Teams feed off the energy of the leaders around them, regardless if it is positive or negative. They absorb their drive, attitude, and style. They even do so if the situation is bad, because the perception is that the leader has gotten to where they are for a reason. Therefore the quality of leadership shapes the culture of teams and the overall organization. I am lucky enough to work with a great team and to be able to interact with a large number of customer and partner organizations. I probably gleam the most insight from outside organizations in regards to what shapes their culture and success. And the most important thing learned is that it is very easy to identify the culture and it is always reflective of leadership. The most impressive and motivated organizations have the most impressive Leadership.
Walk into an office/department where the leader has a poor attitude, generally does not get along with others, and could care less about accomplishing anything new and growth oriented, and guess what the environment and the people within will be like? The same. Excitement is not in the air, everyone outside of their department who depends on them is viewed as a nussance, and people can’t wait to punch the clock and get to their real life and away from the horrible place where they “have to” go to work everyday.
Walk into an office of energetic people who know their goals and constantly approach each other with new ideas that lead to achieving them, and you will find people who enjoy their work and who have leaders who do as well. When others see (seeing is believing) their leader wanting to grow, proactively helping outside departments/customers solve problems, working hard towards common goals, and maintaining a positive attitude towards everyone they encounter – it RUBS OFF, just as does the opposite. Therefore, the responsibility of leadership is huge and can often be overwelming. It should be overwelming if we look around and the negative description above is reflective of our team or another team within the organization. There is a reason for it, which must be hunted down and corrected. This is best done by the leader themselves. It could be a resource issue, lack of leadership within, outside personal issues, etc. If we ever find ourselves in that negative place, there is an answer and a way back to an invigorating culture – and it all starts with self-awareness (us), which if we lack in that area it will eventually be brought to light by someone else and could be irrepairable by that time.
Remember that our actions, drive, and attitude are monitored on a daily basis, and that how we carry ourselves shapes the culture within and the perceptions of others around us.