Founder Explains The Secret To Building A Successful Company

Vivian Giang

When starting his company, Paul Venables, founder of Venables Bell & Partners, an advertising agency in San Francisco, was focused on "every little thing" he did. He quickly realized that the secret to building a successful company comes down to creating a strong culture, he says in his interview with The New York Times.

"If I get the culture right, it will attract the right people, and they’re going to do the right kind of work," he says.

Venables says that culture is not so much about "Pizza Fridays," but about creating a bond strong enough where people know you're there to support them. This means workers aren't "looking over their shoulder" because they think you're expecting them to fail. You want to create a culture where people can come into your office and say, "I screwed up — help me out" instead of trying to hide it.

"I also want to make sure that managers know that their job is to get the people who work for them to be asking to work for them," says Venables. "So they can’t do that old trick of managing up to me and the partners, and being a complete jackal to the people below."

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