Successful Leadership Is all about leading people with respect and dignity


Let’s start with a quote from Richard Branson “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Before people decide what they think of your message, they decide what they think of you.”

I worked with a general manager one time that stayed in his office the majority of the time. Unfortunately, this manager also had trouble connecting with many staff members due to his poor people skills and the fact that he never had much good to say to the employees.

He never made a lot of small talk with the employees, nor did he try to connect with them. When he did come out of the office, he would walk around from area to area, pointing out what the employees were doing wrong. This behavior was normal for him and went on month after month.

After a while, the employees began to tune him out and would get argumentative with him. He could never realize why the employees reacted so hostile toward him.

The way this manager interacted with the employees caused his effectiveness as a leader to suffer and not get the results he was hoping for.

This is why having good soft skills and a heart for people is so important. If you want your employees to take care of your clients and customers, they must know that you care about them, are taking care of them, and have their best interests at heart.

Don’t view your employees as units of production

Many leaders and companies view their people as units of production. Things that can produce a product or service, and that is it. That’s why developing those relationships early with the people you lead is so important.

Put a premium on relationships. When you talk to your company’s janitor or CEO, they should all be treated with the same respect. So you, as a leader, have the chance to influence a team member positively.

When some leaders begin to work with employees on their development, they gravitate to weaknesses rather than strengths. Maybe that’s because seeing other people’s problems and shortcomings is so easy. But if you start by putting your energies into correcting people’s weaknesses, you will demoralize them and unintentionally sabotage the learning process.

Always engage your people. Make them feel that their opinions matter and that they are contributing to the team. If people think their views do not matter and their voice is not heard, you may have difficulty leading them to reach their full potential.

You Must Master Your Soft Skills Before The Hard Skills To Be Successful As A Leader

80% of your success will be determined by your people skills and ability to get along with others. Therefore, learning how to develop good people skills can do more for your career than anything else you can do.

Most companies force people into pre-designed jobs rather than adjusting to people’s talents. The best managers do the opposite.

Take every opportunity to say and do things that make people feel good about themselves. Most of the time, our feelings will turn hostile toward the person criticizing us.

Instead of focusing on weaknesses, give your attention to people’s strengths. Focus on sharpening skills that already exist. Compliment positive qualities. Bring out the gifts inherent in them. Weaknesses can wait unless they are character flaws. Only after you have developed a strong rapport with the person and they have begun to grow and gain confidence should you address areas of weakness. And then those should be handled gently and one at a time.

Don’t Be A Micromanager

Do not hover over employees and micro-manage them. Instead, give them space to learn and grow and develop. Don’t stall their creativity.

Treat everyone fairly. Fair does not mean equal. Leaders treat everyone on the team how they want to be treated. Each person you work with has different work preferences, communication styles, past work experiences, and personality quirks. So being the same manager for all of them doesn’t work well for you or your team.

Good leadership is not a one size fits all approach.

Encourage and praise your people.

Some frown upon the leadership of philosophy that you don’t have to be liked. You have to be respected. This is true if you’re looking for high turnover.

Don’t be that leader that is a ticking time bomb. You don’t need to be volatile, oppressive, and loud to have power or control.

So instead of coaching and correcting mistakes, they (loudly) proclaim their frustration with you, start yelling at the slightest provocation, and make sure everyone around them knows what an idiot you are and how painful it is to try to manage you.

Remember that praise is more valuable than blame.

When coaching someone, a positive approach will always work better than a negative one.

Never let your feedback be interpreted as a personal attack on someone. You will lose that person quickly and not get the desired results.

Ask yourself, why is it easier to criticize than compliment?

As a leader, you should always be learning.

Continual learning is the first trait of an outstanding leader. But unfortunately, when we stop learning, our brains and leadership capabilities start deteriorating.

Be The Leader You Would Want To Work For

As a leader, take pride in your appearance.

Stay healthy. The right nutrition, proper sleep, and exercise are all essential to being the best leader.

“I believe in you” are some of the most powerful words a leader can use when developing people.

Your people are a direct reflection of you. Therefore, if you want them to be devoted to you, you must be committed to them.

If you ever want things to change, you must change. Be the change you wish to see in the workplace. Change starts at the top and begins with you as the leader.

Find an approach with each person that helps each team member reach their potential. You can not communicate in the same way with every team member. Everyone is different. They learn differently, and it is your job as the leader to know what learning and communication style works best for each employee.



Ken Filler
Leadership Today Insights for Tomorrow’s Success

Ghostwriter. Speaker, Inspiring leaders and everyday people on how to live a productive life in this busy world. Contact me at