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7 Questions with Caleb Barcus
7 Questions with Caleb Barcus
Name: Caleb Barcus
Current title: Director of Business Development
Current organisation: Seed & Smith Cannabis
Accomplished Sales & Operations Director and Cannabis Consultant with over 10 years experience bringing strategic approach and executing on vision. An industry leader, well-versed in industry operations, purchasing trends, market and regulatory environment, technology vendors, industry education and range of product diversity for medicinal and recreational cannabis.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
My biggest challenge is keeping up with the constant changes in competition and regulatory changes. In cannabis, we are seeing a transition from your mom-and-pop run businesses to more corporate style leadership, and the competition is becoming smarter and more precise in their execution. Coupled with the ever-changing regulatory landscape, I must always be thinking multiple steps ahead.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I entered this space as a seasoned sales professional and worked my way up to the top. I was involved in the business development side of multiple larger cannabis brands and over time became a trusted cannabis expert with a large network.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start my mornings waking at 6am followed by a quick glance at my calendar. I do an hour workout from 6:30am to 7:30am. I am normally at my desk at 8:15am. After my work day, I spend my evenings playing with my children until 7:30pm. I usually like to relax by playing guitar or practicing my golf swing in the backyard until around 9pm when I usually get ready to read and lights out by 10:30pm.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
That failures are never actually failures if you learn from the experience and view them as opportunities to get better. Most "failures" offer real-time data and insights into where we fell short and where we need to improve.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Extreme Ownership By Jocko Willink.
This book demonstrates the principle that I spoke about in the previous question. If something goes wrong you can say "Good, this will make me smarter and I will now know not to make this mistake".
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
I allow my team to make decisions and then walk them through the repercussions of the outcome. I try to build a team of self-aware and unselfish employees that are capable of a management role. I don't want a team that is constantly in the dark about our company's goals, I want the team to be able to put their eyes on the prize and execute without needing to be micromanaged or constantly told what to do.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
I am often asked if I am worried about being replaced if I am constantly training my team to be leaders and capable of doing my job, and the answer is absolutely not. The trust that we have built throughout our organization is a large factor in our success and the ability to have an entire organization of leaders is what sets us apart.
A CFO once asked "What if we spend all this money on training our employees to be leaders and they then just leave?"
The CEO replied "What if we don't and they stay?"