My company is looking for a new boss and the likeliest to succeed is rumoured to be impossible to work with although gets excellent results. Could we change her to be more collegiate?
My job is about helping those who want to change, and not about wanting others to change. Your putative CEO has declared no interest in changing and it is impertinent and deeply unwise to think she will change.
However, she has consistently “got the numbers” in her current role and you very much hope she will achieve such performance levels in your business - indeed she might.
It is always worth remembering, of course, that your intelligence might be wrong. I would recommend you try to expose your candidate to as many of your senior team as possible before hiring. And considering the size of your business I would be tempted to ask a business psychologist to help in this critical evaluation.
If she is impossible, are you prepared to accept that this will affect the culture of your business?
I’m thinking of joining a start-up and leaving a well-paid but dull job. Is this the right time?
There is no doubt that successful entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of motivators, skills and indeed handicaps. However they all have an appetite for risk, a strong bias to action, tenacity, an enquiring mind and usually an iron-clad self belief. So honestly, where are you on these?
You do need to get a clear understanding of how much risk you can take. Start-ups seldom provide strong cashflow instantly. So there is a sacrifice involved.
The key point to work out in your own mind is this: are you running away from your current employer or are you passionately running towards fulfilling an ambition with all the attached risk. If the former, then maybe another employer would provide greater satisfaction, if the latter then have you discovered a lust for putting yourself on the line?
In preparation, why not get out and mix with entrepreneurs - there are numerous network sites who regularly meet. Read the FT columnist Luke Johnson’s tough-minded but inspiring column and finally find someone you really respect to mentor you through this process.