This study investigated the use of the leadership and strategic planning functions in improving the management performance of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the province of Gauteng, South Africa. The primary objective was to establish the extent to which SMMEs in the construction industry in the study area utilised leadership and strategic planning to achieve continuous improvement in management performance. Primary data were collected through structured interviews with 326 respondents from 64 randomly selected SMMEs in the built environment. The findings showed the necessity of educating the owner-managers of SMMEs concerning the use of appropriate management measurement tools and strengthening the implementation of the leadership and strategic planning functions in order to improve management performance. These findings suggest that specific management function-focused courses should be designed and implemented. Rewards should be introduced for SMMEs that show signs of continuous improvement.