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If the Shoe Fits: the Dangers of Your “Comfort Zone”

by Miki Saxon

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

3829103264_9cb64b9c62_m Kevin Spencer http://www.flickr.com/photos/vek/3829103264/Yesterday I wrote abut new approaches to recruiting, a la online puzzles, to find tech talent from non-traditional sources, as well as advice from a successful entrepreneur who says that the most important traits to look for are behavioral and can only be identified through good interviewing, which requires time.

All this says that younger entrepreneurs are willing to try radically new, as well as mastering old, approaches to finding talent.

The one thing I’ve found that many are not willing to do is hire outside their peers.

An old attitude that dates back decades (if not centuries) and which can be boiled down to five words—“people like me,” which defines your “comfort zone.”

It doesn’t matter that it’s illegal to say it involves age, but it does.

The bias is dangerous, especially when hiring more senior people as you grow. Consider these points,

  • Can that brilliant developer you hired lead?
  • Does the Twitter whiz kid understand creating and implementing a complete marketing strategy?

What exactly does a twenty-something a year or few out of school know about employment law, strategy, team-building, managing, conflict resolution, contract negotiation, the list goes on and on.

Whatever gave people the idea that creativity and innovation dropped off as experience increased?

One of these days in the not-too-distant future you are going to lose out on an opportunity because you are outside the company’s/manager’s comfort zone and the company is going to lose out on the richness of your experience.

How do you hire? What have you missed out on recently?

Option Sanity™ rewards performance.

Come visit Option Sanity for an easy-to-understand, simple-to-implement stock process.  It’s so easy a CEO can do it.


Do not attempt to use Option Sanity™ without a strong commitment to business planning, financial controls, honesty, ethics, and “doing the right thing.” Use only as directed.
Users of Option Sanity may experience sudden increases in team cohesion and worker satisfaction. In cases where team productivity, retention and company success is greater than typical, expect media interest and invitations as keynote speaker.

Image credit: kevinspencer

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