There must be a leader. And the leader will set the tone for the followers.

If you believe that any organization – whether small or large, sports team or corporation– can operate without a leader, you are wrong. Now let’s get this out there; being a leader doesn’t mean you are named an executive or a manager – being a leader means you have followers. People look to leaders to set the tone. It’s not about words. People watch and notice a leader’s actions. These are leaders whether or not they like it or realize it. Leadership in an organization can come from anywhere – from the very top to the absolute bottom. The question is, what type of tone does that set.

If your leaders make excuses, are conniving and cutthroat then your culture will reflect those values. However, if you have a leader who is committed to being accountable, having integrity and attending to the small details of every task, then so the followers will emulate, and thus you will have a culture that represents these values.

It is almost unbelievable on how quickly the idea of having specific “core values” has been embraced by the business world – and for good reason – but core values that are displayed in a boardroom are mere words on a wall if not lived out. If you dislike the culture in your company, stop whining and start acting. Lead from the front. If you are an executive who dislikes the culture that is lived in your organization then look no further. Stop blaming and start acting like the leader you were born to be.

So the question is who are your leaders and what are their values?