How to Hire and Lead A Super Startup Team

June 29, 2013

By: Rachel

What makes a T-shaped player

Do you interview candidate after candidate, searching for that special someone who will prove to be a valuable hire? The challenge of building a strong team plagues companies of all sizes, from startups to global corporations. But for a startup team of five, for example, one wrong hire can have a much more detrimental impact on productivity, culture and company success than it would on a 5,000-employee company. Boundless' Nick Ducoff led an this spring about how startups can build a dream team of “T-shaped A-players,” then motivate that team to achieve success.
First, make sure to hire different archetypes so your team is well-balanced in strengths, weaknesses and personalities. Ducoff focuses on these four archetypes:
1. Indiana Jones (or an adventurous entrepreneur)
2. Architect (or someone who can create structure and see the forest through the trees)
3. Beast (or someone who will get s**t done)
4. The Most Interesting Man in the World (or someone that you like to work with)
These are the people to identify during the interview process, but the real diamond in the rough is finding T-shaped candidates that fit these character types. Who are T-shaped players? These are players who have a broad skill set (depicted by the bar of the T), but maybe don't have a lot of depth in all of those skills. They do have, though, one skill in which they have strong capabilities (depicted by the stem of the T).

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