Cooperative and contented are words beginning with “C”, however, as a business owner it is up to “U” to form a harmonious workforce. Embrace the 3 Qualities of Successful Leaders to create a happy and healthy working environment.

I worked for a family-run business in the early part of my working life. I didn’t start at the bottom of the ladder, but I didn’t have a senior position. I clearly recall the day when I was witness to the business owner and an employee in a conflict. I felt uncomfortable and tense, as the two who were fighting were Mother and Daughter.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when my newly hired assistant walked out because she felt I was treating her differently since she had handed in her notice.

Both of these situations demonstrate it is not always easy to be in charge, especially if you are inclined to become too familiar with your staff. I was happy to spend ten to fifteen minutes chatting with the assistant before she began her work, when she gave notice I lost interest in explaining the day’s work schedule and there was no longer any need to train her to work to my standards. My priorities had changed I simply wanted her to work to the best of her ability until I hired a replacement.

In the modern world the majority have no desire to be the hard-headed boss who makes life uncomfortable for their employees. On the other hand, we cannot afford to stand about talking when there are more important things to be done. Work generates income, whereas chat wastes valuable time.

Traditional leadership was harsh and built on fear. People in charge have been able to act unreasonably, often screaming and harassing employees. In reality, many leaders still operate in this way. However, current leadership trends and leadership theories are more people oriented. Modern employers lead with their heart, engage with their employees and communicate with the workforce.

So, how do you treat your employees with respect and compassion and still maintain efficiency and productivity?

The 3 Qualities of Successful Leaders

. Self-development
. Self-mastery
. Self-reflection

You may be familiar with self-reflection and self-development, but you could be puzzled by the term self-mastery.

Learn to understand your conscious and sub-conscious desires to the point where you can replace negative thoughts and actions with positive, healthy thoughts and actions. Doing this will help you to practice the art of self-mastery. It takes time to learn the art of mastering yourself, it doesn’t happen overnight it is the outcome of years of personal development and self-reflection.

Learn to come to terms with your habits and it is possible to change your behavior for the better. Short tempered people can adopt unique techniques to help them to remain calm and composed. Employers who become too familiar with staff members can learn how to set boundaries. It can be difficult to escape from a chatty employee without offending them, however, in reality, work must go on. Reflect and improve your own behavior and others will follow.

It would help to take a closer look at the first example. The employer knew her actions were inappropriate and she was aware her reaction had fuelled the disagreement. She took the necessary steps to ensure she could remain calm when needed, important steps that helped to create a healthy working environment. Thus the employer had reflected on the situation and developed vital personal skills that would help her to master her temper and improve her communication skills.

If both parties had good interpersonal skills the explosive situation could have been diffused. It would be impossible to know whether the employer’s daughter had any self-development, self-reflection or self-mastery skills and there were two sides to the argument. Your position in a conflict is immaterial the situation can be bettered using the skills required.

I have a great desire to engage with my employees hence I am forever learning how to set the boundaries. I want my workforce to feel valued, but my team must remain efficient and productive. I cannot allow my employees to infringe on my personal time. When we hire a new employee we should start out as we mean to go on. If I decide to enjoy a brief personal chat with a team member I do it to build a rapport. Such conversations should not be expected and the workforce should understand this is the norm.

Self-reflection and personal development should be part of your company culture. Each situation provides a wealth of valuable learning experience and this in turn leads to self-mastery. You may be in charge of a large business enterprise or you might be a small cog in a large engine, it matters not, your values should be the same.


What qualities do you follow most in the leaders you look up to?  Tell us in the comments below!

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