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Mike Tarullo

Mike Tarullo

Mike Tarullo

Mike Tarullo

1 month ago

Even In a Crazy Market, Hire the Best People: The "First Ten" Rules

The Pareto Principle is a way of life for First Ten people.

Hiring is difficult, but you shouldn't compromise on team members. Or it may suggest you need to look beyond years in a similar role/function.

Every hire should be someone we'd want as one of our first ten employees.

If you hire such people, your team will adapt, initiate, and problem-solve, and your company will grow. You'll stay nimble even as you scale, and you'll learn from your colleagues.

If you only hire for a specific role or someone who can execute the job, you'll become a cluster of optimizers, and talent will depart for a more fascinating company. A startup is continually changing, therefore you want individuals that embrace it.

As a leader, establishing ideal conditions for talent and having a real ideology should be high on your agenda. You can't eliminate attrition, nor would you want to, but you can hire people who will become your company's leaders.

In my last four jobs I was employee 2, 5, 3, and 5. So while this is all a bit self serving, you’re the one reading my writing — and I have some experience with who works out in the first ten!

First, we'll examine what they do well (and why they're beneficial for startups), then what they don't, and how to hire them.

First 10 are:

  • Business partners: Because it's their company, they take care of whatever has to be done and have ideas about how to do it. You can rely on them to always put the success of the firm first because it is their top priority (company success is strongly connected with success for early workers). This approach will eventually take someone to leadership positions.

  • High Speed Learners: They process knowledge quickly and can reach 80%+ competency in a new subject matter rather quickly. A growing business that is successful tries new things frequently. We have all lost a lot of money and time on employees who follow the wrong playbook or who wait for someone else within the company to take care of them.

  • Autodidacts learn by trial and error, osmosis, networking with others, applying first principles, and reading voraciously (articles, newsletters, books, and even social media). Although teaching is wonderful, you won't have time.

  • Self-scaling: They figure out a means to deal with issues and avoid doing the grunt labor over the long haul, increasing their leverage. Great people don't keep doing the same thing forever; as they expand, they use automation and delegation to fill in their lower branches. This is a crucial one; even though you'll still adore them, you'll have to manage their scope or help them learn how to scale on their own.

  • Free Range: You can direct them toward objectives rather than specific chores. Check-ins can be used to keep them generally on course without stifling invention instead of giving them precise instructions because doing so will obscure their light.

  • When people are inspired, they bring their own ideas about what a firm can be and become animated during discussions about how to get there.

  • Novelty Seeking: They look for business and personal growth chances. Give them fresh assignments and new directions to follow around once every three months.


Here’s what the First Ten types may not be:

  • Domain specialists. When you look at their resumes, you'll almost certainly think they're unqualified. Fortunately, a few strategically positioned experts may empower a number of First Ten types by serving on a leadership team or in advising capacities.

  • Balanced. These people become very invested, and they may be vulnerable to many types of stress. You may need to assist them in managing their own stress and coaching them through obstacles. If you are reading this and work at Banza, I apologize for not doing a better job of supporting this. I need to be better at it.

  • Able to handle micromanagement with ease. People who like to be in charge will suppress these people. Good decision-making should be delegated to competent individuals. Generally speaking, if you wish to scale.

Great startup team members have versatility, learning, innovation, and energy. When we hire for the function, not the person, we become dull and staid. Could this person go to another department if needed? Could they expand two levels in a few years?

First Ten qualities and experience level may have a weak inverse association. People with 20+ years of experience who had worked at larger organizations wanted to try something new and had a growth mentality. College graduates may want to be told what to do and how to accomplish it so they can stay in their lane and do what their management asks.

Does the First Ten archetype sound right for your org? Cool, let’s go hiring. How will you know when you’ve found one?

  • They exhibit adaptive excellence, excelling at a variety of unrelated tasks. It could be hobbies or professional talents. This suggests that they will succeed in the next several endeavors they pursue.

  • Successful risk-taking is doing something that wasn't certain to succeed, sometimes more than once, and making it do so. It's an attitude.

  • Rapid Rise: They regularly change roles and get promoted. However, they don't leave companies when the going gets tough. Look for promotions at every stop and at least one position with three or more years of experience.

You can ask them:

  • Tell me about a time when you started from scratch or achieved success. What occurred en route? You might request a variety of tales from various occupations or even aspects of life. They ought to be energized by this.

  • What new skills have you just acquired? It is not required to be work-related. They must be able to describe it and unintentionally become enthusiastic about it.

  • Tell me about a moment when you encountered a challenge and had to alter your strategy. The core of a startup is reinventing itself when faced with obstacles.

  • Tell me about a moment when you eliminated yourself from a position at work. They've demonstrated they can permanently solve one issue and develop into a new one, as stated above.

  • Why do you want to leave X position or Y duty? These people ought to be moving forward, not backward, all the time. Instead, they will discuss what they are looking forward to visiting your location.

  • Any questions? Due to their inherent curiosity and desire to learn new things, they should practically never run out of questions. You can really tell if they are sufficiently curious at this point.

People who see their success as being the same as the success of the organization are the best-case team members, in any market. They’ll grow and change with the company, and always try to prioritize what matters. You’ll find yourself more energized by your work because you’re surrounded by others who are as well. Happy teambuilding!