Success at work requires successful leaders? The elements of successful leadership according to leaders and employees of a Finnish mid-size enterprise

2015 IJRSP – Volume 4 Issue 3


Uusiautti, Satu*
Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, Finland (


This study focused on the reciprocal nature of leadership from the point of view of success, when defined a manifestation of expertise, high performances, productivity, and positive work experiences. Leaders’ action with and among their employees formed the core of the study. The purpose was to find out how leaders themselves and their employees describe success at work and leadership practices that support the success. The study was conducted among leaders and employees in a mid-size Finnish enterprise. Two research questions were set for this study: (1) How do the leaders and supervisors describe successful leadership? and (2) How do the employees describe successful leadership? This study employed a multi method approach that combined qualitative research methods within one study. The leaders and supervisors (N=15) were interviewed while employees (N=29) participated by filling out an open-ended questionnaire. Elements of successful leadership in leaders’ and supervisors’ and employees’ descriptions are presented as results. Leadership for success at work maintains that a leader or supervisor finds leadership as his or her personal strength. The social element of using the strength was strongly emphasized in this data. Much of the strength becomes manifested through the social interaction between leaders and supervisors and employees, where positivity can be the key element. Those who have this perception are likely to enjoy their work as leaders, find it meaningful, inspiring, and energizing, and to succeed as leaders and make followers succeed as well especially in the changing world of work.

Keywords: leadership; productivity; positive psychology; success at work; changing work



*Corresponding Author