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Building a great company culture: how to play offense in a defensive world – Paul Epstein

Company and organizational culture are two components that result in a successful business. Those elements shape how an organization operates and how its employees interact with one another. On the latest episode of The Small Business Show, Paul Epstein, former NFL and NBA Executive, author, keynote speaker, and business coach, joins us to elaborate further on these factors. 

Epstein indicates that his 15 years in the sports industry, from entry-level to executive level in sales and business development, has served as a pillar of understanding how to play offense in a defensive world. For example, when he was employed with the San Francisco 49ers, he discovered his ‘why’ and his core values and had the opportunity to tap into culture. 

Key Takeaways:

1. Epstein explains that when it comes to culture, “DO NOT GOOGLE IT.” Instead, he defines culture as a competitive advantage or simply, “It’s how you show up.” How you show up signifies one’s decisions, behaviors, and actions, and then multiply those elements by consistency. 

2. When entrepreneurs think of the greatest leader they’ve ever known and ask themself: what did they do to get there? 90% of the responses will quote that the number one attribute is that they listen. 

3. Listening accelerates trust, empathy, and connection, but Epstein outlines the remaining attributes that great leaders express:

  • They are highly decisive. Great leaders don’t suffer from paralysis at the same rate as the rest of the world. 
  • They move forward with decisions because they know it will either end in two ways: being successful or obtaining the opportunity to grow.  
  • They make smart decisions. “Heart Decisions” are defined as the best cultures combined with intelligence.

4. Epstein asserts that there are infinite microclimates within bigger cultures where the top-down culture no longer scales the same as it once did. However, local culture is key to exerting success. 

5. With ongoing arguments over the state of the workplace schedule, it boils down to intention. The purpose for working from home, working in an office, and so forth.”Intention should be the element that drives any organization,” states Epstein. 

“The best cultures are the ones that embrace imperfect actions.” – Paul Epstein

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for ASBN. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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