When the cat is away…

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous.


Hello David ! I just started in business and I have what I see as a problem. I come from a family where self value wasn't present, and I find that it's hard for me to deal with employees. I tend to be kind and put at least some of their priorities first. In business books I keep reading that is not a good tactic. I am afraid I will ruin my business success by considering employees' needs too!
What's your opinion?


Hi and thanks for the question!

“Dealing” with employees and “considering their needs” are two totally different things.

Because I'm not sure of the exact scenarios you are referencing, I'm going to make some assumptions in order to help you get some clarity about what's going on in your business.

My guess is that you would rather be liked than prosperous.

Let me explain.

If you put your employees needs over the needs of your business because you are afraid that they won't like you if you tell them no, you would rather be liked than prosperous.

If you avoid having the “difficult” conversations with your employees regarding expectations and responsibilities because you're worried they won't like you, you would rather be liked than prosperous.

You see, it's one thing to consider the needs to your employees, it's an entirely different thing if your employees needs negatively affect your business.

Communication is key in any business setting, and if you're having difficulty communicating for fear of what others will think, you're putting your business in a very perilous position.

The key is to really become aware of what's happening.

Most people experience this in their business because they fear the judgment of others.

Judgment is painful and therefore, they are willing to do anything to avoid it.

Freedom is in realizing that the judgment of others has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person who is judging.

Team members respect a leader who is confident and clear.

Think of one thing you can do right now to step into being the leader you need to be.

Now, take action!


  1. I completely agree with David!

    And while I too don’t know your exact situation, I find that most times they just want to know what their clear roles and boundaries are.

    Don’t forget that this is your business, not theirs. And we teach people how to treat us. If you let them make the priorities, they will…and they may not align with yours and your business.

    You can be clear about what your expectations are without being rude. In fact, I believe that by being clear, you are being kind.

    • So true Janice. There is no sense stepping around others, especially when it is your business that is the focal point. I appreciate the post.

  2. Thanks David! I love your response and find the mirror interesting. I mean, the only reason we think that another’s opinion has something to do with us and we take it personal is that there is a limiting belief inside of us that agrees with the “judger”. Ironically, if we are feeling judged, aren’t we the ones that are judging ourselves and the other person is simply mirroring what it is that we feel about ourselves in the first place? …and the need to be liked is certainly a great place to start!

    • Exactly Crystal, and that limiting belief is so ingrained that we don’t even see it for what it really is. Don’t judge it, and be the leader you know you are capable of being. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I agree communication is the key! and the sooner the better.

    If you wait, hoping things will get better 9 times out of 10 they just get worse.

    As you say David “Take Action!” Remember that old phrase “nip it in the bud”, it really is a heck of a lot easier in the long run

    • Yes Carla, the sweep it under the rug response just doesn’t work. Taking action to rectify the situation will absolutely make things better down the road.

  4. David, I really like what you said but I also realize that we all have certain gifts that are stronger than others. In my past jobs, I was able to find my niche which is more in negotiating deals and building strong customer relationships (not my bus.). however, I have never been very good at managing people. I have a really tender heart and find managing less than fun. For me it is better to either work in my own space or have a partner where we carry equal responsibility and managing is not part of it. I think there does not always need to be a reason. Some of us are better at some things than others.

    • I don’t disagree with you Donna; we all have certain skills that set us apart from others. However, you may want to look more closely at what is going on inside that you feel because of a tender heart you are not able to manage people. There is something there that may be holding you back from being exactly who you were meant to be. Thanks for the post.

  5. Thanks David for sharing the answer.

    Most often, when we are in negative emotion, we lose track of what is actually the reason for why we feel that way. The following sentence came out as a huge revelation for me,

    “Freedom is in realizing that the judgment of others has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person who is judging.”

    • Remember that Lalitha the next time you feel this coming up in your life. It is easy to give in to the emotion and be judgmental of it, but it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Practice makes this easier every time. I appreciate you sharing here.