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The Thinker, The Fighter or The Leader – Which Personality Should A Founder Make Their First Hire?

Hire too many fighters and it might feel like the lunatics are taking over the asylum; too many thinkers and nothing will ever get actioned!

Spoiler alert! There is no right answer here but there are 3 very different personalities to choose from when making your first hires at your new start-up. Each one comes with a different set of strengths and weaknesses – lets briefly look at them and give you some pointers to think about during your next interview.

The Fighter

The bedrock of any company, the fighter is loyal to the cause, doesn’t ask too many questions and is prepared to get their hands dirty. The Fighter can be an ideal start-up hire because of all those qualities – The Fighter respects strong and decisive leadership and is prepared to follow and lend their considerable skill set to any leader that can demonstrate that they are going places.

The cons are that initially at least the fighter may well be looking for the best opportunity with the best prospects and may not stick around if times are tough and work is available elsewhere. The Fighter needs to be constantly stimulated so if you are still planning rather than executing a campaign you might do well to hold off hiring a Fighter until you can give them a cause to fight for.

The Thinker

In many ways the polar opposite of The Fighter, The Thinker sees things differently. Non-confrontational by nature The Thinker comes up with creative solutions to problems but is not the best at executing ideas efficiently – they may also seek to know why they are being asked to do certain tasks – they need to feel a justification for doing the work.

It can be awkward dealing with a Thinker if you are just looking to accomplish simple tasks but if it’s ingenuity and creativity you are looking for The Thinker represents a good choice, and unlike our final personality the Thinker will not get overly involved in the day to day and will not represent a threat to your command of the business.

The Leader

The biggest drawback of the leader is that they want your job! Leaders aren’t happy just being part of a team, they are always looking at the bigger picture and sizing up their options. The Leader can help bed in a new team, make presentations, work independently or as part of a team and their versatility can take pressure off a founder leaving them to focus on product development.

The Leader is versatile and works best when they feel like are moving forwards with tasks – unlikely to be technical and very likely to be political a leader can feel like more trouble than their worth but ultimately, if you are comfortable ceding ground or giving away certain strategic positions within your company the Leader is somebody you can go a long way with – until they start their own venture.

We hope that’s given you some useful insight ; )


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