Digital profiles should be team players – not lonely cowboys!

Companies often hire digital profiles for lonely cowboy positions. Just mentioning the CDO. The product owner. The data magician. The web editor. The solution architect. The web analyst. And so on.

I know it. Because I often say No to the headhunters, who tries to sell me the position as a lonely cowboy, who must conquer the digital sunset. The digital octopus, who can do it all in no time!

These positions either fail or burn out within a limited timeline. They are expected to act like hamsters in a hamster wheel (Sorry, Danish expression!) These positions are hired to fulfill a role, which are often described by a high number of specific, isolated tasks. Do this. Gain that! The characteristics of these positions are the ability to work independently while in full speed. To-the-point-communication. The tough type. Focus on performance and delivery is high, and the tolerance for the targets of fellow horsemen and -women is often low.

A lot of these profiles are by nature only team players as long as they decide or at least agree on the decision, direction and priorities taken. If not, they will challenge the decisions taken in order to fulfill their own needs and priorities.

I challenge you, that this profile is not beneficial for your company’s ability to reach your ambitious, digital masterplan!

Think about it! Which group has the biggest chance to succeed as a team – the basketball team or the group of independent athletes like runners or swimmers?


While obviously looking for the right expertise and qualifications, you should also look for the team genes. The ability and willingness to take on whatever role needed for the team to reach a shared goal. The sense of passing the ball to the one player on the field, who is in the best position to score. Who recognizes that each and every result and captured milestone is caused by the strength of the team.

Don’t just look for the cowboy. Look for the cowboy’s ability to engage and commit to the fellow rider by her/his side, while keeping an eye on each and every piece of cattle. The horses! And obviously the cactuses. #digitalteammemberswantedalive