I have a meeting this afternoon with a chap who is a senior executive at a major global IT company. As happens fairly frequently he was introduced to me by a head hunter because he is thinking about moving on from his current role and wants to explore the possibility of taking a role in a venture backed startup, maybe within our portfolio.
As I got out of the tube this morning I received a courtesy call from the headhunter in question (Peter Laughton of Natural Selection) to check that the meeting was still on. As you would expect for a courtesy call the conversation was high tempo with little chit chat, and I think we were both expecting to get off the phone quickly. So when I heard Peter’s parting prediction that I would like this candidate because he “has some ideas of his own” I replied without thinking “yes, that is important” then we said our good byes.
Once we had hung up I stopped to think about the end of the call because I realised that I was now looking forward to meeting this senior executive far more than I had been previously. As I pondered that a little more I realised I was now more excited to meet the chap because these sorts of meetings always go much better when the executive has some passion for a sector and a clear idea about the areas in which they would like to work. It is much easier to picture someone in a role with a portfolio company if they have expressed an interest in its sector prior to knowing their might be an opportunity there, and an introduction is much more likely to go well if there is a shared passion from the outset.