How 6 Business Titans Created a Thriving Team

As the host of podcast Masters of Scale, Reid Hoffman asks everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Sara Blakely what it takes to build a successful company.
How 6 Business Titans Created a Thriving Team
Image credit: Noam Galai | Getty Images
Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg.
Magazine Contributor

This story appears in the June 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

How do the most successful entrepreneurs build their companies? Here's what six titans told investor and co-founder when he interviewed them for his podcast, Masters of Scale

1. Make time for decisions.

“The most important thing to do is to have quick decisions. We ultimately adopted a model of a staff meeting on Monday, a meeting on Wednesday and a product meeting on Friday. Everybody knew which meeting the decisions were made at. And so as long as you could wait a week, you knew you’d get a hearing on your deal.”
-- , executive chairman, Alphabet

Related: The Major Challenges in Making Difficult Business Decisions

2. Set a destination, not a path.

“You want to have an aligned mission. Rather than tell people to ‘march four steps,’ you want to tell them, ‘We’re heading there; get there as quickly as you can.’ They’re each going to get there their own way -- the fastest, the most efficient way.”
-- , COO,

3. Hire your future bosses.

“I’ve adopted this hiring rule: You should never hire someone to work for you unless you would work for them in an alternate universe. There are all these things that Sheryl [Sandberg] is much stronger at than me. And that makes me better and makes Facebook better. I am not afraid or threatened by that. I value that.”
-- , founder and CEO, Facebook

Related: The Key to Hiring the Best Employees

4. Stay simple and focused.

“I like to say, ‘Start small, think big, scale fast.’ I started really small, with one product. I got feedback. I learned what was working and what wasn’t working in a few boutiques in my town. And then I called .”
-- , founder, Spanx

5. Prioritize people.

“There are a thousand things to know to start a company, but there are only two things that matter: Build a product people love and hire amazing people. I’d spend more time on those and less time worrying about incremental ideas of traction, on , etc.”
-- , cofounder and CEO, Airbnb

Related: 3 Ways to Remain Dedicated to Your Mission

6. Make your mission matter.

“We have these six values -- courage, inspiration, respect, judgment, wellness and loyalty -- that we entrench in every single thing we do. In our semiannual reviews, you’re rated against your adherence to these values.”
—Tristan Walker, founder and CEO, Walker & Company Brands

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