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.

Team-Driven Forecasting

When thinking about what has gotten Venturity’s team through the COVID-19 crisis so far, Deanna Walker’s answer is clear: open-book management.

Eliminating the Financial Unknown

MITCH THOBE | Choice One Engineering
Choice One has fully utilized open-book management for six years now, and it’s made transparent communication much easier on their team during this time.

Goal Setting Creates Trust and Clarity

VIVIAN LEE | Arkadium
In order to ensure goals are clear, aligned, and everyone can work in full confidence, the People Innovation team at Arkadium holds ‘goal-setting office hours’ for everyone and offers access to goal-writing resources.

Selling During a Pandemic

As an organization committed to helping businesses and business owners gain control over their finances, the team at MACKEY has been pretty busy lately.

Put Your Best People on the Biggest Problem

It’s the worst-case scenario for any business leader: someone on your team has COVID-19. At Life’s Abundance, it was someone on their warehouse team, so everyone in that warehouse had to quarantine for two weeks.

Delivering Care and Training to Employees

Most people are relatively new to remote work, which has led to makeshift home offices with furniture and equipment that aren’t ideal for the long-term. With their office buildings sitting empty, leaders at Atomic Object decided to distribute office furniture to employees who needed it.

Your Company Picnic Isn’t Cancelled

Missing your team’s in-person events, like the annual company picnic or quarterly team meeting? There are plenty of ways to facilitate meaningful events virtually, and Vivayic’s recent two-day team meeting is a great example of how to get it right.

Is Work from Home Here to Stay?

LAUREN ADAMS | Center for Financial Planning
Over the last few months, the Center for Financial Planning has taken most of their processes virtual, allowing the team to take their time before returning to the office. Hear Lauren’s perspective on returning to the office, the future of working from home, and how to keep employees engaged right now.

Is Work from Home Here to Stay?

When The Motz Group transitioned its non-essential team members to virtual work, they were guided by one core objective: to take care of their people. Hear Valerie’s perspective on returning to the office, the future of working from home, and how to keep employees engaged right now.

Is Work from Home Here to Stay?

ELLYN DAVIDSON | Brogan & Partners
After a pretty seamless transition to working from home, Ellyn Davidson and her team at Brogan & Partners are ready to say goodbye to their office space. Hear Ellyn’s perspective on returning to the office, the future of working from home, and how to keep employees engaged right now. 

3 Practices to Ensure Your Business Comes Back Even Stronger

KORNEL GRYGO | Tasty Catering
Tasty Catering is a company that should’ve been forced to close its doors by now. But thanks to its foundation as a purpose-driven company, it’s thriving. Here are three aspects of purpose-driven leadership to lean into now to endure this crisis and prepare for what lies ahead.

Massive PPE Shortages Pushed this Maker-Centric Agency to Get Creative

While most of us likely don’t have the materials for additive manufacturing lying around the house, it’s no surprise that Nick Watts, Chief Design Officer at Hook, does. When the COVID-19 crisis began impacting the lives of those around him, Nick’s first instinct was to figure out how he could make something that would help.

What it Takes to Lead a Team of Essential Workers

MICHELLE LAUWERS | Zolman Restoration
“Whatever is going on in the world, our work doesn’t stop,” says Michelle Lauwers, VP of Finance at Zolman. “Our team is used to dealing with hazards, but this is different — the virus can’t just be washed off. It’s an invisible risk factor, and the fear was palpable.”

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)

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 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

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.

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