As a founder now building my second company, I’ve come to realize that success is about 30% skills and 70% personality. It doesn’t matter how accomplished you are if you don’t have the right attitude. So the most important thing I look for when building out a strong team is empathy. Empathy will matter more in the long-term success of your team than pure technical talent ever will.
So why exactly is empathy so important when you start a company? Empathy is about understanding others. It’s about engineers understanding the challenges of working in marketing. It’s about sales teams understanding the sacrifice and struggles that go into all-night engineering code springs to meet customer deal requirements. It’s about eager founders recognizing the need for working parents to balance time spent at the office with time spent at home. It’s about finding ways to connect with teammates whose day-to-day work is completely different from yours.