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The Leadership Style You Need to Drive Your Company Culture

The keys to a strong company culture are not perks and benefits -- they are good leadership and employee empowerment.

Editor’s note: In the new podcast Masters of Scale, LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman explores his philosophy on how to scale a business -- and at Entrepreneur.com, entrepreneurs are responding with their own ideas and experiences on our hub. This week, we’re discussing Hoffman’s theory: there are many good company cultures and many bad company cultures, but a winning company culture only emerges when every employee feels they personally own the culture.

There’s no one way to create a company culture. There are powerful and weak cultures, and as a leader, it is up to you to decide which one your company will instill. 

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“A strong culture is critical to companies that hope to scale,” says Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, partner at VC firm Greylock and host of Masters of Scale, a podcast series examining counterintuitive theories to growing a company. “But truly strong company cultures emerge only when every employee feels they personally own the culture.”

He’s got a good point, too. Serial entrepreneur and founder of the O.C.D. Experience Justin Klosky says that, “developing a strong company culture is all about how comfortable the people that work within [an] organization are.” And to Klosky, that starts at the top. 

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Whoever is leading an organization is setting an example of what can and can’t happen within that company. Therefore, it’s important to create a safe environment where employees feel empowered and can share their best ideas. 

Klosky also thinks it’s important to provide employees with decision-making responsibilities. For example, when he gets on a conference call with 30-plus of his employees, he rarely says a word. “Sometimes less is more -- listening and processing and then being able to say something is much more powerful than just speaking,” he says.

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However, just like a business idea, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for culture. “There’s no one way to be a leader,” Entrepreneur’s editor-in-chief, Jason Feifer, chimes in. Check out the video to learn more about effective leadership, empowering employees and cultivating a safe, productive office culture.