Why Scanners are the best for startups?
In my previous article Are you a Scanner? I talked about Scanners, a personality type that is very much despised because of their lack of “focus”.
Truth is that being generalists, Scanners are the best personality type for startups. Why? Because they:
- know a bit about everything
- love learning, passionately
- are natural problem-solvers
- enjoy wearing as many hats as they can
- strive for challenges
- face every new discipline with the same passion
Then why are they despised, or at least considered non-successful? Because here’s the thing: a Scanner has a need to fulfill (for example, helping someone understand grammar), or an objective (like play X song on the guitar, or run a marathon), and once they’ve achieved it, they’re completely done. And need to get to another thing asap.
This is not how society in general measures “success”, you would expect someone that loves running to continue to do so even after they ran that marathon. But not Scanners. They’ll look for their next passion and stick to it until they’re also done, and so on.
But wait, isn’t this a *risk*? Hiring someone that you know at some point will get bored and will need something else? Yes, and no. Wouldn’t you want someone in your team that will always be looking for innovation? And if they leave, wouldn’t you want to have someone else that, once the grounds are set, would continue to do the routine job? Honestly, wouldn’t you want to know if an employee of yours feels frustrated and unmotivated? Do you even know if you have employees right now that feel that way but don’t tell? Because that won’t be a Scanner, we can’t stand being bored for too long, and that’s as transparent as it gets (if you can handle it).
I believe that Scanners are the best for startups and, even more, for super early-stage ones, because they’ll:
- do everything with passion and motivation, which is vital for a founding team in the early days
- set the grounds and foundations for many aspects of the company, not just on their specialty
- if they don’t know, even better, they’ll do their homework and become as good as they need to
- they won’t face problems as obstacles but opportunities. Scanners love defiance, it keeps them entertained
- you’ll immediately know if and when they get bored, meaning you’ll always know exactly where you’re standing
There was a time when I felt like a failure just because I couldn’t stick with one discipline for too long. “What’s my passion? My true calling?”, I would ask myself. And would find an answer every time I picked up something new, only to feel frustrated again when I reached the point of fulfillment.
But then I found it: my passion is passion itself! Diving into everything that interests me and that I find fascinating, why should the world dictate if it’s right or wrong? That’s why I like startups so much, and overall everything that has to do with processes, marketing, and communications, because they embrace creativity, experiments, change and interlace it all. Always looking for innovation, always looking for new combinations. How not be in love?
Next time you have a candidate which you might reject because it’s a “job-hopper”, think twice: there’s a Scanner right there that couldn’t get enough and had to find new challenges elsewhere. The question is: are you up to the task? Can you handle that?