What are the biggest lessons you have learned in the corporate world?
The biggest, simplest lesson I’ve learned:
Truly Great VPs make recruiting, scaling and hiring 1000x easier.
Once you want to grow, the hardest part will be finding good talent. By far. Truly Great VPs just … handle this.
Not that’s it’s easy. But Truly Great VPs become talent magnets. They are tenacious recruiters. They build teams that self-recruit (to bring in their friends and the best folks they know). The word gets out that you have a world class team. Success builds on success. A Truly Great VP, over time, can recruit first 1–3, then 4–10, and then 50–100 very strong folks under him or her. It’s like magic. It may even be magic.
Anything less than a Truly Great VP, though, and recruiting will be a constant challenge. There are 10,000 startups out there. Recruiting, once you have to scale, will consume all your time without Great VPs. Every step, every strong hire will be hard. Hiring will never get easier without a Truly Great VP or two. And this will drag you down just as you are truly ready to scale.
Do what it takes to keep the Best VPs — and find them. And if they can recruit and build amazing teams … just get out of their way. Let them do it 90%+ their way. Even if you’d do it a little differently yourself.