Early on in my entrepreneurial career, every one of my mentors highlighted the importance of building culture the right way. From early in my career building Elite Daily to now building Fownders, this has rang true through everything I do as a visionary and leader.
Culture is critical to your business, it's what will motivate your team through the thick and thin. Whether you build a culture of collaboration or a culture with healthy competition, that will be on you to decide as the leader. Take time to reflect, ask questions and get clear on the values of your company.
Whether you are aware of it or not, your company already as a culture. It's either empowering or draining. Read on to gain insight into how you can start build a culture of leaders.
Empower your company to be partners -- not staff.
There is a big distinction between an employee and an owner. Empowering your team to be owners will create a powerful culture of leaders. When you look around you at a team of leaders, you have a sense of trust and motivation that is infectious, and absolutely affects your bottom line.
Are you and your team clear on your vision? As a team, your collective vision needs to be crystal clear. Be open to co-create it with your team, this will inspire a sense of ownership of the overall vision of where your company is headed.
I remember at Elite Daily we had pictures on the wall of the phrase "150 million". This was our goal for how many monthly readers we wanted to have on our platform. Reminders like this picture allowed us to build a culture where everyone on the team knew the vision. This inspired everyone to step up as a leader and align their daily tasks with the overall company vision.
Your culture is in the actions that leaders take to defend their core values.
I believe company culture is more indicative of a companies' success than their product or service. At Elite Daily, a critical factor to being acquired for $48 million dollars was because we built such a dynamic culture of leaders.
This culture didn't just happen, it was intentionally created by the actions the founders took to empower all employees to be leaders. We would take our employees out of the office and into the woods and have bonfires or play sports together to help all of our employees open up about their personal goals.
Two of our core values included hard work and freedom. We blended the hard work and freedom with a flexible remote work policy. Freedom is very important to millennial talent, so as long as the individual was hitting their metrics, it didn't matter if they worked remote.
Culture is not the 10 statements in your employee handbook or legal standards human resources must enforce. It really is the actions to defend your core values. It comes from the founders working shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone, living and breathing the culture.
Your legacy is the next generation.
Your story will be written from your own success and what you built and accomplished. The culture you create is integral to this legacy. Your legacy will be what survives after you are gone, it is the the chapters after your race is over.
It's up to you to inspire a culture of leadership. The key is to show up. Document the process, day after day, and empower your team around you.
Was your business sustainable or solely tied to you? Did you invest in your people to help them develop? Will you have a pipeline of leaders to carry the torch? I encourage you to look at the legacy you want to leave, and build your company culture with leaders that will work every day to ensure that vision becomes a reality.