Great businesses are built upon great business teams and the rule applies to startup businesses as well. Most businesses start very small and with a little success, you will need to expand the team. Here’s the thing, if you expand your business by including whoever will come along for the ride with you your business is more than likely to shrink again. Hiring in general and in startups specifically should be about introducing or improving capabilities. While hard technical skills are certainly a capability to look at you also want to look at personalities because it may be important how people do what they do in a small growing organization. So let’s look at 6 essential personalities your startup needs.


This is really where it all starts, the spark to the flame. For the dreamer however it doesn’t end there. This is the person who keeps everyone else motivated and Carrie’s the essence of the idea. More often than not the conceived of the idea. This is the person who knows the “why” and can always articulate it. Perhaps not technically gifted as the others but certainly important to the cause. The dreamer is Thomas J Watson deciding to change Computing Tabulating and Recording Company to International Business Machines (IBM).


The visionary is essential because they are forward-looking, analytical and solve problems. They can see impending danger or sticking points and work out solutions for them in advance. The visionary is important because they can see what’s coming or at least what could come. Where many people visualize in very vague detail, visionaries visualize in pedantic detail and it’s easy to see why this person is an asset on any team.


The doer materializes ideas. The doer is a personality that turns strategy into action. They are the people who connect the ideas and philosophies of dreamers and visionaries to the tasks that will help them materialize. Steve Wozniak at Apple is an example of the doer. Wozniak worked tirelessly with the team at Apple to bring together design, programming and aesthetics to bring the modern smartphone as we know it today. The doer will talk in terms of tasks and steps.


The innovator is a creative thinker and also an implementer. The innovator combines the capabilities contained in the business and marshalls the team to creative solutions. We’ve covered a few businesses where these personalities are evidently present such as Law Basket. Another good example of someone who displays innovator traits is Strive Masiyiwa. These are very easy to spot because they also tend to be great storytellers.

Task master

Where the doer sets out what to do, the taskmaster sets out how to do it. The taskmaster arranges tasks strategically with resource constraints and capabilities in mind. The taskmaster is important to the organization because they can see the implementation of ideas and the order they should be done in. This is very important because firstly you really cannot do everything at once. Secondly, some tasks are dependent on the completion of others, you might want to decide on your product range before sending out advertising messages.


The connector is the networker, the charmer, the salesman. Often depicted as a fast-talking, smooth operator this person is absolutely critical because they are a master at fostering relationships. Good relationships are essential to a business, especially one that intends to grow. Relationships need to be nurtured with clients, suppliers, external service providers and employees. A practised networker with not only a large existing network but the ability to grow their network fits the bill here. A good example of a connector may be Zachary Wazara.

The personalities are not mutually exclusive. So you can have a Visionary, doer and taskmaster all rolled in one. That is to say, your startup doesn’t need to start with a team of six. You can find these personalities all rolled up in two or three people. What is important is to identify who is who in your organisation. When looking for people to add to a growing team, it’s important to know which personalities your team lacks and to look for these in additions to the team.