Implementing Strategy: Finding More Success Through Flexible Leadership

Everyone loves a good strategy but it requires flexible and thoughtful leadership to actually implement it successfully. Not getting honest buy-in from your team is the quickest way to watch a great strategy fail, which can be the catalyst for a leadership change.

On this episode of the Survive & Thrive podcast, Glade Holman joins Jennifer Ayers to discuss implementing strategy in the real world. Glade is the managing director at LearningBridge and the Park LI Group, and has found building ownership and being flexible in his strategy to be the keys to success.



Glade Holman introduction (1:06)

Glade shares his background and what he’s doing at LearningBridge and Park LI Group

Implementing strategies (3:30)

As Glade notes, strategy is fun to talk about but people often forget about the idea of implementation. He believes the analytical part of strategy is far more present than the human element.

The human dimension (4:28)

Glade details his perspective on the “human experience” and breaks it down into three parts.

Applying strategies (6:34)

Even the most brilliant strategy will likely fail if you don’t apply it correctly and if no one follows it. Glade shares stories about times when the strategy was there but implementation wasn’t.

Creating buy-in:

Building ownership (9:36)

As Glade pointed out, there are only two ways to get ownership -- selling them on it or having them build it. He expands upon the idea of involving your team in order to help them through change.

Commander’s Intent (10:26)

A concept the army developed, Commander’s Intent gives people the agency to work towards a clear objective without a specific plan in place. Glad discusses how that same concept may appear in the workplace and what being transparent with your team can actually accomplish.

Creating a community (14:43)

Glade believes a community, not a group or club, is far better at helping your strategy survive and thrive over time. 


What makes a great leader? (16:49)

While some leaders might want to continue refining a strategy until it’s perfect, the great leaders want more buy-in. That means trading some flaws in the plan for far more ownership from the team because it’s their plan.

The issues with the traditional leader role (17:55)

The traditional leader role is defined by being stoic, solid, and having all the answers. But valuing transparency and community between the leader and their team is so much more effective, according to Glade.

Communicating your strategy (20:51)

You’ve gotten your team involved in your strategizing an you’ve developed an approach. But how do you talk about it and communicate this strategy. Glade points to localized messaging as a way leadership can kickstart it all.


How can leaders thrive (26:02)

Glade provides the three things he believes leaders and organizations can do to not only survive but thrive in change.