A Players Are Attracted to People Who Accelerate Their Learning

This past week, I had the chance to listen to one of the founders of an Atlanta unicorn share his experience of choosing his co-founder. A few takeaways:

  • Finding a partner who has skills complementary to yours is important. You can’t be good at everything, so you need a partner who’s strong where you’re weak.
  • You must trust your cofounder to own functional areas. That doesn’t mean you should expect them to not make mistakes. But you should be able to trust them to own their mistakes and discuss them with others. Their mistakes are learning moments.
  • One of the key things that attracted him to his cofounder was their mutual demonstrated habit of learning and improving themselves. Both had coaches, read tons of books, and committed to a path of self-improvement through their actions (not their talk). They’d also both had start-ups fail, and they’d spent time reflecting on their failures.
  • Great people want to be held accountable, and good cofounders hold each other accountable (I agree).

All of these are great points, and I’m thankful he shared them. The point about learning and self-improvement really stuck with me. A few weeks back, I shared my thoughts on learning being a throttle on your success. I never thought about it in the context of finding a cofounder before, but it makes a lot of sense. A players want to work with other A players. It’s no different for cofounders. Learning and improving yourself consistently will definitely attract other like-minded A players (and likely lead to outsize success too).