Leadership: The action of leading a group of people or an organization.

Leadership looks different, translates differently, and feels different in every organization. This is also true of leadership in family-owned businesses versus publicly traded businesses. A family-owned business, like Chief Industries, has a unique set of characteristics by which it operates. These leadership characteristics arise based on a number of factors:

  1. The innate talents of the Chief Executive Officer
  2. The long-term goals established for the company
  3. The needs of the team

The third factor is likely the biggest differentiator between a family-owned business leader and that of a publicly traded business leader. A leader who is managing a company that is guided by a quarterly earnings report has to respond to the immediate needs and goals of the public. However, a leader of a privately owned business is able to focus on the long-term growth of the company and the development of the employees.

The second generation of leaders for Chief Industries, Robert Eihusen, was able to accomplish great results, both in growing the company and investing in his team. Robert followed 5 key principles as he led the strategic goals of Chief for almost two decades.

  1. No one can want your business to succeed more than you do. You have to always push yourself harder to ensure that the business is successful.
  2. Small things make the biggest difference.
  3. Be humble.
  4. Take time away to re-charge and put work challenges into perspective. Work is always there, so take time to balance personal and professional responsibilities.
  5. Build relationships: cultivate true meaningful relationships with your team. Most employees don’t stay or leave a company; they make career decisions based on the people and leaders around them. Relationships cannot be built without strong communication and recognition of the worth of each employee.

Successful leaders are the power and intellect behind their organization. They are charged with driving the business forward, seizing opportunities, and rallying the employees to accomplish the company’s goals. Leaders are refined over time and pushed to achieve the right balance of charisma, enthusiasm, and confidence.