While startups try to look for “experienced” managers or people to lead their senior-level management, a few startups tend to look for “age” and “career maturity” in their search for someone to lead the small business.

First thing, there is no such thing as “career maturity”, and “age” doesn’t matter in startups.

Startups need makers and doers. They don’t thrive on people who simply spent time in other companies for many years. It’s more of what they have achieved in previous companies. I doubt spending ten years in a corporation actually meant something for startups that they really deserve to lead them.

Businesses should actually look for “cultural” leaders. Small or big, startups or corporations.

“Experienced” leaders are often just experienced in their field, and in the culture that he was in, or in things that he believe in. He operates according to his past, not his future, let alone his present.

“Cultural” leaders, on the other hand, takes his past as a lesson, his present as an input, and his future as a vision. He does not solve problems at the current organisation with answers he had used in the past, he uses the tools and situations of the present to formulate answers. He then takes considerations of the future to curate the answers. The future is so important to him that he creates a new culture that takes a balance of the past and the present.

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Reflections on digital product design, travel, food and the in-betweens. Finding my compass.

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