What Leaders Do – Defining Culture

By Rob Allen

It may seem like a kind of obtuse notion, but the truth is, leaders, define the culture of those in their circle of influence.  Culture may be understood as the behaviors, attitudes, and ideas that bond a group together. Sometimes these are subtle, some are out in the open, but cultural ideas are present, intended or not. 

The best way to lead people in a common direction is to establish an intentional set of ideas that form a culture.  There are several important parts of culture. They include values, expectations, attitudes, and behaviors. 

Values.  Most organizations attempt to define their core values.  For example, the U.S. Air Force has established the following as a cultural motto: Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. Already, the reader has a pretty good idea of what this means to be a member. 

So the question before you now is, “have you defined the values that are needed to drive your team or group forward?”  A second question is “have you defined them for yourself as a leader?”

Here is why it is important: first, and foremost, it sets the pace for success.  It defines what the goal is and as a result when it is time to correct. It helps with the hiring process, the day to day mood and weeds out those who may not be a good fit. For example, if you are an overly selfish worker, don’t join the Air Force! You will be in conflict with the idea of “service before self!”

The next several blogs will continue the theme of what leaders actually do. Head over to easytimeclock.com/media/blog and see what other goodies might be there to inspire you to be better at what you do.