Strong Leadership – Giving Back to the Community

What is strong leadership? Is it the boss and barking orders? Is it making the final call, no matter what? In truth, strong leadership is something far more valuable than that. It’s about giving back to the community and empowering those around you to be their best selves. This blog post will explore what strong leadership means in the context of giving back to the community and also look at some examples of businesses that have done an amazing job with this!

1. Strong leadership is about more than just being the boss:

It’s about giving back to the community and empowering those around you to be their best selves. At its core, strong leadership is about positively impacting those around you. It’s about setting an example for others to follow and inspiring them to be their best selves. When you lead with this mindset, it naturally follows that you’ll want to give back to the community that has helped shape who you are. There are countless ways to give back to your community, but one of the most impactful things you can do is invest in the next generation, start by establishing a corporate giving program in your company, get the employees involved, and you as leader setting the example.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Strong Leadership - Giving Back to the Community

2. Ways of giving back

There are many ways to give back to the community. For example, you can support local schools and educational programs or provide opportunities for young people to get involved in your business.

You can also volunteer your time or resources to help a cause that is important to you. This could be anything from supporting a local food bank to helping build homes for Habitat for Humanity. Whatever it is, giving back will not only make a difference in the lives of others, but it will also make you feel good too!

Finally, another great way to give back is simply by being an advocate for causes that are important to you. This could mean speaking up about social issues or working to promote policies that benefit the community as a whole.

3. Making a difference

Leaders are often the first to volunteer their time and resources when it comes to making a difference. But what does it really mean to give back? Giving back can take many forms. It can be as simple as donating your time to a local charity or causes you care about. It can also be giving financially to causes that are important to you.

But giving back doesn’t have to be about money. It can also be about using your talents and skills to make a difference in your community. For example, if you’re a talented writer, you could volunteer to write for a local non-profit organisation. If you’re good at organising events, you could help out with a community fundraiser.

In conclusion, giving back is an important part of being a leader. It’s a way to show that you care about your community and that you’re willing to invest your time and resources into making it a better place.

How To Earn Respect As A Manager

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Earn respect as a manager|How To Earn Respect As A ManagerEverybody has had a ‘bad manager’ at some point and the effects of poor management are well understood. It can be demoralizing, and demotivating and create a workplace that nobody wants to be in. It is why, when it is your turn to step up to the plate and take on the coveted role of manager you want to do it differently. You want to earn the respect of your peers and subordinates to foster a happy and healthy working environment. For some management comes naturally for others, a few pointers in the right direction can help make all of the difference. So whether you are looking to climb the ranks to CEO of the biggest international tech company or being the boss of your own local rain gutters and drainage start-up, here are some great tips to be a manager worthy of respect.

Always be honest

You are taught to be honest from an early age so why should the world of business be any different. Keeping secrets from employees will leave them feeling undervalued, uninvolved, and uneasy about the workplace. As much as you can you should always endeavor to be open and honest with your team. Address concerns and queries they have as frankly and openly as possible. This is the best way to create a relationship built on trust and respect.

Easy on the micromanaging

A really great boss can relinquish control. You have a team with a job to do and the best thing you can do is to let them do their jobs. Trying to take over and micromanage their work will result in their irritation, frustration, and feeling demoralized and demotivated once again. The more responsibility and accountability you can give your employees the more they will thrive and engage in their working environment, which will pay dividends for both you and them.

Always say ‘thank you’

Many studies have proven that staff will respond well to and thrive off of appreciation for their work. Recognizing the work undertaken by staff and the efforts they make in their role will go a long way. Rewards and recognition come in many forms and of course, all employees would like a financial incentive or reward however there are plenty of times where a simple ‘thank you’ and ‘job well done; will suffice.

Give feedback

While you may roll your eyes at a performance review they actually serve a great purpose. Employees enjoy the opportunity to have candid discussions with management regarding their performance and future within the company. Your employees will want to know about the progress they make and when they are doing well, or not as the case may be, so do not shy away from handing out feedback and offering up regular performance reviews.

Accept feedback

Feedback is a two-street and there will be times when your team is invited to or will choose to offer up feedback on your role as manager. A good manager will listen to this feedback, take it onboard, and enact any changes or improvements should they be required.

6 Ways to Be a Great Boss

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Ways to be a great boss|6 Ways to Be a Great BossStudies show that 82 percent of employees consider quitting because of a bad leader. Many people will opt for a new boss over a pay raise from a bad one. So, you can guess how high the expectations are if you want to lead a business or a small team. It takes a lot of time and a great deal of experience. Therefore, learning from other successful business leaders is the only way to improve your chances of becoming a great boss. On that note, here are a few ways to be a great boss.

Make Employees a Priority

What makes a great company? You can talk of a great product, loyal customers, effective processes, and many other essential business must-haves. If you bundle all these together, you’ll realize that a huge part of achieving this rest on the quality and quantity of employees you have in your workforce.

As a business owner, it’s curial not to lose fact of the importance of your employees and ensure their sacrifices are significantly appreciated. There are various ways to prioritize your employees. Most importantly, ensure your employees have what they want to work better and more efficiently. Great bosses listen to their employees and invest in solutions that work best for all of them.

Solutions can range from spreading work across so you don’t overburden and underpay workers, to securing vehicles so employees can move about freely. In situations concerning the latter, companies like The Minibus Centre can help you short out all your short to long-term car leasing arrangements.

Be a Problem Solver

A great boss leads the charge in converting the toughest problems into solutions. On the other hand, in the face of problems, average bosses tend to only shift blame. Becoming the former begins with a mindset to conceptualize problems as a conduit to identify sustainable solutions for your business. Problem-solving doesn’t mean always starting from another level.

As a great boss, you must focus on continuous improvement rather than solving a problem, waiting for the same problem to come up again, and repeating the process. Continuous improvement involves helping great bosses minimize wasteful operations and prove their yield.


There is a misconception about delegation that many bad bosses run with, which dampens employees’ morale. As a boss, delegating doesn’t mean outsourcing tasks and cutting yourself from the process only to demand results and harshly criticize employees. The difference between a good and a bad boss is inherent in their relationship with team members.

For a bad boss, dealing with a team means staying outside, giving instructions, and criticizing efforts without empathy. Great bosses put themselves in the shoes of workers. They don’t estrange themselves from the team. Through effective and consistent communication ensures team members are always on the same page asking for regular progress updates.

Conducting frequent daily standup meetings can also be a great way to effectively communicate with your co-workers and ensure you’re all on the same page.

Give Constructive Feedback

Great bosses see operations as a continuous loop that never breaks. The process starts with identifying a problem but shouldn’t end after matching it with a solution. That’s where great bosses deploy monitoring and evaluation strategies to assess the process and provide constructive feedback to improve operations. As a great boss, you can communicate feedback using various methods. Experts advise making the communication swift, concise, and devoid of personal agenda.

Be Empathetic

Great business leaders are empathetic. Rather than shifting blames when employees go wrong, listen to your employees, understand their situations, and identify weaknesses. Empathy is vital in creating an enabling environment where employees feel empowered and appreciated.

Be Visible

Great bosses lead from the front and visible leaders appear more confident about their strategies and management efforts. These leaders inspire trust and drive teams to put up their best. For this reason, investing in your knowledge base is crucial for an effective leader. Learn as much as possible about business management, employee relationships, product management, marketing, etc.

All in all, becoming a boss is no easy task, but these tips, even though they are non-exhaustive, can help make things a little manageable.

The Single Military Strategy Every Business Needs

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Intrinsic Discipline|The Single Military Strategy Every Business NeedsWhat comes to mind when you hear the word discipline? Most people think of punishment. They view discipline as a way to gain compliance and turn people into unquestioning automatons. This type of discipline is extrinsic, and it’s common in many compliance cultures.

But there’s a second form of discipline, one that you’ll find in the best military units: intrinsic discipline. Intrinsic discipline occurs when people advance the common good voluntarily. It comes about when people understand the difference between right and wrong and do what’s right—even when the boss isn’t watching or when times are difficult.

Intrinsic discipline is a powerful tool. It creates the trust that’s needed to promote organizational initiatives, it empowers your people, and it produces a durable competitive advantage—all factors that lead to success in business and on the battlefield.

However, intrinsic discipline doesn’t happen by accident. As a leader, you must develop it intentionally, or your teams will get stuck in extrinsic compliance. But where should you start?

1. Define and explain the common good.

The first step to gaining your team’s commitment to the common good is to define and explain it so your people understand what it is, why it’s important, and how the organization will get there.

Xenophon, a pupil of Socrates and an experienced military commander, was the first great thinker in the Western world to outline this component of discipline. According to Xenophon, the first step to intrinsic discipline begins with the leader, who must possess areté—a combination of character and competence—to gain support from followers even in times of great danger.

Xenophon explains that leaders must teach their followers the common good and the difference between correct and incorrect performance and behavior. Defining and explaining the common good will create clear expectations and explain why you’re asking people to do what they do.

“Obedience,” Xenophon tells us, “must be given voluntarily rather than under compulsion.”

2. Gain buy-in by building trust.

The second step is to gain buy-in by building trust. People need to trust their leader, the desired outcomes (your organization’s vision, mission, and goals), and how they’ll reach these outcomes (through values, expectations, and strategies).

As so many studies of human decision-making attest, people make choices based on emotion and then rationalize those decisions. Trust and mutual respect are what create this emotional connection.

Exceptional military leaders understand this. While admonishing the United States Military Academy Corps of Cadets to end the practice of hazing in 1879, Academy Superintendent General John M. Schofield crafted what’s now referred to as “Schofield’s Definition of Discipline,” which still must be memorized by all West Point cadets:

The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instructions and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey.

The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.

The takeaway? Leaders who are trustworthy and treat people with respect create an environment in which intrinsic discipline can emerge.

3. Strengthen accountability.

The third step is to strengthen accountability. Accountability means to be answerable. It’s a four-way intersection: up, down, and lateral. Everyone on the team needs to be answerable for doing the right things in the right ways.

Importantly, this includes you as a leader; accountability begins in the mirror. Leaders need to walk the talk and enforce standards consistently so that everyone sees that the standards are essential rather than arbitrary.

As Greek military leader Xenophon explains:

Good workers get depressed when they see that, although they are the ones doing all of the work, the others get the same as they do, despite making no effort and being unprepared to face danger, if need be.

Playing favorites and haphazard enforcement are morale killers—they indicate to everyone involved that the standards and expectations are arbitrary and unimportant. And Xenophon is quite clear that the leader, not the followers, is to blame if the expectations and their importance are unclear or selectively followed.

To illustrate this principle, Xenophon provides examples in his famous work Anabasis of two commanders during the expedition with Cyrus against the Persian king Xerxes in 401 B.C. Both commanders failed in different ways.

Clearchus, a Spartan commander, took pride in his severity, believing that soldiers should fear their superiors more than the enemy. Because his rule was considered arbitrary, many of his men deserted.

In contrast, Proxenus, a Boeotian and a friend of Xenophon, sought to win the love of his soldiers by withholding praise from wrongdoers instead of punishing them. He became an object of contempt, and his soldiers ran roughshod over him.

The bottom line

These three steps—clarity, buy-in, and accountability—are the foundations for intrinsic discipline. They interact like a Venn diagram: Clarity and buy-in without accountability mean that any good results are a matter of luck. Clarity and accountability without buy-in creates compliance only, and people won’t contribute their best. Buy-in and accountability without clarity creates the hamster wheel effect: a lot of activity but no movement toward your goals. Having all three in place helps organizations move from compliance to a deeply inspired culture.

About the Author

Christopher D. Kolenda, Ph.D., founder of the Strategic Leaders Academy, works with leaders who want to apply insights from history and military operations to take their businesses to new heights. He is a West Point graduate, internationally renowned combat leader, retired Army colonel, and former trusted adviser to three four-star generals and two undersecretaries of defense. He’s the author of Zero-Sum Victory: What We’re Getting Wrong About War and Leadership: The Warrior’s Art, a trusted anthology that’s been in print for over 20 years and helped tens of thousands of leaders succeed in combat and business. Learn more at

The Importance of Management in The Construction Industry

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Construction Industry|The Importance of Management in The Construction IndustryWhen it comes to completing a challenging project, good management is hard to overstate. The construction industry is no exception; proper management is so crucial that it can be the difference between project success and failure – or even life and death. Here are the critical ways that proper management can help minimize complications and improve the outcome of any project.

Good management is essential for the construction industry

Good management is a vital feature of any successful business. It is perhaps even more critical in the construction industry, for example, in a civil engineering firm Illinois has to offer. Without good leadership and strong communication, teams will struggle to get anything done effectively. Poor planning can also lead to wasted resources and increased project cost overruns.

Sources of risk within the construction industry

The primary source of risks within the construction industry is the construction process itself, and good management is essential to reduce them. The construction process is complex, with many moving parts and multiple stakeholders. It’s challenging to coordinate all the different pieces that must come together for a project to be completed successfully, which is why it’s so important for managers to have a clear understanding of their role in this process. They need to know how they can best support their teams and communicate with one another so that risks are minimized as much as possible.

Safety on construction sites

In the construction industry, there are thousands of accidents every year. Indeed, some accidents are not caused by anyone’s negligence or poor management, but many are.

Good management will ensure that your employees know what they’re supposed to do and how they should do it to keep themselves and others safe on the job site. It also helps them understand how important safety is for everyone involved with your company—not just for their own sake but also because it’s good business sense: if people aren’t happy with how safe things are at work, they won’t want to come back again!

The implications of poor management in construction projects

Poor management can lead to delays, budget overruns, and safety issues. These consequences can damage your reputation as an employer. Poor quality and poor safety are two outcomes of poor management. In addition, if you have unhappy customers who don’t receive what they paid for, then there is no reason why they should continue doing business with you. Disgruntled employees may also seek employment elsewhere.

How can good management improve a complex project?

There are many ways that good management can improve a complex project. Good leadership can enhance communication between team members, which can help with project completion. It can also increase the quality of products and the workplace, improving physical space and the people who work there. A good manager will make sure that employees are happy at work, which will keep them from feeling like they have to leave their jobs to be satisfied with what they do every day. Finally, good management ensures that each person on the team has an opportunity for growth and development through training opportunities provided by their employer.