Location: Aurora, CO
Industry: Moving and Storage and Logistics
*Second Year Honoree*
During the 2020 pandemic, Stuart Smith said his biggest lesson was to show up, be present and lead by example. As the CEO of Buehler Companies, a local partner for residential and commercial moves, and for logistics and storage, Smith said the company had already been diversifying and was prepared to pivot. “We’ve been assisting companies with decommissioning large spaces and moving into smaller spaces,” he said. “We’ve also made significant investments into equipment and bolstered our household goods driver count to meet the new demand.”
Leading through these changes required Smith to make some difficult decisions to best position the company while ensuring employee safety and maintaining jobs through COVID. “As a leader, you must decide where you stand and how you want to be perceived,” Smith said. “I made the decision that is was essential for me to be at the office every day. Our employees were showing up in-person and it was important for me to stand beside them.”
As a result, Smith said being present allowed him to meet problems head on as they arose and recognize successes in real time. “The theme in supporting our team and employees is being intentional,” he said. “We’ve always been very transparent and honest, but during this time, our focus in supporting our team was to become more intentional and visible.”
This included creating a culture of openness and honesty by embracing communication that allowed the team to stay connected, even when all employees were not in the same physical space. Smith also led leadership group meetings almost daily. “The highly variable nature of business required that we were in constant conversation and remained on top of every situation, regardless of how big or small it seemed.”
These challenges included managing cash flow expectations and trying to make financial projections while moving forward. A year after the pandemic began, a different reality has emerged within the industry, causing Smith and his team to meet evolving demands and to revisit business models.
While pivoting was important to the company’s business model, Smith said it was equally important to the team to remain constant and show stability.
According to Smith, he doesn’t think about leading. Instead, he takes action. “I work with our team to address whatever needs to happen to move forward,” he said.
For his commitment to honesty, transparency and leading by example, Smith has been named a Titan of industry.
"The theme in supporting our team and employees is being intentional. We've always been very transparent and honest, but during this time, our focus in supporting our team was to become more intentional and visible."