Lovely, chilly, sunny day in the ATX — a great day to discuss how a CEO obtains hiring assistance.
In the last month, I have assisted five CEOs in hiring a top flight C Suite or top management person. These are folks who are in the CTO, CMO, CFO range and in the business development, head of sales type positions.
This is where the maxim, “Hire people who are better than you” is tested. Catchy slogan, but it runs into two problems:
1. Can you actually find such people; and,
2. Can you afford such people?
The answer to the first question is YES. Hire lions. Do not hire cubs. Can you tell the difference? If you were going to war with someone which do you want on your side? The King of the Damn Startup Jumble.
The answer to the second question is MAYBE.
If you are a first time CEO, it is understandably worrisome as to how exactly you do this. In spite of this, I have seen CEOs time and again do this successfully.
All the successful first time CEOs have asked for hiring assistance from a trusted advisor, a boardmember, a CEO coach, or a mentor.
[Pro tip: Ask for help from someone who has actually done a ton of hiring as a CEO. Make sense? Do not ask a 28-year old VC novitiate on your board even if he went to Harvard, drives a BMW convertible, and has mousse in his hair. He has no idea. Get a salty CEO who has done this for a quarter of a century. A salty CEO can smell a phony.]
Do not go it alone.