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hiring: the founder's veto

Founder's Veto - (principle: team ownership)  

When building a team, the pathway to TBYB and ultimately employment should be simple.  Up until about 50 employees, all employees must be voted into both TBYB and employment without any vetos.  

  1. By giving everyone who interviews before and during TBYB the same founder's right to veto, you are empowering them with a sense of ownership in the company.  What you will find is that your A-level employees will be twice as hard to convince as you for new employees and when someone does get voted in, the level of excitement is high and stays high for that individual.  
  2. Giving the founder's veto right will not only ensure the competence of each employee, it will enable you to protect your culture with an iron fist.  In fact, of the times I've personally implemented TBYB, the most common reason why people don't make it through is actually not competence, it's culture. Weeding out people who are not a cultural fit is equally important to maintaining A-level competency.  
  3. It protects against founders making stupid decisions.  One time, not me, but another founder in one of my companies, thought it would be a good idea for one of his direct family members to interview. Now that’s fine in most cases, but what was interesting was that my personal opinion was that this person was nowhere near qualified, but I let them go into the process anyway.

I wanted to see if what I thought was a clear veto would occur.  It did, but that’s not why I bring it up.  The person that pulled the veto was our most junior engineer at the time.  It was one of the proudest moments I had during the process of building my team.  In the face of the power of a founder, I had created a process that made a junior employee not only feel like they had a right to stand up against a founder, but that I actually gave them that power and they used it - ultimately to protect the team.  That one moment let other junior engineers and even non-technical employees know that when it came to adding a new person to the team, they had the power, the same exact power as a founder, to protect their team.  Other instances followed and I can say with certainty that the veto was never a bad decision.

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Reader Comments (1)

I hope you have a nice day! Very good article, well written and very thought out. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDecision Maker

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