This was a sad year for Red Sox fans. On September 3rd the Sox lead the Tampa Bay Rays by 9 games in the AL wild card race. By September 28th they had lost 18 of 24 games and were eliminated from the wild card race. What happened? Is the curse back? No. Not unless stupidity and arrogance can be considered a curse. The Red Sox epic collapse can only be blamed on the Red Sox and their management. As the days go by we learn more and more about players partying during games (if beer, fried chicken & video games can be considered partying), management turning a blind eye and players caring only about themselves. From possible World Series contender to the brunt of late night jokes in three and a half weeks. What can we as business owners learn from this disaster? Simply this: culture matters. What you tolerate at your workplace speaks volumes of your character and will directly impact the performance of your organization. I work with a small town retail store that gets it. From the day they opened four years ago the owners made sure that everything was done a certain way. Their establishment is always clean, well-stocked and staffed with knowledgeable and polite salespeople. As a result, they're growing. Their second retail location will open next month and their products are now sold in dozens of outlets throughout New England. The business has the potential to take off and reach a level of success rarely seen by a Maine-based business. How do they do it? Culture. Everyday they make sure that their corporate values are lived by. If someone slacks off, they are corrected and reminded of the standards they are expected to meet. They understand that their corporate culture could make or break their company. What is your corporate culture like? What do you tolerate? Where do you draw the line? Are you poised for growth or will you be the next 2011 Red Sox?