Stepping Up

How Leaders Are Rising to the Occasion

Throughout the Small Giants Community and beyond, leaders are doing what’s right when it matters most. These are their stories.

WHAT IT TAKES TO LEAD A TEAM OF ESSENTIAL WORKERS

MICHELLE LAUWERS | Zolman Restoration
“I had to really step back and evaluate our approach. I tend to think I’m invincible, and I had to come to grips with the idea that everyone has the right to feel how they feel.”

HOW THIS QUIET LEADER BECAME THE VOICE OF HIS ORGANIZATION

ROY HERNANDEZ | Geil Enterprises, Inc.
“I am a quiet leader who believes in letting others lead and helping them develop. But I’ve been doing a lot of work to build my leadership, and in this moment, I felt compelled to step up and do more.”

Steven Dyme

FLOWERS FOR NURSES (AND DOCTORS AND TECHS AND JANITORS)

STEVEN DYME | Flowers for Dreams
When manufacturing came to a grinding halt for a local flower company, they placed their bets on their community to see them through.

Drew Patrick

GROCERY DELIVERY IS HELPING THIS CREATIVE STUDIO SURVIVE (AND THRIVE) RIGHT NOW

DREW PATRICK | Skidmore Studio
A Detroit strategic creative studio is utilizing its strong partnerships to fulfill a community need and launch a grocery delivery business in less than two weeks.

Empathy is Saving My Company

LISA WISE | Flock DC
Lisa built her company one door at a time, and she’s determined to protect her organization and the people it serves. In her own words, Lisa shares how they’re surviving right now and why she is relying on empathy as her engine.

Driven by Purpose, Not Fear

Emily & Doug Kueker | Vivayic
With 33 team members distributed across 13 states, Vivayic’s values connect them to one another and empower each individual to make the right decisions for the company.

VULNERABLE LEADERSHIP PULLED THIS TEAM TOGETHER 

ROB DUBE & JOSH BRITTON | imageOne
Leaning into their cultural foundation of financial transparency, leaders at imageOne asked team members for their input on how to survive this crisis. They received nearly one hundred cost-cutting and revenue-generating ideas. Ultimately, the team agreed to all take deep pay cuts to keep the company together.

Shifting Gears to Help Others

ANDY DIDOROSI | Detroit Bus Company
The Detroit Bus Co.’s signature hand-painted buses may be parked, but its team has shifted gears into making World Health Organization-approved, FDA-approved bulk hand sanitizer in the facility that usually houses its tour buses.  In just the last few weeks, they’ve produced over 4,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for those who need it most.

Don’t Let a Crisis Hold You Back

CHRISTINA MOORE | Taylor English
A textbook example of how this crisis can impact every aspect of our lives, Christina suddenly has four school-aged children at home and her husband is a physician working on the frontlines of the crisis. But Christina’s perspective offers a sunnier outlook on the challenges we’re facing right now.

Taking Care of Team Members

ELIZABETH GLASBRENNER | Smiley Technologies, Inc.
In the early weeks of working from home, Elizabeth had the idea to treat the team and their families to a week’s worth of lunches from a local restaurant. The gesture inspired the team to start a channel on Slack where team members could share the good deeds they were doing for others.

What do these leaders have in common?

These leaders are part of Small Giants companies — companies that prioritize their purpose and culture and invest in their emerging leaders.

One way Small Giants companies invest in their next generation of leaders is by enrolling them in the Small Giants Leadership Academy. This robust one-year certification program consists of virtual learning sessions with expert leaders and coaches, an extensive resource library, on-the-ground meetups with your cohort, a leadership assessment, and your event ticket to two Small Giants gatherings.