It has been said that the most important thing a leader can do is to set and maintain the culture of the organisation. In some cases I have seen, there is a lot of management but not a lot of real leadership.
But recently I have seen first hand, a perfect example of how the behaviour of a leader can set culture and lead change. An IT senior manager at a client of mine was allocated an office that used to belong to his predecessor. One of his first tasks was to have it refurbished. So far, so old school, yes? Well, no. Because he had the old traditional desk removed, so too the bookcase and fancy chair.
In their place came a plain table with no drawers, and a standard office chair on each side. On the table sits a conference phone, a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for the single large monitor mounted on the wall, where it can be seen by anyone at the table. Also mounted on the wall is an even larger monitor with a camera on top for video-conferences. And the walls have no framed certificates; instead they are all floor-to-ceiling glass boards for drawing on. In other words, the old office has been transformed into a collaboration space, somewhere 2-4 people can get together and collaborate, to discuss problems and find solutions.
This is a leader who has, without prompting, placed the needs of the organisation ahead of his own ego and status. This is a leader who recognises that the people who get work done are the important people in the organisation and he is doing more than he needs to to ensure they have what they need. That is leadership.