2021 Leaders in Corporate Citizenship honoree
Atlanta Business Chronicle has named our 2021 Leaders in Corporate Citizenship honorees. These individuals will be celebrated at a virtual awards event Feb. 18. Here’s a Q&A with one of the honorees, Kenneth Braswell, CEO, Fathers Incorporated:
You’ve been named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Leaders in Corporate Citizenship 2021. How can other leaders win similar accolades for achievement in the area of corporate social responsibility? The best advice I have for willing this honor is to serve. We never set out to win accolades for the things we are responsible for as an agency. Part of the responsibility of serving customers or clients is to ensure that your business is solid enough to withstand difficult times and continue to handle the workload.
What is the most important component for a strong corporate social responsibility strategy? To build on the passion you have for serving your base. A healthy customer/client is a returning one. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
What does leadership mean to you? Leadership is synonymous with servitude. One of the lessons I learned from serving in the military was, never ask somebody else to do something you are not willing to do yourself. Leadership is best when orchestrated by example.
Please give some details about one of your top accomplishments in the past year that you are most proud of. I have two accomplishments that I am proud of during pandemic. One, because our service delivery model has always been grounded in innovation and technology, when it was time to shift into full virtual mode we were immediately ready to shift with the demand. We continued to serve, we continued to provide services, we continued to assist families in need and we continued to maintain our level of excellence in that delivery. The second is that by being able to keep our doors open, employees working from home and virtualizing every aspect of our organization, we also keep families together. During this time our agency has doubled in staff, two homes were purchased by employees, a marriage, no separations, divorces, evictions or repossessions and our sense of family strengthened.
Who is a favorite leader you admire, and why? The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is my favorite and most admired leader because he led effectively against opposition. It’s easy to lead when power demands or everyone likes who you are.
How do you motivate and inspire teams to achieve big goals? The most effective way to motivate your team is to identify when their personal passions and purpose aligns with the company mission. Everyone has a desire to live on purpose, so when your job becomes your vocation, it’s the perfect storm.
What advice would you give to future leaders who want to influence corporate social responsibility? Being in business is not just about product and service delivery. People want to know that you care about the people you are in business to serve.
What are you reading now? “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama.