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ChoosingCofoundersMaximizingtheNewVenturesHumanReso... - 7...

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7 Choosing Cofounders: Maximizing the New Venture’s Human Resources As we noted in the preceding section, it is considerably harder to “know thyself” than you might at first assume. With a little hard work, how- ever, it is possible to formulate an accurate inventory of your own human capital—what you bring to the new venture in terms of knowledge, skills, experience, and personal characteristics. This, in turn, can help you de- termine what you need from other people (e.g., cofounders and employ- ees) in terms of these basic dimensions. Once you have drawn a bead on this issue, though, things do not necessarily get simpler, because knowing what you need is no guarantee that you will find it—or that you will rec- ognize it when you do. Superb cofounders do not appear, conveniently, just when you need them. On the contrary, identifying such people usually requires considerable work. Accomplishing this task is very worthwhile, because choosing badly can have disastrous consequences. These points raise an important, practical question: How should en- trepreneurs go about selecting potential cofounders—what guidelines should they use in assembling the human resources required for their new ventures? Answering this question involves many activities, but perhaps most central among these is developing skill at what is known as social perception—the process through which we come to know and understand other people. 1 This is a key task because unless we form accurate perceptions of oth- ers, it is impossible to determine whether, and to what extent, they pos- sess the knowledge, skills, and characteristics we seek. For this reason, de- veloping skill at this task is very useful for entrepreneurs. 2 Unfortunately, perceiving others accurately is more difficult than it sounds because other people do not always portray themselves accurately. On the contrary, they often seek to disguise their true feelings or motives, and frequently This document is authorized for use by Chetna mehra , from 12/19/2011 to 5/19/2012, in t MGMT 472: Entrepreneurship and Small Business - Turner (Spring 2012), University of Sou Any unauthorized use or reproduction of this document is strictly prohibited.
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8 GROWING YOUR BUSINESS seek to present themselves in a favorable light. If we accept these exter- nal masks at face value, we can be seriously misled. To perceive others accurately, therefore, we must learn to be adept at distinguishing reality from image where other people are concerned. In this respect, develop- ing skill at dealing with two related issues—impression management and deception—is extremely useful. Impression Management: The Fine Art of Looking Good—and How to Recognize It At one time or another, virtually everyone engages in efforts to make a good first impression—to present themselves in a favorable light.
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