Accelerate Your Success

Leader Sets the Tone; Tone Creates the Culture

Have you ever noticed how music changes the atmosphere around you? It’s the reason dentist offices play calming music, while many restaurants choose something jazzy. Each one sets the mood for the experience the business wants people to have. Leaders are the music that creates the atmosphere within an organization. The atmosphere creates the culture and the culture defines everything from how well people work together to how long employees choose to work for you.


Consider the following leadership characteristics and ask yourself what kind of atmosphere these might create (and which of these might apply to you):


There is a problem and the leader’s focus is on determining who is at fault.


Individuals are consistently recognized by their leader in a variety of creative ways for their contributions.


The leader sets a clear vision on a regular basis of where the organization is going and individually helps each team member see their part of the overall mission.


The leader doesn’t say anything about a job well done. After all, each person got paid, didn’t they?


When there is a problem, the leader engages the team to create and implement a solution.


The leader interrupts people constantly and rarely listens to anyone.


The leader gives feedback frequently and provides constructive feedback privately.


The leader seeks to fully understand where others are coming from before providing their input.


The leader isolates him or herself in their office, rarely engaging with the team.


The leader maintains a calm demeanor, even when things are tense or stressful, looking for how they can help resolve the situation.


The leader takes time to meet with each team member on a regular basis.


The leader changes direction frequently and rarely explains why changes are made.


Performance appraisals are completed on a regular basis and include goal setting with each employee.


Employees may be praised one day and fired the next.


New employees are welcomed and shown to an area that is already prepared for them. They are assigned a mentor on the first day.


Hopefully by now, you are getting the idea. If there are things happening in your organization that you don’t like, ask yourself what tone you are setting and how it is impacting your culture. You may find that if you shift a little, your team will end up where you would prefer them to be.


Charlise Latour a business coach and owner of Accelerate Your Success. She works with each client to determine what their goals are and create a plan so they can achieve them. She is actively involved in Dancing & Singing With The King which raises money to promote dance education including working with local schools to offer dance classes during the school day. This is a natural fit as she is an avid ballroom dancer.

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