Small Business: Leadership From The Ground Up

Small Business

Good things come in small packages. Great things come from small businesses!

As far as developing leaders, small businesses are the prime work environment for leaders.

This is a bold statement, yes. But think about it for a minute with the following scenarios…

Growing Up Leaders

Imagine this scenario:

An entry-level business professional, Joey, notices that his company is missing out an opportunity to save $200 dollar a week just by changing the way they handle their printing order. Like a good employee, he eagerly tells his supervisor what he found, hoping for a pat on the back and maybe even a little recognition.

In Corporate World:

Much to the budding leader’s surprise, Joey’s supervisor looks at him and says,

“Don’t mess with the protocol, it is just the way we do it. ” Joey walks away wondering why his company would continue to do something inefficient and wasteful.

In Small Business World:

To the budding leader’s delight, Joey’s supervisor exclaims,

“Wow, thanks for catching that, your observation will save the company so much money.” Joey walks away feeling  appreciated and eager to get back to work.

Which world would you want to be living in?

A Shining Example

Let me note, not all corporations run this way. The prime example everyone uses as an ideal corporate culture is Zappos. In the corporate spirit, I am using it again.

The Zappos attutude is this:

“Although change can and will come from all directions, it’s important that most of the changes in the company are driven from the bottom up — from the people who are on the front lines and closest to the customers and/or issues.”

Zappos gets a pat on the back. Front line employees are a company’s greatest influencers. They have the opportunity to see the core of your business work first hand. A leader within your company will take full advantage of the chance to solve problems and bridge the needs of your clients, instead of waiting for upper level management to catch on.

As leaders, we crave a voice, an opportunity to improve, a project to influence, and a goal to obtain.  Small businesses are the perfect grounds for leaders to make an impact even as a new employee.

Not only will you enjoy your job at the end of the day and feel as if you are making a difference, but your company will see the impact as well.

Leading Inside and Out

Small businesses have the ability to think ahead of the competition, change their tactics and jump on opportunities. They can adapt faster than any corporation because the chain of command is eliminated. This ability comes in handy when attempting to beat out the competition and eventually take over the market leader.

As small businesses grow and compete for larger accounts, their employees have the capability to wear many hats. An employee does not have to be chained to their position, instead they have the ability to transition fluidly to fill the companies need.

These transitions give small businesses an upper hand when they go up against larger corporations. It’s a win, not only for business, but for leaders within the company.

The Spice of Life and Leadership

A little variety pushes employees out of their comfort zone and forces them to stay innovative and eager to meet their goals. Even better, it forces employees to look themselves in the mirror and learn more about themselves.

Having the ability to juggle a variety of responsibilities increases their self-esteem, which in turn will produce better results.

At the end of the day, change is good, and the ability to be one step ahead of the competition is even better. Small businesses have the capability to incorporate these tactics into their strategy and in turn, will see the positive change in their profits and their culture.

Small businesses offer leaders the opportunity to see the impact they are making every day. Leaders offer small businesses a hunger to succeed.

And everyone gets a pat on the back!


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Louis Rix is Marketing Director at JLR Digital Ltd t/a

He serves his clients in all areas of Communication to Car Dealers and Consumers 
Email |  LinkedIn | Twitter |

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One response to “Small Business: Leadership From The Ground Up

  1. I agree with your comments.
    As a matter of fact I think that this is the way for the US and Europe to stay ahead of the game in a forever changing world.
    To sit and complain over that jobs are disappearing to China and India and that higher tariffs should solve it is just wishful thinking. The only way out is to have new ways to handle things. That of course will not be possible in an atmosphere were the big corporations get all the attention and all our resources are spent on saving large insurance companies, large banks and large car manufacturer. They failed because they did not handle the situation right. We need to move the resources to small and flexible companies, which can form entities suitable for the task at hand. I.E. 50 small companies with 5 employees (average) can resolve jobs that a 500 employee company can do and after completion there is no residual costs. Probably a savings between 50 and 80%. Many small entities, which can form short term JV would beat entity formed or existing in a less developed company. The infrastructure and the experience of modern technology with regards to communication is the key. Let us take on tasks we are better at – use the strengths.


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