Start Up CEO Journal
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#StartUpCEOjournal #NYC – people, it’s the one moving part, the commodity, the defining factor, the source of all success and all failure. If you had amazing people in your business, any business then success is just a matter of time, pivot, persistence, pivot, persistence… The success of all companies is never down to the leadership alone, as influential as they are, it usually comes down to the team they build and the culture that forms within, but building a team is one of my biggest challenges I’ve ever faced, but why…

Team failure is a huge topic – which usually comes down to time and money limitations. How can a start-up really hire and attract high calibre people when the cost of acquisition outstrips budget…

Talent – Cost of hire

  • Recruiter
  • Company Benefits
  • Attractive Salary
  • Share Options
  • Employment Contracts & Options legal
  • Local government protocol
  • Investor sign off
  • Training
  • Time, time, time, time…

So how do we hire? we hire on emotion, good timing and opportunistic moments within our day, week and month. My best hires were the ones who wanted the role more than the role wanted them, the ones who defined success, attacked the blank page, grappled with the challenges and built structure, process and served success up cold. 9 times out of 10 the slam dunk hire on paper, buckled within the first 3 months and the reason I evaluate hard in the first 30 to 90 days.

Management of your resource is also super important, I used to micro manage the team, to get what I needed ‘today’ and this week, but it’s a short term strategy and I’m now vested in liberating the team, giving each member of the team the tools they need to do their job – accountability vastly outstrips micro management.


  • A base salary that works for everyone
  • Role definition
  • Time to execute, set boundries.
  • Targets and bonus structure focused on the companies goals
  • Option Scheme linked to real strategic plan’s, financial forecasts and exit goals.
  • A safe, fun, clean working environment
  • Ownership
  • Flat management structure
  • Team accountability
  • Role ownership
  • Support
  • Leadership, management and 1-2-1 time for upward feedback.
  • Clear lines of communication.
  • Team Time.

You know when the teams working, it’s like closing your eyes, falling backwards and waiting for their strength to push you forward, if you hit the deck – you’re not there yet.

Team success – You build powerful teams with leadership, give your team strategic insight, pitch them the investor deck, ensure everyone has a part to play, show them what this means to you, let them discover what it means to them, nurture your team community and all stakeholders –  it’s critical to show how each persons contribution drives the company forward – aspirational vision through to day, week, month KPI delivery.

‘Team’ is like a good cocktail, you need the right measures, fused and delivered on time to hit the business execution. In every team you have the warrior, the strategist, the source of counsel, the job do’er and the weak. I’ve learnt a team a requires it all, you need the mix to create the balance,  the weak become the strong in difficult times and the warriors eventually become weakened as the battle is long. The one constant is the strength that’s only possible from supporting your team. #Team 

I’ve always admired @AlexSchlagman for his commitment to team and the core ethos of belief in his vision that he shares with the people who follow him. True leadership is not just about working hard, rolling up your sleeves it’s about sending your people in to battle with them knowing casualties exist and they roar!

As a CEO I’m the strong, the warrior, the counsel, I’m the weak, I’m the job do’er, I’m the epicentre of the team and through leadership we grow. I expect 80% of my team to be business owners and CEO’s themselves one day and I aspire to be someone who they remember as influential in their development.

Take a week off, put your team in charge – and learn who’s who!

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