Saturday, August 29, 2009

From Manager to Leader…My Own Personal Journey

I was the best.
(well, at least in my own mind)
No one could build displays, order product, stock shelves, take inventory and write schedules better than me.
“He never slows down, runs around 24/7” "…Bob is the hardest worker I have ever seen.”
…words often expressed by my co-workers and Store Managers.

So why was I passed over for upper level management time and time again?
I was a great manager, everyone said so. I was winning all the display and selling contests.
I was the best at getting work done, and lived by the credo; if you want something done right you need to do it yourself. In fact, every time I would go on vacation, I would return to deplorable conditions and I would have to work overtime just to get the department back up to standards.

Again, so why was I not promoted?
In one word…leadership.
I was lighting fires under the feet of my employees instead of inspiring the fire in the hearts of my team.

And then I was given a revelation…a great mentor of mine said, “Bob, it's not how good your department looks when you are here, the true test of your leadership is the condition of your department, when you are not here. We want our managers to work smart not hard. Yes, you will always have to pitch in, but you need to let go and have your team pitch hit for you, you can’t always do everything yourself.”
From that point on, I realized; managers live for the task, leaders live for their team.
Three months later, I was promoted.

For more information on “Changing Today’s Managers into Tomorrow's Leaders”
Contact Bob Gambone; email- Phone: 412-491-7317.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Your Business, from a team of 'one' to a team of many, needs a is mine:

Bob Gambone
Business Life and Leadership Coach / Consultant

Mission Statement

With passionate enthusiastic leadership, I will coach my customers to improve their business lives thereby improving the lives of the people they touch.

Statement of Values

I will coach my customers with a personalized approach geared towards their specific needs.

I will coach with an unconditional and nondiscriminatory passion.

I will keep my customers focused by being a great listener while at the same time identifying what they ‘need to do’ vs. what they ‘want to do’.

I will utilize positive feedback and constructive criticism.

I will provide effective continuous improvement through the feeding of information and will not “fire-hose” my customer.

I will develop a professional coaching relationship with my customers, founded in honesty, diversity and respect.

I will help my customers… “See the Vision…and Capture the Dream”


Coaching is 90% attitude and 10% technique.

Coaches are not great players, coaches make their players great.

Coaches are the ‘keystone’ holding together the pillars of skill and desire, forming a “whole” that is greater than the sum of the parts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bob Gambone’s Pillars for Organizational Sustainability

---Foundations For Building Your Strategies---


  • Leaders are always on stage. Their attitudes are contagious. Their attitudes have the power to create an epidemic of negativity or success.

  • Leaders pull their teams “up the hill”, face them, and do not turn their backs. Old school managers push employees.

  • Leaders develop others. Leaders understand when people need to be led and when to let people take the lead.


  • Drop the word Change (negative connotation) and replace with Continuous Improvement.

  • Need a consistent and credible W.I.I.F.M. (What's In It For Me)

  • Listen to concerns, be empathetic….but stay the course.


  • The organization’s customer service must add value to the customers’ lives. Your customers must feel good about their relationship with your organization.

  • The organization’s customer service must add value to the employees’ lives. Your employees must feel good about their relationship with your customers.

  • Customer Service is not work. It is an integral part of everyone’s job, practiced by all team members, and modeled by leaders at all times.


  • Grass roots development (pilot), plant the seed with the front line employees and with guidance have them grow the ideas, creates ownership….then recognize the individuals or teams.

  • A top-level commitment to invest in “true” training.
    (5-step process; Intro, show, try, feedback, follow up)

  • Sustain the process by instilling a continuous improvement mentality and start building a bridge for that improvement to avoid “flavor of the month” ‘isms.


  • First, revisit the above 4 foundation skills to determine the current state of the organization.

  • Business turnaround often calls for leadership changes, improved change management skills, ratcheted up customer service, and the introduction of new initiatives.

  • The organization must identify a vision and constantly focus on its achievement. Invite ideas and actions from everyone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Favorite Personal Quotes used for Team Inspiration

“Leadership is not an art, it is not a skill,
nor is it something that you can learn.
Leadership is an inherited trait,
fueled by passion, fed by desire, and maintained by your enthusiasm.
Leadership never dies; it will always be in your heart… waiting.”


"A true champion celebrates his success while at the same time acknowledges his vulnerabilities.
When you are the best you will be tested by the best.
You are number one and being chased by those who cannot accept defeat.
Know this…second place is the first loser, don’t settle for anything less than number one.
Remember you can’t do it alone…
Its great to be a champion, but it takes a team to win the Super Bowl.
The challenge is now upon us…
Our Pledge:
---We Will Champion Our Points of Difference with a
Passionate and Enthusiastic Pursuit of Excellence!---"

If You Are Looking For a Competitive Edge, Start With Leadership

---True Story About Leadership---

I was anxious and excited. It was my first day as Store Manager at a new location.

As I entered the store, smile on my face and notebook and pencil in hand, I mentally prepared myself to meet new customers and employees. Top of mind was the new “Cleaning” initiative that the company was going through, and my approach would be to talk with employees and department heads about the status of the project as I toured the store.

I was very intrigued, as I walked from department to department, to find that everyone was saying the same type of thing. “Denny has us on top of it”, “Oh yes, we make sure we follow the checklist, wouldn’t want to upset Denny”, and “Nice to meet you, and if you see Denny ask him to stop by, we have some questions”. Of course my confidence level peaked knowing that Denny, probably a co-manager, was on top of things, and really had the store’s team engaged in the new initiative.

When I finally got upstairs where the offices were located, I asked my Human Resources Manager for a list of the store’s department heads and managers. After reviewing the list, I turned to Debbie (the HR Manager), and said, “Does Denny go by a different name? I don’t see him on this list”. She looked at me, quite puzzled, and said, “Our Denny? He’s the Janitor.”

Denny was not a manager or a department head and had never aspired to be one. Denny, however, was a leader, and was clearly filling a void that was left empty by the management team. This realization convinced me that leadership is found in the person and not in the position.

Take a hard look at your management team. Are they inspiring their teams to do the job? Or are they just simply assigning work.

In today’s economy, more than ever, business owners and executives need their managers and department heads to be Leaders.

Here are seven quick tips to help you identify Leaders:

1. Leaders have passionate enthusiasm! Attitudes are contagious and your team “leaders” need to understand that they are role models.

2. Leaders model your company’s values and “walk the talk.”

3. Leaders pull their teams up the hill, face them, and don’t turn their backs. Old school managers push employees.

4. Leaders are not necessarily the best workers. They understand that the “task” is never more important than the customer.

5. Leaders develop others, place a high value on the “we,” and discourage the “I.”

6. Leaders understand when people need to be led and when to let people take the lead.

7. Leaders listen and provide positive reinforcement and constructive criticism.

For more information on how you can transform your managers into Leaders, contact:
Bob Gambone; Business Life and Leadership Coach/Consultant
36 years experience in Retail and Supermarkets