Lars Dalgaard is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, one of the largest VC firms in the world.
But before stepping into the world of venture capitalism, Dalgaard was a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company, SuccessFactors, for $3 billion to SAP.
When he sold SuccessFactors, the company already had over 1,000 employees, so Dalgaard knows a thing or two about hiring and growing a business.
In an interview with The New York Times’ Adam Bryant, Dalgaard shared his insights about interviewing job candidates and creating the right work culture.
One thing that stood out from the Q&A was the oddball interview question Dalgaard said he always asks job candidates: “What did you learn from your mom?”
Dalgaard said it’s an “incredibly powerful” question that could give a much better clue about the person’s emotions. “Basically I’m testing them to see, ‘How human are you ready to be with me?'” he told the Times.
In fact, Dalgaard stressed that one of the most important things in business is the idea of “daring to be human,” an aspect that he tries to enforce in work environments as well. “We could all be so much more human, but we don’t allow ourselves to do it,” he said.
For example, whenever an employee emails him to secretly complain about a coworker, Dalgaard said he would add the person they were complaining about into the email thread so they could all openly discuss their problems. “It goes back to daring to be human and talking to people face to face about problems,” he said.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Dalgaard share his thoughts about emotions and business. Two years ago, when he left SAP to join Andreessen Horowitz, Dalgaard told us, “Emotion has everything to do with business. It’s what gets you fired up in the morning.”