We’ve never met a leader who didn’t want a better culture for their organization. Statements like, “we need to change the culture,” are heard every day in the life of a consultant. What is odd is that the leaders who make these statements usually think they are talking about other people, when in reality they are talking about themselves.

We know that “leadership creates culture;” any leader will tell you that.

When we say leaders are always creating culture, we don’t mean that leaders are always trying to create culture.

We don’t mean that leaders are always thinking about the culture.

We don’t mean that leaders always have a program to work on their culture.

Quite to the contrary, we mean that leaders are always creating culture, for better or for worse, whether they intend to or not.

Questions to consider:

What culture are you creating?

Based on your actions, inactions, and reactions alone, is it in someone’s best interest to:

• Approach you or avoid you?

• Report a problem or hide a problem?

Communicate openly or speak guardedly?

• Collaborate with others or look after one’s self?

• Exceed expectations or comply minimally?

• Take initiative or avoid responsibility?

• Find room to improve or have all the answers?

• Question flawed process or find workarounds?

This is an excerpt from the book 7 Insights into Safety Leadership, written by Kristen Bell and Tom Krause.