Leaders disproportionately influence culture

I wrote yesterday’s post about the clear, nice, and expert Starbucks manager from a different Starbucks location. I wrote that post from a location I had not been to before. Unlike the store where the expectations had been communicated clearly, nicely, and expertly, the store I was in yesterday had a different vibe. I made it through the front door and up to the counter where somebody greeted me while they were walking by. Then I stood there for at least a few minutes while the people behind the counter were futzing around. My order was eventually taken and then I waited. And waited. And waited. Not because there was a line, but because they were busy doing other things that weren’t making coffee. The experience was such a departure from what I was used to, it caught my attention. Now, the point here isn’t to bitch about my experience, my point is about culture. Not necessarily in the ping pong table sense, but the underlying culture that infects the vibe of an organization. Our organizations have a culture that is created and reinforced by the leadership. Team members take their cues from the big boss and act and react accordingly. Leaders, your actions, good or not so good, are disproportionately and directly shaping the culture of the team and the organization.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on January 18, 2019

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