5 deadly sins every entrepreneur should avoid when building teams

26 May, 2023 - 00:05 0 Views
5 deadly sins every entrepreneur should avoid when building teams

eBusiness Weekly

Chad Mhako

I often speak to entrepreneurs who complain about not being able to find the right people to work with, but often the same entrepreneurs fail to self-reflect on whether they themselves are the right people to work for. Expectation, Attraction, Impatience, Ignorance & Interference are 5 of the deadly sins entrepreneurs commit when it comes to hiring or building functional teams.

Expectation — As entrepreneurs, we often expect too much from the people we hire. This is often the case with owner managed entities. We want our teams to be capable of anything and everything.

Our expectations betray us, so much that we see incompetence even where there is none. We place too much on the shoulders of those we work with.

If they are successful, it builds them, and everyone wins. If they are not, it breaks them, and everyone seems to lose. We have to be able to manage our expectations even as we set ambitious targets, in order to attract the right candidates to our teams.

Attraction — My coach, Dr Thuku says entrepreneurs attract entrepreneurs then get surprised when the entrepreneurs they hire do what entrepreneurs do.

You can’t cook great meals with one ingredient, no matter how great that ingredient is. You need diversity in terms of orientation, skills, personality profiles and other attributes. Not everyone on the team must have a strong entrepreneurial bias.

You need people who can be rational on your team and in some roles people who are there to stay. So, when you hire 100 percent entrepreneurs, don’t be surprised to see them leave as they attempt to build new ventures on their own.

Impatience — most entrepreneurs fail to realise how much time it takes to train and build culture because they want new hires to be ready from day one. That won’t work! Orientation isn’t a fancy word they throw around for no reason.

How much patience you exercise with your new hires can influence how well you’ll be able to build cohesion within. In most cases entrepreneurs are patient with everything else but their money and the teams they hire.

Worse when you are bootstrapping, you expect everyone to come ready made, which is seldom the case. A trade off is required and it takes wisdom to know.

Ignorance  — as an entrepreneur you’ve got to realize that you are great at something, not everything. You may be great at starting, but probably not at running and growing. This also applies to hiring. Knowing what you know is great, but knowing what you don’t know is greater.

Interference — there is a fine line between supervision and surveillance, and an even finer line between managing and being a nuisance. As owner managers we are often conflicted, because we’re both the shareholder and director and it’s easy to think we are the only ones with the best interest for our business.

Unless if we trust others, it’s difficult to scale. We’ve got to learn to trust that it’s possible for others to have great intentions for the business, and when we find those who are ready, willing and able we do well to get out of their way and let them work.

What other mistakes have you committed as an entrepreneur when it comes to hiring? Have some honest self-reflection, before you start blaming others.


Prechard Mhako is an Emerging Board Leader, Impact Entrepreneur, Strategy, Innovation and Venture Consultant. [email protected]


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