Terry Heller: What you can do with your workplace culture that has the power to drive, or derail, your company’s future

I was fortunate to meet the most influential person in my career right out of high school. This was the only time in my career where I was working for someone else and despite the fact that he had no formal education, he created one of the most successful independent record companies of all time — Ruthless Records.

If it weren’t for Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, there wouldn’t be a Snoop Dogg, a Dr. Dre or even a Beats By Dre line of audio devices on the market.

Wright taught me that the most important lesson of all is to listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts. I’m a huge believer in education, but you can’t let your degree bog you down, and you can never rest on your laurels.

The key to success is being passionate about what you do.


Show how you feel

Are you passionate about your brand? Beyond the obvious goal of hiring good people, you need to be able to speak passionately about your company, as if it’s a person you are madly in love with, and lead by example with unbridled motivation and inspiration.

Once you do that, it’s easy to get the right people on board. Your passion for your business will be contagious and when it comes from a real place, you’ll be amazed by how many people will want to sign up with you.


Listen to your voice

Your inner voice is usually the right voice. Trust your gut when that next star employee walks through the door. Everyone needs to start somewhere. Give them a shot so that you have a chance to mold that person into the superstar they’re meant to be.

Time is not the equalizer of greatness. Just because someone hasn’t done a job for a long time — or even at all — doesn’t mean that they won’t perform well. I’ve had employees with absolutely no experience outperform other employees with 20-plus years of experience. Rely on your instincts to suss out the good from the bad — and ultimately, the great from the good. Look for passionate people who are willing to learn from you and grow with you. 


Demand honesty

Create a culture where honesty rules because you can’t build a great company if everyone is too afraid to speak up and say anything besides yes. When the right people at your company can be open and honest with you, they will inherently help you weed out the things and employees that are holding the company back.

If you have to start setting up systems in order to ensure your team is doing their job, you’re already in trouble. The right people are self-motivated, and you will discover that when they’re given the leeway to make their own decisions.

Finally, allow your team to be honest, even when they don’t like a decision you’re making. Even though you’re passionate and following your instincts, you can still make a mistake, too.


Name: Terry Heller

Title: Founder

Companies: Heller Holdings LLC; Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Terry spent 12 years in the music industry directing and producing music videos for Eazy-E, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, Linkin Park and The Black Eyed Peas.

Reach Terry at (310) 473-5999, [email protected] or www.hellerholdings.com

Learn more about Terry at:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/terry-heller/7/b57/524

Learn more about Plan Check at:

Twitter: @PlanCheckBar

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Plancheck