The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question, “What important lesson can transform every entrepreneur’s business for the better?” is written by Scott Galit, CEO of Payoneer.
Today’s business environment can be incredibly tumultuous. With the constant evolution in technology lowering barriers to entry, competition is at an all-time high, making it increasingly difficult to maintain market leadership.
As the CEO of Payoneer, I’ve seen the rise and fall of hundreds of companies in the digital world, giving me insights along the way on what can keep your business at the top of its game. I believe that these tips can be harnessed to help transform—or sustain—any business in any industry. Here are four lessons to take your business to the next level:
Work for something bigger than yourself
Over time, I’ve learned that there is a lot more significance in doing work that improves the well-being of the world at large. I also find that aligning a company behind a common purpose is one of the best ways to unite a global team. When your company is collaborating to build technology or a product or service that aims to improve the lives of others, it really has an impact on how hard people want to work and how hard they push to succeed. It’s no longer just about you.
Working with digital businesses, we see every day how our products connect people all over the world. This constantly inspires us to produce solutions that meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers and to form partnerships that allow us to expand to support more customers in more places.
See also: How Falling in Love Made Me a Better CEO
When you look at the bigger picture, define the context for what you’re doing, and help employees realize that they’re working for something larger than themselves, they will be forever motivated.
Cultivate and promote a strong culture
With all of the stories lately about hostile work environments and toxic company cultures, my biggest piece of advice on this one is simple: Cultivate and invest in a strong company culture first and foremost, and it will serve as your single biggest strength. If company culture is not one of your main focuses, and if your employees are not happy and engaged while at work, then you are almost guaranteeing the good times won’t last.
It’s important to create a culture that celebrates differences, offers each individual employee the opportunity to have a voice, and cultivates creativity. Remember: It’s not about you. A leader cannot single-handedly create a culture, but they can very quickly destroy one.
It may sound cliché, but I really do see the value in cultivating a workplace that’s like a family, where your employees truly feel that you support them. Have weekly or monthly meetings where lots of people participate, and make sure you listen to their concerns, goals, and suggestions. Make clear that you want them to stay and grow within your organization—and show that you mean it. It’s important that people know and feel that they’re more than just a number.
Hire people who are diverse and—ultimately—smarter than you
One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is having the ability to carefully and strategically build a team made up of people you want to surround yourself with. As CEO, my primary job is to hire talented people, and then give them the tools that they need to succeed. I think it’s crucial to build a diverse team that consists of people who are smarter than you and all bring unique skills and backgrounds to the table. Whether they come from a different professional or cultural background, diversity can only make your company stronger and more well-rounded.
Your employees are your strongest asset, and their combined knowledge and talents, when aligned, will always bring more to the table than you ever could on your own.
Study the success of other entrepreneurs and learn from their tactics
Borrow and adapt good ideas wherever you find them. There is no shame in adapting ideas that are working in other places. The world is really big and changing really fast, and anyone who thinks they own a monopoly on good ideas is fooling themselves. With the vibrancy and visibility of the Internet, it’s impossible not to witness the successes and failures of other entrepreneurs’ various ventures and risks. So you might as well try to learn from them.
For instance, one company I really admire and enjoy studying to help model Payoneer and my own leadership style after is the World Bank.
The World Bank embodies a global, purpose-driven business—bringing essential and complex financial services to underserved countries and communities and addressing unmet needs all over the world. I have learned a lot from the team on how to galvanize a team to embrace their unique and important purpose every day. The team at the World Bank works tirelessly to support continued economic development all over the world, while operating with the discipline of the best for-profit business.
We live in a global, fast-moving world, and it’s never been more evident that we all need to be working for something much, much bigger than ourselves: each other.