During the month of May, we are celebrating PaperCo’s anniversary. In 2017, we officially moved into this collaborative and innovative workspace. Our employees get to work right in the heart of Clayton, an area that is constantly evolving.
After 5 years, the vision has come true. Our passion for our employees, the PaperCo, and the community are at the top of our priorities every day.
Turning this building into a welcoming space is something to be proud of. We cannot wait to see what the future holds.
“This project will continue the momentum of the revitalization of Clayton, and we’re going to see even more growth in the years to come.” -Reid Smith, 2017
It’s often said that leadership is “top-down.” But what does that mean in terms of practicalities? How does a leader tactfully build the culture they want?
A big piece of it is accountability, which is 360 degrees. The bigger your area of responsibility, the deeper your sense of accountability needs to go in regards to yourself, your team, and the organization as a whole. Holding your direct reports accountable can be tough. But ultimately, the performance of your entire team is a reflection of you as a leader.
For example, have you ever been waiting on your team to finish tasks so you can move on to the next thing? Maybe you’ve even had some thinking creep in that says “it would be easier or faster if I just did this myself.” When you’re in a management role, it’s not about how much work you can do, but how much work you can manage. It takes a lot of time and coaching, but if we – and our teams – are going to grow, we have to learn to hold others accountable for their part. If we jump in and fix it every time, we miss a huge opportunity to develop that person and achieve greater success in the long run.
And on that note, we also have to hold ourselves accountable for the highest and best use of our time as leaders. Many supervisors’ frustrations are rooted in working at a level that is lower than what their title says. Give your team the space, coaching, and ultimately the accountability they need to step up and share the load!
This is what I like to think of as a trickle-up effect. Culture and growth can be built from the ground up just as much like the top-down. If we have great people but are not holding them accountable for their potential, it will stifle our growth as leaders. Ask yourself, “Am I impacting and developing the leaders under me? Or am I watching and not solving the continuation of the trickle-up effect?”
When it comes to developing direct reports to be more self-accountable, here are a few things I’ve learned:
Prioritize things for individuals. Help them understand not only what is important, but why it’s important. We all have tasks we hate. Learn to decipher what tasks your team struggles with and how to help motivate them, which differs from person to person.
Be direct, but show grace. Depending on their personality, communication style, and receptiveness to leadership, you can adapt to your team’s style and needs. The “what” should be direct, but there can be grace and flexibility in “how”they complete tasks.
Be proactive. Communicate quickly and thoroughly, and get ahead of situations where a course correction is needed. But keep it growth-focused. Softening how you react when mistakes are made can open the door to growth rather than crippling disappointment.
Communicate intentionally. Individuals interpret things like tone and word choice differently, but all personality types need clarity. You can still deliver a message that sets clear expectations by including words of encouragement that instill confidence in the individual to complete the task.
Relationships matter. Building relationships with your team outside of work can improve trust and understanding. That camaraderie and care can keep the conversation rooted in a concern for that person’s development rather than just blunt or dry feedback. As the saying goes, “they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
The more you practice these things, the more comfortable you’ll get, and maybe even find that accountability is kindness when it comes to development. Studies actually show that 65% of employees want more feedback. Providing solutions on how someone can improve will benefit them as an employee and your team overall. Knowing how to change something rather than wondering what can be done differently can increase work ethic.
Here at RiverWild, accountability is so important that it’s one of our core values. We’ve learned that the most growth happens when that feedback is rooted in personal care. As long as you reinforce that you believe in the individual, adapt your communication to how they’ll be able to receive it best, and then hold them accountable to their potential… people are usually grateful that their leader cared enough to coach them.
With proper communication and feedback, you too can help impact and develop others to be accountable leaders.
Have you been keeping up with RiverWild? If so, you probably have heard that 2022 is off to a wild start. From baby cows to leadership growth, we have been adapting to so many new and exciting changes. Let’s take a look!
In January RiverWild announced its newest brand, Wilders. With a will to win, our farm crew has worked long and hard hours to keep the operation going.
In February, we celebrated heart health month. We went all out on activities such as Wear Red Day and an employee heart health challenge!
The RiverWild family also grew! We welcomed new employees with open arms, ready to be impacted and developed. Some of our wild leaders also earned well-deserved promotions.
Speaking of leaders, we have been advocating for strong leadership and success for all employees. By embracing the changes of the upcoming months, we strive for long-term success, leadership, and healthy habits. For more updates on what is happening on the wild side of RiverWild, click here.
Wilders, a RiverWild company, purchases 1,200 acre ranch in Sampson County, N.C., to raise ethically-sourced Wagyu and livestock
CLAYTON, N.C. (February 2, 2021) – Wilders, a new agricultural venture to supply locally grown, ethically sourced, and sustainably produced meat products, today announced the recent purchase of the Longhorn Creek Ranch in Turkey, N.C. Plans for the approximate 1,200 acres include pasture-raised livestock, Wagyu beef, and premium Wagyu genetics.
“Having grown up in Eastern North Carolina, I have a deep appreciation for the hard-working men and women who have made our agriculture what it is today,” says Reid Smith, founder of Wilders. “Feeding your family healthy food shouldn’t be difficult. But with so many jobs and businesses going overseas, it gets harder every day to find healthy and sustainable products that are grown locally and fuel the local economy.”
Reid Smith is the founder and CEO of Clayton-based RiverWild in Clayton, N.C., along with his wife, Jaclyn. Wilders is a subsidiary of RiverWild and marks the organization’s first agricultural venture after primarily focusing on real estate, construction and development.
“Our aim is to steward the land, people, and animals in our care to provide the best quality products while maintaining responsible and sustainable business models,” said Reid. “This effort to preserve our agricultural heritage has been a long time dream of mine and Jaclyn’s, and we’re excited about what the future holds.”
“Growing our farm over the past two years has only deepened our family’s appreciation for agriculture and farming. We work hard to ensure that our animals receive the best quality care, from ethical treatment standards to sustainable farming methods, to the extra love and attention our kids give the animals on family farm workdays,” said Jaclyn Smith, Founder, Wilders. “We’ve found a tremendous opportunity to revive the Sampson County ranch to establish Wilders operations and look forward to introducing our online market in the New Year.”
Wilders moved its livestock onto the new property in December, which includes pasture-raised chickens, Berkshire hogs, certified Angus and Wagyu cattle. A large sector of the farm operation is the herd of Fullblood Black Wagyu. Wilders intends to become a major distributor of authentic Japanese Wagyu genetics for the East Coast in addition to the e-commerce meat sales.
“We are excited to see the growing investments in the Wagyu breed. This herd will expand availability of fullblood Wagyu on the East Coast, and we look forward to seeing it grow,” said Robert Williams, Executive Director, American Wagyu Association.
“We are always excited when an innovative farm family works hard to expand the reach of North Carolina beef production.”
-Brian Blinson, NC Cattlemen’s Association
“I am proud to see continued investment in North Carolina’s number one industry – agriculture,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “North Carolina has tremendous agricultural diversity and the Wilders venture will certainly add to that diversity and move us closer to reaching the $100 billion mark in economic impact.”
While the ratio of small farms to major operations in North Carolina has shifted in recent years, agriculture is still a major contributor to North Carolina’s economy, contributing $92.7 billion.
Wilders is a locally owned and operated farm and e-commerce market in Sampson County, N.C. We source the best quality for your family so you never have to worry about what’s in the food you eat. Our products are locally grown, ethically sourced, and sustainability produced, never sacrificing quality for convenience. The hard working men and women of Wilders brands take pride in doing business the WILD way: with a will to win, we intentionally adapt while living compassionately with disciplined execution. To learn more, visit https://wilders.com.
Wrapping up 2021, RiverWild would like to thank all of our hard-working employees. We would like to recognize those who have executed many jobs, going above and beyond.
Promotions are all about earning your stripes, literally and figuratively. When you see someone with those additional stripes on their hard hat, it’s a representation of the responsibility, accountability, and servant-hearted execution they have displayed. Moving from one team to another requires not just hitting these benchmarks, but performing consistently while exemplifying all 16 of our core values.
To provide further encouragement and employee appreciation, the following list includes individuals who received a well-deserved promotion. Congratulations!
If you were along for the ride you would have known it was a WILD one. As a team, RiverWild faced many challenges that may have seemed to be an inconvenience at the time. This did not stop our hardworking employees from bringing that “W” this year. We embraced the change and adapted with an unwavering drive in order to succeed. Showing up each day with a Will to Win helped us make this one of the Best Places to Work.
RiverWild CEO and founder Reid Smith and Jaclyn Smith are so proud of each and every one of their WILD employees this year. They appreciate all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year.
Thank you to everyone who has invested their hard work and time to serve each other and the community. Here’s to 2022! Stay WILD!