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| 3 minutes read

Build a team with the GSD factor!

This past week I've met with some energy storage start-up leaders who shared some of the challenges they're facing right now - product setbacks, a turbulent fundraising landscape, uncertainty around demand and increased challenges from the bigger players who are benefitting from the dramatic drop in lithium prices. 

In the words of one client “we're in the middle of a tornado right now"

Although there's cause for concern, the conversations were also enlightening in the sense there is a collective recognition that, now more than ever, it is vital to have A players in your team who will still achieve despite adversity. I like to call it the GSD factor. 

GSD = Get Sh*t Done

Maybe you use a different phrase? I had a former client who's CEO emphasised the JFDI (“Just F*cking Do It”) principle. He would emphasise this in every call we had, in each interview, and he probably had it tattooed on himself somewhere! Another example is Amazon, who adopt the more subtle ‘Bias to Action!’ as one of their Leadership Principles.

Whatever phrase you use, in basic terms you must create a team where each member is inherently driven by achieving the most important and urgent objectives (growing revenue, raising capital, or fixing product issues so its ready for market) and will find a way to overcome obstacles that come their way. 

You simply cannot afford anyone in your team to be distracted or anyone who doesn't align with this. That could be those people who constantly present problems and no solutions, or who go missing when the pressure cranks up, or those who aren't able or willing to wear multiple hats when required, for the greater needs of the business.

A start-up needs to be in GSD mode from day 1 given the limited budgets, smaller teams, no brand recognition in the market, but even more so in challenging times like now. You need people who will go above and beyond their core tasks and will get sh*t done to help the company close those commercial deals or get those technical issues fixed. Its not going to be straight forward so you need “warriors” on your team who will show up with grit and determination to battle through adversity.

As a start-up / scale-up leader, I recommend you think about your team and any new hires you're considering. 

Do they graft and hustle when the heat is on? 

Are they doing everything they can to help the company achieve it's goals and objectives?           

Are they showing the GSD factor? 

If the answer is no, then what are you gonna do about it?

Well, introducing crystal clear accountability measures can be a good starting place. You must remove any ambiguity when it comes to core objectives and ensure that everyone is aware of exactly what is needed from them and how their role will feed into the success of the organisation. 

For example, here at Hyperion we have implemented a new “EOS” system this past 12 months to focus on increased accountability. We each have our own individual “Rocks” - objectives we are committed to achieving and these feed into our overall company “Rocks”. If we all work as hard as we can to achieve these fundamentals, then the company will be in the right place to succeed. 

Is it easy? No. But who wants easy? We have a competitive culture but also one that cares about the overall mission and we have regular off-sites to analyse how we've achieved against our Rocks, and most importantly where we can hold ourselves and each other accountable if we've fallen short.  

Hyperion supports start-ups and scale-ups in cleantech / climate tech to build their Boards and senior leadership teams across Europe and North America. Start-up leaders trust us as we've been working in this space for a decade with success across 17+ countries. 

If you feel like your team is lacking some GSD factor then we should talk! Contact me at

Having a high GSD factor will allow you to work on the big picture and vision in small bite-sized achievable chunks, looking at the long road ahead and never feeling that it’s too far to go. Building your GSD factor is work. It needs to be developed and exercised like any other muscle in your body.


c-suite, culture, high performance, leadership, teams, energy storage, batteries, cleantech