If I were starting a company, I’d probably opt for enthusiastic self starters who have a proven track record of getting objectives accomplished. Financial goals are always important, but often times, a person within a company doesn’t necessarily have direct control over a revenue goal, a cost controlling scheme or a like matter. Now, I’ve stated before and I’ll state again, everyone in a company is part of the product or service. Everyone has to be proud of the throughput and work toward common goals. But when people don’t have direct control over quantifiable line items, that doesn’t mean they’re off the hook.
Which brings me to the point of the post. People that are eager to accomplish things and actually do them are far more valuable than the analyzers. By analyzers, I mean people that will be overtly thorough in examination of all the variables within a given idea or framework. An entrepreneurial professor I had states it thusly (paraphrased):
“I wouldn’t hire Ph.Ds. Do you know why? Because I am one, and I’ve met a lot of them by working here. They are quite intelligent. But they would rather create a 12 x 12 matrix and solve everything in it than go out and test it in the real world. Meanwhile, someone who isn’t quite as smart has already done a 2×2 or 2×3 matrix and is miles down the knowledge curve because they went out and tried it.”
This applies to more thant Ph.Ds of course. This is not a characteristic of your level of education, this is a personality trait. Sometimes, I laugh at how silly our society is to prop up those people with Master and Doctorate degrees. Of course, I was one of the same just a scant few years ago. What people don’t seem to see about these degrees is that they are a function of time and dedication more so than anything else. Yes, to get into the best institutions you have to meet requisite IQ tests and whatnot, but if you can get a Master’s you can get a Doctorate; you just have to be willing to spend the time on it and dedicate. Personally, it doesn’t really seem worthwhile to me. My vocational life revolves around understanding and working within markets, and the best place to learn about that is in the actual market. I don’t want to denigrate those with higher degrees though, there is a reason I just quoted one; some are so knowledgeable that in my eyes they are deemed invaluable. They often push the conceptual ideas to hypothesis and theory and alter the entirety of practice in an industry.
In a companies of varying sizes, from start up to monolithic, they are not in need of philosophers to consider and refine the greatest issues within an entire industry; they need people who are willing to take on a small issue and solve it quickly and efficiently, then move on to the next issue and solve it similarly. It sounds simple, but it’s actually quite rare to find people who are invigorated by accomplishment and addicted to progression. Unfortunately this is not necessarily a reflection on people categorically, often times the situations that companies put themselves in don’t give incentive to act in such a manner.
The people that continually seek out responsibility to win small battles are the ones that slowly win over the long haul. Find them and keep them.