Think of culture as a cofounder that is present when you are not. You are decisive, communicative, and respectful but it’s your culture that helps everyone know how to act when you are out of the room. Give that voice clarity and authority.

The trick is to avoid hollow words. Since a startup’s culture ultimately mirrors that of its founder, maybe the best thing that you can do is work hard to get clear on who you are. Write that down and share it with your team. If you’ve been honest, every action you take will reinforce your values.