When starting a business, all the responsibilities fall on the entrepreneur. As the company grows, however, there is a need to develop structures and delegate responsibilities. A thriving business should run smoothly whether the CEO is present or away.
William Smith, the founder of Double Iron Consulting and former President/CEO of Royal Cup Coffee, recently highlighted the importance of leadership in a small business.
Taking notes from successful business executives is always recommended. This is because these people have been on the frontlines leading troops in markets and industries with cut-throat competition to ensure the businesses they run are successful.
Where It All Started
William Smith Royal Cup Coffee started working for his family’s company in his teenage years.
This was a way of earning a few bucks for his pocket money, but his parents wanted him to learn business management from the bottom up and to develop a positive work ethic. He worked during the summers throughout his high school and college years.
Working for the family business helped him learn about manufacturing processes, staffing requirements, the value of teamwork and of knowing each person individually, the challenges faced by workers, ways of improving operations, and many other things.
After graduating from college, Bill joined the company’s sales team full-time. A few years later, he went to graduate school, earning an MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
When he returned to the company, he joined the operations division as a senior manager. This is where he got a glimpse of how the company was managed from the top.
He later moved into an executive position in the operations division, allowing him the opportunity to streamline operations and improve the capacity and capabilities of various teams within the organization.
In 2014, William Smith Royal Cup Coffee was appointed the CEO and president of the company. He used the skills and knowledge acquired from the time he was a teenager working at the company and the skills acquired while working in the top management to continue the company’s growth.
Today, Royal Cup Coffee is one of the largest coffee distributors and roasters in the United States.
Giving Back to the Community
In 2020, William Smith transitioned from the company CEO to a board director and strategic advisor role and he, the board, and the family moved executive responsibility for the company to non-family professional leadership. This move continued the growth of the company and expanded the leadership talent opportunities of the company.
Soon afterward, William Smith founded Double Iron Consulting to give back to the community by helping family businesses address and overcome the myriad of daily challenges.
The company offers succession planning services, leadership development, change management, internal alignment, strategic growth, and customer service training services.
Bill Smith knows the importance of leadership in business. That is why one of the primary services offered by Double Iron Consulting is leadership development.
The Importance of Leadership in a Small Business
Having served in various capacities, William Smith Royal Cup Coffee understands the importance of leadership. According to Bill, there are many reasons why leadership is vital to business; a few are listed below.
1. Attracts and Retains Talent
Good leadership can be seen from afar. Competent, trustworthy, and reliable employees are always looking for companies that have good leaders.
This is because they not only want to have a conducive work environment but also a mentor they can learn from.
Good leadership, therefore, can help a small business attract and retain new talent. Good leadership can help business owners avoid the headaches associated with high employee turnover.
2. Helps Businesses Overcome Change
Businesses usually face many challenges daily. For instance, technological changes can disrupt the operations of a business.
When a key staff member leaves for greener pastures, a gap may be left in the company, and other team members may not know how to cope with the change.
Economic recession and depression are significant changes that can lead to business collapse if the business owner lacks good leadership skills.
If a small business owner possesses good leadership skills, he or she can help the team absorb the shocks brought about by those changes.
3. Supports Implementation of Strategic Plans
It is useless to have a plan for strategic growth if the business owner cannot offer leadership in implementing the strategic plan.
A good leader can disseminate information contained in the plan and help the team understand the roles they are expected to play in the business strategy.
4. Boosts Morale
The employees’ productivity can increase fast if there is high morale in the company. Good leaders know how to motivate employees without necessarily using financial incentives.
They understand that when employees have a conducive work environment, they can perform exceptionally. As a result, good leadership can have a big impact on a company’s bottom line.
Types of Leadership
Many leadership styles exist. They include; democratic, autocratic, transformational, bureaucratic, transactional, and Laissez-faire leadership.
The most effective form of leadership is bureaucratic leadership, combining elements of autocratic and democratic leadership. However, good leaders know how to use different leadership styles to achieve the desired objectives.
Good leaders also know how to adjust their leadership style to fit the needs of their business and team members.
How to Develop Leadership Skills
Double Iron Consulting is a consultancy firm that offers various services, including leadership training.
After being brought on board, Double Iron Consulting will identify key members of staff who need leadership training.
The team will take these staff members through a leadership development program to ensure they are ready to take up new responsibilities. Double Iron Consulting works with clients to find their best solutions.
In addition to leadership training, Double Iron Consulting can also take up a role on the advisory board. This is a team of experts in the industry who advise the board on various issues to ensure boards of directors have the information they need to make informed decisions all the time.