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If the Shoe Fits: Know Yourself

by Miki Saxon

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

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mA few weeks ago I had lunch with a potential client to get a feel for his MAP, i.e., management style, cultural vision and underlying beliefs, etc., while “Tony” got to know mine.

Afterwards I told him I didn’t believe we could form a productive relationship, wished him luck with his startup and we went our separate ways.

Yesterday I received an email from him regarding a senior level executive he was anxious to hire.

Tony said that the interviews seemed to go well, but when he made the offer it was turned down.

When he asked why the candidate responded in writing, below is the relevant paragraph.

The company culture can be moderately formal to moderately informal.  I care most about professionalism and mutual respect. I do not tolerate a highly politically charged environment where I must spend a lot of time calculating what the impact of a recommendation or observation will have on alliances, potential career tracks and other selfish-focused issues for the people around me.  I must be in a place where we are solidly aligned towards a clear set of goals, and those goals are not about personal advancement per-se, they are about people exceeding their own goals in pursuit of the company’s goals (which may shift with market conditions).  I need to be in situations where there are bright, optimistic people, who are open to new ideas.  There needs to be an environment and culture of accountability, and at the same time, one of try-fast, fail-fast, try again.  I need to surround myself with people who are good at not “this is not possible” but rather “this is what needs to happen for this to be possible.”

Tony said he didn’t see anything in the email to account for the turndown and asked if I had any suggestions on what he could do to land the guy.

I’ve only been speechless a few times in my life and this was definitely one of them.

Option Sanity™ reflects culture.

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.

Flickr image credit: HikingArtist

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