Leading from the front creates success

Some time ago, I met my former employee, a woman, who later made the decision to become an entrepreneur.

Long time has passed, almost 15 years already, and I have only met her a few times during this time. “Finally we meet. For a long time I have wanted to tell you this: you encourage entrepreneurs, you are a positive example of a successful entrepreneur who, with her own example, has given so many people dreaming about entrepreneurship the courage to fulfill that dream and start their own company”, she said.

In my mind, I returned to that time. Yes, it seems to be true what she said. According to my calculations, ten people have started their own business through my company or with my help. One bought my company’s sister company, one continued the family business, but most of them started their companies from the scratch. Many of them are still entrepreneurs and run their own businesses.

Currently local decision-making and flexibility are in the headlines in Finland.

In my businesses, the basic principle has been fair game. My company has trained its employees continuously, paid a bit higher salaries than the average salary recommendations have stated, organized Christmas parties and presents, annual corporate training cruises etc. was ir recession or not.

According to latest researches, SMEs and especially those that employ less than 10 people, have an excellent cooperation and working atmosphere. In those companies, it is possible to make flexible decisions accordingly to the common goals. Achieved results are divided evenly, for example bonuses after a good year.

The most important thing is to lead from the front. Taking care of the employees and making a good profit do not conflict with each other. “Goodness is good business”, says Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop.

Because I believe in goodness, sense of responsibility, as well as people's enthusiasm to succeed, I wanted to create the conditions for success and motivation to work by my management. You must have both sense and sensibility in the leadership: hard objectives but humane ways to get there. Still the best employment security is a successful company. The success is achieved with teamwork; time for the lonely wolves is over.


Pirjo Karhu
Yrittäjäneuvos / President’s honorary title of entrepreneurship