It was the best of jobs… it was the worst of jobs… I want to share with you a true story about two supervisors and their leadership styles.

The first supervisor had a terrible attitude. When the company asked him to relay some safety training to his people, he quickly and dispassionately read off the training to everyone and didn’t even give time for questions. He didn’t spend time helping his people and only trained them when they messed something up. He often spoke badly about the company to his people and was short with his managers. He often lost his temper on the job.

The second supervisor had a great attitude. He listened to this team and worked hard to develop everyone. He worked hard to advance the mission of the company and treated his managers with respect and always looked for ways to better serve them. He rarely lost his temper and truly nurtured his people.

These two supervisors both worked in the same job for the same company, but in two different locations. Each location had vastly different cultures that were noticed as soon as you walked through the door.

The other interesting fact is that both supervisors are actually the same person; it was me. It was me and my two attitudes within a six month time frame.

The moral of the story is that culture is powerful, and leaders have the opportunity to influence this culture in both positive and negative ways. Leadership does not get to be turned on and off like a light switch. It can transform productive and positive people to toxic clock-punchers and vice versa. If you find yourself surrounded with toxic people, the problem lies in the organization. It’s time to work on yourself and your culture!