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10 Myths About Workplace Culture I Really Wish I Had Known Before I Started

If you haven’t already read "Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou, I highly recommend that you do. There’s a lot of lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. What stuck with me was the dysfunctional culture inside the company -- full of fear and intimidation.

As a founder myself, I can't imagine creating such a toxic workplace environment. As Kip Tindell perfectly explains in a previous article for Entrepreneur, “Culture actually drives the value of the business.”

This fact will always remain -- culture is vital to the success of any startup because it sets the tone for the company’s future by boosting its profile. In return, your company culture attracts top talent, investors and customers.

Additionally, employee morale and productivity get a lift, and it distinguishes you from your competitors.

As crucial as workplace culture is, it remains a misunderstood topic. To guarantee that you build and maintain a healthy and prosperous organization, here are 10 myths about culture and how you can overcome them.

Myth 1: Workplace culture doesn’t start with you.

Obviously, you want to surround yourself with people who are skilled and competent. At the same, you also need to find people who fit you company culture and are enthusiastic about your business. Before you do that, it’s up to you to define your organization’s culture.

Let’s say that you have a short fuss. Because of your little temper tantrums, you’re known to snap at people in a blink of an eye. How do you think the environment will be at your startup? Probably tense and stressful because you’ve built a culture of anger, or fear -- probably both.

Your team can become ambassadors for your brand and help shape its culture, but their perception and the way they experience work at your company will ultimately start with you.

Create a purpose, define your values, and lead by example when building your culture.

Most importantly, keep investing in yourself to become the leader that people will rally behind.

Myth 2: There is a 'right' and 'wrong' type of culture.

Every startup is different, and there are different types of culture. Zappos is known for its fun and nurturing culture but fun, gentle and supportive may not work in a power-driven and competitive business, such as those involved in sales or consultancy firms.