One thing is clear. Every organization has a culture. And every culture is driven by the leader. That is why John C. Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
I found in my own business that I influenced what our culture looked like, whether good or bad. I observed that our people behaved like I did.
They sought out what I thought was important. They would use language like I did, and sometimes, being from Texas, that wasn’t good thing! I would often say we were going to hand out Texas Dictionaries so people could understand me.
Let’s continue our discussion of ERC’s (Employers Resource Council) list of characteristics of “great workplaces that excel at the attraction, retention, and motivation of top performers” based on 15 years of surveys and interviews. 
Today we'll examine two of the ERC’s 15 attributes of a winning culture. Every leader can help cultivate a great workplace by developing the following two attributes in their culture.
Listen and collaborate
The first attribute that I'll highlight from ERC’s findings describes the leadership:
“Great workplaces involve and empower employees by listening to their input, involving them in moving the organization forward, and giving them opportunities to lead initiatives, collaborate with one another, participate in decision-making, and make a meaningful difference at work. At great workplaces, employees believe that their opinions matter and that they can positively impact their organizations.”
As a leader, I discovered there was more power in asking questions than barking orders.
In our company, we had an organizational teaching called AQL, which was Ask Questions and Listen. We went to great length to learn how to ask good discovery questions, not only among ourselves but also of our customers and suppliers.
I also developed ways to involve the right people in the decision-making process, we called it 1-2-3. I intentionally sought their input before making a decision.
Click here to learn more about the system I use to make decisions.
Genuine care & mutual respect leads to trust
The second attribute that I’d like to explore from ERC’s findings again describes an organization’s leadership:
“Great workplaces are led by exceptional and inspiring leaders. Leaders set the example from the top and lead the organization well. They genuinely care about and value employees. Relationships between leaders and employees are characterized by mutual respect, trust, honesty, and support.”
I learned that trust is the glue that held our organization together and allowed me to influence our people. If I broke our people’s trust, I could no longer influence them.
I also learned that people follow leaders that they respect.
“When people respect you as a person, they admire you. When they respect you as a friend, they love you. When they respect you as a leader, they follow you.” – John C. Maxwell
Leaders significantly influence their organization’s culture.: How can you incorporate the attributes discussed above into your leadership?
In our next blog post we will continue to look at more characteristics of winning cultures.
PS: Here’s a link to the first post on this topic.
 yourerc.com “HR Insights Blog” ERC (Employers Resource Council), 5-Sep-2013 (12-Aug-2014).