Building a team: Analogy

relay

I was reading The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. In one part, the author talks about how it is difficult to hire the right person for the right position and it led me to think about recruiting. There are a lot in common between recruiting a new employee for the company and recruiting a new team member for a relay race. Let’s break it down with an analogy comparing the recruiting process to a relay race:

Recruiting: “We are looking for a junior member who will join our sales team.”

Relay Race: “We are looking for a runner who will run a 100-mile relay race together. Each team member has to take turns and run for the team.”

Both the recruiter & the relay race team need to find someone:

1. A fast runner (helps the team win the race) (helps the company beat its business competitors -> talented)

2. A strong runner (helps the team finish the race. When other runners get injured or need a break, he/she will pick up the slack.) (works hard and delivers quality results. When your boss / co-workers are not available, he/she can pick up the slack and take on many responsibilities -> dedicated)

3. A positive runner (when there is heavy rain and winds, some runners on your team get lost or left behind, you will motivate them to keep moving forward.) (when business is going downhill, you look on the bright side and motivate others -> positive)

Bottom line, running a business and running a relay race both rely on a team. You want someone who is talented, dedicated and positive.

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