I had interviewed just about every possible candidate for the job. After several weeks of desperately searching LinkedIn, and sending emails to all relevant professional contacts, I had come out empty handed. Until finally I found the perfect candidate – competent, young and confident, he had the exact set of skills I was looking for. I was excited at the possibility that finally the team would be whole. Several interviews later, however, something did not feel right; despite desperate attempts, I just couldn’t find in him a passion about our mission that was so critical for an early member of the leadership team.
So I was considering making the heart-breaking decision to say no, which would mean going back to square one. All those weeks of hard work…in vain.
Saying no to him would, in all likelihood, push us back months on our product roadmap. And quite possibly, we would not get another person with the skills of this candidate. I was worried how my team would react to this news. So I decided to ask them for their votes.
I had expected mixed reactions, half-hearted statements to the tune of “I don’t know…can we try a little harder…maybe he could become passionate if he met the people we were trying to serve?” Or “I know he is not perfect, but the pilot would really suffer if we didn’t build the product on time!” I expected to have to convince them of my decision before going ahead with it.
What I received instead was an unequivocal “no”. “We don’t want a colleague who does not believe in what we do, who doesn’t wake up every morning feeling excited to get started. If this means the product gets delayed, so be it.”
And my previously sunk heart lifted immeasurably in spirits. I knew at that very moment that we were on the right path. We had succeeded in building a team that is as wise as it is competent, as idealistic as it is practical. That even if I was ever dwindling between the right choice and an easy one, my team would be my North Star.
So I gathered myself up and started looking again. Building this dream team will surely not be easy. It will be filled with desperate moments and heart-aches, emotional hills and valleys. And I will have to largely shoulder the brunt of it.
But at least, thanks to my team, I am now wiser and stronger.
Posted by Rubayat Khan
Dreamer & Teambuilder, mDoc LLC