The World Has Been Changing. Have You Adapted Your Business Strategy? – Part 5 –

Image Source: Simon Sinek via LinkedIn

Parts 1-4 have provided an overview of Business Strategy, with special focus on its development and execution, through 6 of the 7 elements that we believe are integral to strategic success. You’ve had an opportunity, probably not your first nor your last, to explore these and other aspects of this core function of leaders.

What we believe stands out is that it is the 7th lever that most significantly drives development and deployment of the other 6 levers. Today we focus on this one, Leadership.

7 Levers to Strategic Success

  1. Market Discipline or Focus
  2. Strategic Understanding & Buy-in
  3. Balanced Metrics/Performance Indicators
  4. Scorecard & Business Performance Reviews
  5. People
  6. Activities and Structure
  7. Leadership


To spark reflection, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the leadership team in our company have sufficient credibility with our workforce to lead the execution of strategy?
  • Do our leaders and managers have a track record including helping to involve, prepare and move people through change?
  • Do our leaders and managers make it frequent, ongoing and regular practice to communicate our strategy in a clear, meaningful, and actionable way?
  • Do our leaders understand people and possess effective interpersonal and communication skills to inspire employees to sign on for the duration and work hard to achieve company goals?

Leadership capability is a powerful leading indicator for business performance. It’s one of the most important intangible assets within any company. Leadership doesn’t need to reside only in one person. It is beneficial when this valuable skill is applied jointly by members of a leadership team.

Strong leadership ensures employees have what they need to continuously motivate themselves and perform at their very best. What are the needs that come to mind when you think about this? Research shows the top priority needs of employees include the following:

  • Good pay and benefits
  • Opportunities to learn, grow and advance
  • Challenging work
  • An effective level of autonomy and empowerment
  • A cause to sign onto
  • To trust and be trusted
  • Recognition and appreciation
  • Meaningful work that requires use of employee-preferred skills
  • Management who cares about their success
  • To be valued

You’ve seen us raise the idea of a purpose-driven strategy, several times in this mini-series. Purpose-driven strategies can change perspectives. Let’s start looking at how that happens. We know of no one better to describe this than Simon Sinek.

When leaders develop a purpose-driven business strategy and lead execution of that strategy, many tools become available to them, such as the Strategy Map, Scorecard, the opportunity to leverage leading indicators, and the strategy itself with its purpose, competitive differentiation, and goals. Each aspect of the 7 levers provides tools, opportunities and requires leaders to lead people.

Effective leaders recognize that no one person can know everything, and that our rapidly changing business environment and society require everyone to continue learning and changing to sustain a business and thrive into the future. Making development investments in themselves and in their workforce has evolved from being something “nice to do” to being a business priority.

Next Steps

Series Step 5

Activity 1: Consider the knowledge and skills your organization needs now and in the foreseeable future. What are some alternative development approaches that may fit those needs?

Will you want to consider starting a mentor program and/or bringing in coaching services to work one-on-one, behind the scenes with individuals? Will customized group training for leaders, managers and small groups of employees be an option you’ll choose?

Can tuition reimbursement support ongoing learning? Are specialized consultants a possible choice for programs that fit your strategy such as Lean, Quality, Marketing, Technology, or Human Resources Management?

Leadership development can lead bring changes in leaders’ mindsets. Leaders who discover how they can re-shape their mindsets from fixed or finite to growth or infinite, find their way of thinking changes. They lead differently.

We recommend putting together a development plan for 2022.

Video Link:

Now, here is some excitingly different food for thought from Simon Sinek.

Imagine the future. What might be the implications, collectively, of such a change in mindset, the accompanying change in leadership approach, the new, deeper understanding of the purpose-driven strategy, and over time, the development of buy-in across your organization?

A powerful strategic understanding enables your people to do their jobs in ways that contribute to the business purpose and achieve strategic goals. The addition of buy-in, (review Part 2 for a refresher) fuels motivation; when people find individual meaning and fulfillment by doing work that requires using their preferred skills, they love doing the work.

It takes patience and time to build Buy-in, especially among individuals who haven’t yet discovered the fulfillment of having and being required to use their preferred skills. Not everyone has had that experience in the past.

Continuing the thread of Sinek’s ideas: What if leaders and managers were to reward positive performance trends toward achievement of strategic goals by a workforce applying ethical practices that align with company values, rather than rewarding just goal attainment?

What will be your plan?


The purpose of this 5-part mini-series is to help leaders, especially leaders of small businesses, to adapt or create an effective Business Strategy and to successfully drive its execution.

The most typical failures in strategy are caused by failure to execute well. This is the reason for our focus on the 7 Levers to Strategic Success — to help you do an outstanding job executing your strategy. In addition, because Leadership is such a powerful influence on success, we included leadership practices that make a difference in doing each Lever, as well as describing the Leadership as a lever itself.

Has this mini-series provided value to you? Have you taken away knowledge, changed or broadened your perspective, or found new insight that will help you to achieve your goals? Please share your thinking with us.

Other segments in this mini-series

The introduction segment: “Sometimes, in business and in life, we find wisdom not in what people think, but in how they think” LINK:

Part 1 “The World Has Been Changing. Have You Adapted Your Business Strategy? Part 1” – Market Discipline or Focus – LINK:

Part 2 “The World Has Been Changing. Have You Adapted Your Business Strategy? – Part 2” – Strategic Understanding & Buy-in – LINK:

Part 3 “The World Has Been Changing. Have You Adapted Your Business Strategy? – Part 3 – Balanced Metrics – LINK:

Part 4 “The World Has Been Changing. Have You Adapted Your Business StrategY? – Part 4 – LINK:

Our website has a number of articles on leadership and strategy. Following are a few that may interest you. To find out about other reads we offer, please visit our Home page at LINK:






Additional Resources

“Credibility How Leaders Gain and Lose it, Why People Demand it,” by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, Foreword by Tom Peters

“Driving Fear Out of the Workforce,” by Kathleen D. Ryan and Kaniel K. Oestreich

“The Speed of Trust The One Thing That Changes Everything,” by Stephen M. R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill

“Smart Trust,” by Stephen M. R. Covey and Greg Link with Rebecca R. Merrill

“Discover This New Leadership Mindset to Exponentially Grow Your Business,” – LINK:

“Chipotle’s CEO Boosted Revenue by $2 Billion Using These 2 Simple Techniques. Any Business Can Use Them,” – LINK:

“Pizza Hut celebrates its first anniversary with Emerge,” – LINK:

Simon Sinek: The Infinite Game

“Performance Standards From the Infinite Game by Simon Sinek,” – LINK:


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