Sunday, 17 May 2015

Why you should hire PIEs



Last week I was chatting with a friend who needs to build a new team and he asked me what were the key things I looked for in people I want to hire.

The best people I have had the privilege to work with over the past 20 years all shared 3 key traits:
  1. Pragmatism
  2. Empathy
  3. Intellect
Pragmatism
Also known as being 'streetwise', pragmatism is by far the most important trait of the best people I worked with. People who are pragmatic can choose the best solution in most situations, they have a gift at finding the best compromise in order to maximise the outcome. Pragmatists do not waste time (it's not pragmatical!), do things by themselves if they know it's the best for the company instead of delegating to the wrong person, they can negotiate the best deals that keep the customers happy while maximising profitability and so on.

Empathy
Without empathy it's very hard to understand what people around you want. If you can't understand what your customers want, what your colleagues want, your boss, your suppliers or partners you will have a very hard time knowing what to do and clearly this will slow down the development of the company. Empathy is needed to build long lasting relationships and a company con only succeed through the connections with the ecosystem it operates in. No empathy, no ecosystem. Plus, empathy helps building stronger teams as people who care about others are better managers and in general create a better atmosphere and culture within the company.

Intellect
Not being thick helps. Intellect is required to solve problems in creative ways, it's useful if you are trying to be innovative, it helps decoding the market trends and signals around you, but on its own it is pretty useless. We have all met clever people who lack empathy and pragmatism and these generally are not very productive members of a team.

The order of importance of these traits is the one laid out here (PEI) but PIE it's easier to remember and more fun, hence the title of the post ;-)

What about the standard traits like experience, qualifications, seniority, etc? I think that the 3 traits above are good enough as anyone who is pragmatical, empathic and intelligent can do pretty much anything very well.

So, if you meet somebody who scores highly on all 3 I'd suggest you offer them a job straightaway. If you are not sure it means you are probably not very pragmatical so please introduce them to me and please do not apply for any vacancy I may be advertising in the future.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Own a piece of Vini Italiani!




Dear all,

as you may know I'm the proud founder of Vini Italiani, the company that:

  • operates the Vini Italiani wine bar and shop in South Ken, 72 Old Brompton Road, London
  • is the Italian wine supplier of Ocado
  • owns the online store: www.italianwines.com
  • has won awards from Decanter and Harpers
Vini Italiani is about to expand in more locations, with your help. We are currently crowdfunding on Seedrs: https://www.seedrs.com/startups/vini-italiani1

The investment is EIS-eligible, meaning you get a 30% rebate from HMRC, you pay no capital gain and you have a loss relief in case things go wrong (if you keep the shares for 3 years)


Additionally:

  • if you invest a minimum of £2K, we offer a lifetime shareholder discount of 20% on wine bar/shop
  • if you invest a minimum of £25K, we offer an immediate 10% of the subscription amount to be redeemable in wine from a selected wine list
Our aim is not just to reach the £250K target, but to smash it, and being able to create a proper chain with 2 or 3 outlets and a large restaurants operation.

Go on line and help us build the best Italian wine chain in the UK!


Matteo