New ventures, especially tech startups, have a character of their own. Often the leader is brilliant and quirky and the team is passionate and driven. This is one reason that the Zuckerberg centered movie “The Social Network” made more than $200 million. Neither stereotype nor formula, putting together a team with the right personality traits can be tricky, especially given the fact that your personality plays an important role. Understanding that each team member has a role in the company and their personalities need to match these roles can mean the difference between failure and success.
Chief Financial Officer
You need a numbers guy to navigate your company to financial success. If the movies are true, the ideal is a tie wearing, straight arrow that lives for financial statements. Business leadership researchers tell us that the best traits for your CFO are emotional stability and global ethics. In the days after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), a chief executive cannot hide behind the acts of the CFO. If your CFO is doing something financially shady, SOX says that he is either doing it with you or to you. Your CFO should be Captain America with the emotional range of a rock. The finance department is your business foundation so you need it to be one that you can trust.
Customer Service Rep
If you are creating a technology empire, you will need a customer care department. These people are more than a friendly voice at the other end of a phone. They need to be tech experts, navigating your cloud contact center, social media and customer management systems. They need to understand the workings of your company and its products. Above all, your customer service team needs to enjoy talking. Research indicates that the best model of both company success and employee job satisfaction is one where the customer care team has many positive interactions with customers, according to The Journal of Business and Psychology. Look for customer care employees that act the same at work as they do at a party.
Your Sales Team
Your sales department is easily the most important of your startup team. If you do not have sales squad then you do not have a business. According to research published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, coachability is the trait you are looking for in a sales team. The research suggests that sales are highest when the team is highly coachable and under transformational leadership. Your best sales team will find energy from your enthusiasm and creativity. They will look to you for inspiration and ideas, balancing your coaching with practical suggestions.
You as the Leader and CEO
You are the linchpin of the company. This is your baby, your vision, and your passion. Your personality will penetrate every corner of your business. One of the issues that tech innovators find is the mad-genius paradox. At times, you need to be a creative, out-of-the-box thinker that does things his own way. To others, you are a brilliant strategist and leader that people can understand. The paradox comes from the difficulty associated with balancing on the edge of the proverbial free thinking box. This is the personality that you need to adopt. You must always know where the border between genius and madness lies.