recruit a mismatched team of players and inspire them with a ‘ducks fly together’ team line?
Or perhaps we get some PR together, boast about our current success and like Jordan Belfort on the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ have 100s of graduates looking to get some skin in the game and make some serious cash. Neither of those will suffice.
Instead the best method is to hand pick your squad based on past performance and trust that they can do it again. Here is the type of person (or anti-hero) you need in your start-up team.
Every start-up team needs a Joker. They are the hard-core entrepreneur, the visionary and the one that keeps moving the team forward. In fact each actor that plays the joker has that entrepreneurial mindset.
Jared Leto didn’t set out to ‘do it better’. Rather he set out to ‘do it differently.’ He is adaptable and can easily alter a plan at the drop of hat. But perhaps most importantly he is resourceful. He has the contacts, the gadgets and resources to pull things together and execute.
Think in terms of Steve Jobs. Henry Blodget, Co-Founder of Business Insider described Jobs’ actions as ‘out of control disruptive behaviour.’ Sound familiar?
The player who executes with precision. This is that one person that negotiate like a boss and get deals done. They tend to be ruthless in their approach but success will follow. One entrepreneur that comes to mind is John Sculley.
Sculley was successfully recruited to Apple from Pepsi when Steve Jobs famously said ‘Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?
Sculley had incredible success at PepsiCo as he introduced the Pepsi challenge that allowed the company to gain market share from Coca Cola. Under Sculley’s management sales at Apple increased from $800 million to $8 billion.
This is the branding and PR specialist in the business. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character was one of the most talked about in the lead up to the film. On set she was very persuasive and was able to command attention when she wanted it.
None other than Virgin founder Richard Branson comes to mind. When Branson talks, everyone listens. The media will travel to see what his next PR stunt will be.
Whether he is travelling the world via a hot air balloon, dressing up as a bride or bungee jumping from a casino, Branson always gains worldwide attention from his publicity stunts.
The one who will be hustling away in the office at 10pm on a Friday. Naturally an introvert but will deliver the goods when called upon.
This is the person is on the ground doing the day in and day out work for the company. They will be motivated by a strong leader who sets the vision and mission for the company.
If Croc is working until 10pm on a Friday you can bet that Captain Boomerang has stocked the office with beers and good times. Business is tough.
And for that reason you can’t put a price tag on morale. Captain Boomerang is the partier of the team. They know how to have a good time and they influence the rest of the team to follow.
Friday night drinks, a sneaky beer at lunch and suggesting a ping pong table in the office are the traits of this fun loving start-up member.
The social conscience of the team. This DC character has a history where he let his power get out of hand. He burnt down an apartment building killing an innocent mother and child all with the purpose of collecting rent.
The guilt became overwhelming that he quietly handed himself into the police. This can be seen as the socially responsible person in the team who looks at the impact of decisions not just from a profit point of view but a social and ethical point of view.
We need more people in business with a social focus. An infamous case involving Jack Welch and G.E where they decided to dump chemical waste in the Hudson River in New York is a prime example of ethics.
Welch negotiated with the state of New York that the company would pay agree to pay a $3 million fine. Although this amount was substantially less than the bill they would have received from dumping it in the correct manner. Improving the bottom line? Or Social responsibility.
Because who doesn’t want a billionaire with all the gadgets on tap to get shit done.
Or you know, just post a job on SEEK and recruit a Harvard Business School graduate.
Phil Usher is the founder of Cheeky Investor. A brash new education website for highly ambitious down to earth people. Having launched, acquired and sold several businesses. he sometimes refers to himself as the Batman of Business