I talk ad nauseum about the importance for companies, especially high-growth startups, to hire people who exhibit exceptional emotional intelligence. I’m not the first one who has come to this conclusion, but I think more people need to realize that EQ is just as important of an asset to a company as IQ. In my opinion, it is the single biggest factor in startup growth acceleration. You can usually find smart people, but building a team with kind people usually plays second fiddle to those with practical experience.
I thought a lot about why EQ isn’t higher on the list of things that people hire for and I came up with some reasons:
PEs and VCs run diligence based on an economic model, not a human one. The CEOs pitching their businesses are wonderful salespeople. They have beautiful decks, which almost always show the billions of dollars up for grabs in the total addressable market. They show some sales and some retention and voila: money in the bank. But what vetting was done on the person? Some back channels? Maybe more, but I think way more diligence should be done here.