Above all else, the best way to build a great company is to build a great team. However, what does a "great team" look like? At Laurel & Wolf, we believe it's not about simply looking for those who are "best in class." Building a top notch organization also requires a combination of finding a group of people who possess diverse skills and backgrounds and those who are problem solvers. Every day at a startup is about tackling a new challenge, so why not look for those who possess the abilities to conquer anything that comes their way? The question is, do you have what it takes?
Are you a creative thinker?
How do you build a bridge with weeds and floss? If you immediately have a million ideas on how this could be accomplished then congrats, the creative juices are flowing! The best problem solvers approach each challenge by thinking of both the obvious and out of the box solutions. They know that there is always more than one way to achieve the desired result and that they have to assess a multitude of options in order to find the right one.
They also don't believe you have to build something a certain way because that's the way it has always been done before. This is particularly important when you are working at a startup because when you are building something from the ground up--something that has never existed before--you can't rely on old methods or processes. Problem solvers believe there is no such thing as a bad idea and that the brainstorm is as much a part of the process as anything.
Are you tenacious?
Problem solvers don't give up when there isn't an easy route to take (or an easy way to build the bridge). They revel in the opportunity to solve the challenge at hand, even when the first attempts don't work. All success stories involve major obstacles and failures along the way, but it is how you decide to handle those roadblocks that defines you. Do you get overwhelmed and quit? Or do you persevere and test another potential solution?
Are you an optimist?
At my company, Laurel & Wolf, "impossible" is not a word that exists in our vocabulary. There are a million obstacles on any given day but we know that any challenge can be overcome by hard work, a little creativity, and most importantly, a positive outlook.
Even though it is critical to identify the obstacles that stand in our way to success, it is equally important to understand that any barrier can be overcome. Problem solvers believe they will eventually find a solution that works because they believe in the process. Whether you see the glass as half empty or half full is less important than believing you can figure out how to fill up the glass.