At Generational Equity, Ryan provides the strategic direction for the business and works closely with management to deliver this vision. This responsibility is to ensure the firm’s sustained growth and that every aspect is geared towards the best interests of clients.
Ryan’s understanding of business leadership did not happen overnight; it is something he is constantly developing. But, it had to start somewhere.
For Ryan Binkley, his road to becoming a leader in business and his community was greatly shaped by the work of John W. Slocum Jr., one of the country’s most eminent scholars on this subject.
Who is John W. Slocum?
John W. Slocum is Professor Emeritus at Southern Methodist University and was one of Ryan’s professors at the Cox School of Business. There, Ryan built a strong bond with Slocum – one that remains to this day – en route to receiving his MBA.
He couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. John Slocum is a key voice on the topic of business management. His experience includes:
- Fellow of the Academy of Management
- Fellow of the Decision Sciences Institute
- Fellow in the Center for Leadership at the University of Texas
- Former Editor of the Academy of Management Journal
- 39th President of the Academy of Management & Chairman of the Board of Governors
Alongside this, John Slocum has also co-authored 29 books. The most recent, Demystifying Your Business Strategy, was published in 2013. Slocum has also authored or co-authored 134 journal articles, with over 12,000 citations in other publications to his works.
Outside of his theorizing around business leadership – something Ryan Binkley took to heart during his studies and has applied to his work at Generational Equity – Slocum put his thoughts into practice as a consultant for several well-known organizations, such as:
- Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
- Lockheed Martin Corporation
After these experiences, John Slocum is firmly established as an authority on business leadership and strategy.
John Slocum on Business Leadership
“When we asked senior leaders about their biggest competitive advantage, most CEOs say that it is their ability to flawlessly execute their strategy… It is the CEO and his/her leadership team’s job to design not only a well-thought-out mission, but also a solid strategy that will translate it into real actions and high performance.” – Demystifying Your Business Strategy by David Lei and John W. Slocum
In his many works, John Slocum has clearly-defined thoughts on what business leadership is, and what it should achieve. In Demystifying Your Business Strategy, Slocum states the ultimate job of a leader is to develop his/her people, something Ryan Binkley has sought to apply at Generational Equity.
To sustain a competitive advantage, leaders must demonstrate several vital skills:
- Converting their organizational beliefs into behaviors
- Setting milestones for their staff
- Shaping the culture of their company
- Growing their people’s potential
These take years to develop effectively but, as Slocum notes, these are the characteristics that owners and managers of successful businesses have. It is Ryan’s understanding of these skills that have maintained Generational Equity’s growth – 2017 was a record-setting year for the firm in terms of deals completed.
John Slocum offers other insights into what makes a good leader in business, with four top qualities including:
- Maturity and breadth
- Achievement drive
Meanwhile, lacking in these traits can destabilize a business over time, as well as not placing a focus on staff consideration and initiating structure within your company. Slocum’s work expands on these in fascinating detail, and Ryan Binkley would encourage any current or aspiring business owner to pick them up.
In fact, Ryan and his team at Generational Equity have taken some influence from Slocum in some of their insights aimed at effective business strategy and leadership:
- Building Your Founding Team
- What Kind of Business Owner Are You?
- Business Owners: Don’t Become a Victim of Your Success
- Five Ways to Reduce Owner Dependence
Effective leadership should play a key role in selling a business for the optimal value. Why? Because not only does clear strategic thought help you plan an exit effectively, but the ability to mentor your management team will impress and reassure buyers that your business will continue to grow after you depart.
So, thanks in part to the lessons he learned from Professor Slocum, Ryan continues to inform other business owners, as well as his own staff, on successful strategies.
Learning More about Leadership in Business
To this day, Ryan Binkley keeps in touch with John Slocum and looks to his works to reinforce his approach to corporate leadership. Learning under Slocum at SMU greatly benefited Ryan’s business strategy at Generational Equity, one that is regularly adjusted to fit into an ever-changing M&A industry.
Do consider picking up some of John Slocum’s works if you own/manage a company, or you are simply interested in understanding the theories behind business leadership.
Plus, be sure to check out Generational Equity’s insights for regular articles on building a buyer ready company and preparing for life after business – they will certainly help lead it to a better tomorrow.
If you’d like to learn more about Ryan Binkley, including insights into his foundations in business and his role at Generational Equity, check out these other articles on this website.