THE 4 H’S OF ATLASRTX
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This first H is foundational and thus stands alone from the other three (and hence the number 0): “horsepower” refers to a person’s intellect, capacity to perform, and energy to contribute. It’d be disingenuous of me to deny that the perfect hire is smart, thoughtful, and has a broad intellectual capacity.
How do I ascertain one’s horsepower? Thoughtful and unrehearsed conversation about strategic topics with no clear “right answer” give a great deal of insight into one’s understanding, ability to reason, and capacity to reach sound conclusions. Horsepower is critical to the perfect hire.
I’m not afraid to admit that, when it comes to constructing my startup tribe, I only want to work with positive, grateful, energetic, and polite people. People like that help me and the tribe work our way through challenges and tough situations. Positive people lift morale and promote a healthy energy within the tribe.
How do I ascertain if a candidate is happy? Aside from the positive energy I immediately feel upon meeting them, grateful people are happy people. It’s incredible to me how rare it is to hear “thank you so much for…” or “I’m really grateful for…” I look for those who are grateful for the little things; those are the people who’ll raise the energy of the tribe. Gratitude is happiness and happiness is critical to a startup tribe.
To grow the aggregate knowledge and capability of the tribe, I need to inject a great deal of humility into the mix. “Humble horsepower” is a magical combination: smart people who are modest and self-effacing enough to realize and acknowledge they haven’t figured it all out are very hard to find. But, they’re worth the wait. Their lack of hubris is what allows them to continue growing their horsepower in perpetuity.
Humble people are coachable; they’re curious. And, perhaps most important, they’re accountable for their actions and willing to say these rarely-uttered words freely: “I’m sorry; I was wrong; I’ve been able to learn and recalibrate from the experience.” How do I ascertain humility? Simply-stated, I avoid know-it-alls. Know-it-alls are devastating to tribe culture and are, by definition, unable of being humble.
There’s only one missing ingredient at this point: I’m looking for people who are hungry for success, both their own and the entire tribe’s. Hunger wins time and time again.
Hungry people challenge themselves; they are self-starters who, despite frequently modest beginnings, are able to overcome and achieve. How do I ascertain one’s hunger? I intently listen to their story appreciating chapters wherein they fought to achieve and struggled to overcome.
Horsepower alone isn’t enough. But happy, humble, hungry people with horsepower are what a high-performing tribe is built on.
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