Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year, New Opportunities.

From my 1980's archives-


q  Daily / weekly planner…get yourself organized (calendars, charts, files).
q  Business plan; plan your work and work your plan.
q  Things you have let go… Procrastination ends now!
q  Personal growth and health. If you are not having fun….that’s your fault.
q  Know where you ended the year; sales/gross/budget and move forward, set goals.
q  Training; in your absence does someone know what to do? Are you being aggressive about getting yourself trained…success does not come to you, you must go get it!
q  Team communication/meetings, share the knowledge, and create a sense of ownership. Meet one on one with employees, what are their future plans?
q  Customers /Clients, get out of your shell and talk to them, if this is new to you, call one a day.
q  Recognition…  “Reward want you want repeated”.
q  You set the standard; You are on a stage.  “Attitudes are Contagious”.
q  Be a LEADER, not just a manager. “Call it a problem & it will BE one, Call it an opportunity, and you will HAVE one.”
q  “The customer may not always be right , but they are still the customer” Ray B.
q  Think like a customer: present a professional image, smile and eye contact, seek out customer contact, solve customer problems, use proper body language, thank every customer.
q  “…you’re only as good as your last solution.”  “we learn from yesterdays we live for tomorrows”.


Friday, December 13, 2013

A Christmas Eve Story

***Reposting from 2010***

It was 5:00 pm Christmas Eve 1989, and I was locking the front door of the supermarket where I was Store Manager.

Over the years, I had made it a tradition for me to be the "closer" of the store on Christmas Eve.

Inside the store, my employees were rushing around counting their register tills, sweeping the floor, and generally preparing the store for closing down, so they all could rush home to their families for Christmas.

At approximately 5:30pm, I heard someone tapping on the front door.

“I just got off work and I need to shop for my family", the gentleman on the other side of the glass door shouted.

“Sorry, we are closed.” I answered.

“Please, I really need to shop and you are the only grocery store open.”

In the background several of my employees yelled out to me… “Mr. Gambone, I hope you don’t let him in, we all want to go home.”

I turned to my office manager and said , “Cindy, I feel bad for this guy…will you stick around with me until we get him checked out.”

She looked at me with a frown, “Well, I hope he only needs a few things, OK.”

We let him in…he was very gracious, grabbed a buggy and started to shop.

“I’ll only take a few minutes,” he said.

Then all of a sudden, he turned around and looked at Cindy and me in desperation… “Shit!..I’m sorry for swearing, but I left my wallet in my overalls at work….I can’t believe this!!!”

He abandoned the buggy and started walking towards the front door to leave.

Cindy looked at me and said… “Well, I guess we can leave now.”

“Hold on!” I said… “Sir, you pick up what you need and come back the day after Christmas and pay us.”

Cindy looked at me as if I was crazy. The gentleman was overjoyed and continued to shop.

When he completed his shopping, Cindy and I checked him out and bagged his groceries. He purchased lots of milk, cereal, bread and basic groceries along with some gift-wrap and children’s toys.

We wished him a Merry Christmas as he left and Cindy and I locked up and went home to our families.

...............the gentleman never returned...................

Yes, I took some heat from my boss when he found out…but that’s okay. I knew in my heart that it was right thing to do at the time.

It is moments like this is my life when I am reminded of the words a mentor of mine once shared with me early in my career...“The good you do, will come back to you.” Lou Z.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may you and your family have a glorious New Year.

Bob Gambone, The Pecan Pie Guy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lou, The Nabisco Guy

...A Holiday Memory...

Lou, The Nabisco Guy, never used selling strategies …Lou had a culture of “selling.”

I was 23 years old when I first met Lou. He was the region’s number one salesman for Nabisco from 1974 to 1985.

One day I was eating lunch with Lou and asked,

“Lou, so what do you do, to be so good at selling?....can you share some tips?”

Lou replied, shaking his head and smiling, “Bob there is really no magical tips, but I do have five core beliefs about selling.”

1.) Love and believe in your product.
2.) People like to buy, but not to be sold to.
3.) I never sell anything, I solve people’s problems.
4.) Never talk yourself out of a sale.
5.) and….Never close a sale, open an opportunity.

Lou died in 1985 from a heart attack at the early age of 63.

Lou’s culture of selling has lived on. Those who adopt it become very successful.

To be the best, you need to have more than just strategies, you first need a culture, a core belief.

Dr.Ivan Misner, New York Times best selling author and founder of BNI (Business Network International) says it best, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Around the holidays,  when I enjoy my favorite Nabisco crackers,  I always think of Lou…
Lou, The Nabisco Guy.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

5 Ways Giving Is Good for You*- 'Tis the Season

Giving makes us feel happy: Harvard Business School conducted a study in 2008 and found that when a person "gives" endorphins are produced in the brain creating what is known as "helper's high".

Giving is good for our health: Studies conducted by University of Michigan, University of California, and John Hopkins University conclude that "giving" reduces stress, help prevents some major diseases, lowers blood pressure and may add up to five years to our lives.

Giving promotes cooperation and social connection: When we give to others, we don't only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them. "Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably." (from the book,  The How of Happiness).

Giving evokes gratitude: "When you express your gratitude in words or actions, you not only boost your own positivity but [other people's] as well. And in the process you reinforce their kindness and strengthen your bond to one another." (from the book, Positivity).

Giving is contagious: When we give, we don't only help the immediate recipient of our gift, we also ignite a ripple effect of generosity throughout our community.

This holiday season, however you choose to give; money, time, or special gifts... please keep in mind that your giving is so much more than a year end tradition. Giving is a process, "If you always give, you will always have."- Chinese Proverb

* Greater Good

Thursday, November 14, 2013

HEART Goals for 2014

The "G" word!

Goals, we all need them, yet many of us avoid them.

The acronym "SMART" goals is very popular and has been around for years.

A few years back I was introduced to a NEW process that combined SMART goals with HEART Goals.

SMART goals generate from the mind, so to speak, while HEART Goals are guessed it, the heart.

When you combine both into your goal setting process, the result is a Win - Win!

HEART Goals :
H- Heartfelt driven: a goal you really want to achieve.
E- Energy: motivate and energize yourself to stay focused.
A- Attitude: be passionate and positive about your goals.
R- Rewards: visualize yourself enjoying the rewards.
T- Tranquility: "Motion is Tranquility"-Stirling Moss. may need to think about the " T ", I would love to discuss it with you.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You're Welcome

Whatever happened to "you're welcome"?

Just last week, I had someone open the door for me, I said “Thank you!” …his response, “Sure”.

Then the server at lunch brought me an extra napkin. I said “ Thank you”…she replied, “Don’t mention it”.

Next, I dropped my pen at the bank, the person behind me picked it up and handed it to me, I said “Thank you,” he said… “No problem”

“No problem” ?  ... Well I’m glad I wasn’t a problem!

“Don’t mention it” ?… Okay guess what, I did!

“Sure” ? … Sure of what?

When a person says, “you are welcomed” or even “you’re welcomed,” they are basically saying thank you,  to you,  for thanking them and responding with politeness.

Leadership lesson?  Yes!
Saying “you are welcomed” is letting the person know that you are thankful to them for giving you the opportunity to help them.

"Leadership is Giving" ---- Sven Goebel

Saturday, November 2, 2013

We are what we think...

"Open your eyes and your future is right in front of you, 

open your mind and you will find endless possibilities, 

open your heart and your possibilities are endless."


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Throw me a Gam-bone!

We all know the expression, "throw me a bone". It has several meanings, i.e. help me out, give me a hint, lighten up, etc...

The other day I had lunch with a business associate and as he was approaching my table, he called out with a smile, "Hey, throw me a Gam-bone!" 

 I laughed and then asked him what he meant by that?
He replied with confidence, "You are always the 'go-to guy' when I need a little help and advise about my business."  Needless to say,  I was flattered.

The bottom line here is the importance of personal branding. According to Success Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine, "personal branding" continues to grow as a key marketing strategy for running a successful business.

5 Tips to help you with "personal branding" (from Refresh Leadership).

  1. Be unique and play to your strengths.
  2. Establish your core values-and stick to them.
  3. Perfect your craft.
  4. Whatever you do, do it with passion.
  5. Share your knowledge.
How do you know if your "personal branding" is working?

Your network will tell you... "Throw me a Gam-bone!"


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Diamonds in the Rough- Today's Successful Young Entrepreneurs

The other day I met with an amazing young business owner. She is in her early twenties, charismatic, passionate about people, and has a vision for success.
Throughout our two hour conversation, she reminded me of several other young entrepreneurs that I have had the pleasure to meet with over my past four years of business ownership.

People of my generation, I'm 58, often refer to Gen-y'rs" aka the "Millennials" as those lazy young people who expect to succeed without working hard. I know this, because I am guilty of it. Shame on us.
While I am sure there is some truth to our prejudice, that statement is a common thread in every generation, including mine.

Here are Seven Tips to help you identify "Millennials" that are Diamonds in the Rough- Today's Successful Young Entrepreneurs:

1. You schedule your first meeting with them and they show up and arrive on time!
2. During that first meeting, you recognize that they understand the importance of building relationships and are not trying to "sell" to you.
3. They have a vision and can articulate it.
4. People that have helped them,  are identified as their heroes throughout the conversation, and they credit them for their success.
5. You leave the meeting having learned something that you did not know yesterday.
6. You are intrigued by the fact that this young person inspired you, and rekindled your passion for your own success.
7. Finally, you realize that you were wrong about "Those Millennials" and are compelled to blog about it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don't Be a NO-SHOW!

You both schedule a business meeting, agree on the time and place...and guess what?
The other person is a NO SHOW!

Has this happened to you? Sure it has.   Have you been the NO SHOW?

Five Action Steps to Prevent "NO SHOWS":

1. ALWAYS write it down. Once you agree on a time (AM or PM) and a place (exact location -address), enter the information on/in your calendars and share the calendar (meeting invite) if possible.

2. ALWAYS make sure to share cell phone numbers and contact information.

3. ALWAYS review upcoming meetings 7 days in advance and reschedule if needed. Respect people's time, that TIME that YOU scheduled only happens once in a lifetime.

4. ALWAYS confirm 24 hours in advance, call or text. If you email and do not hear back from the person within a few hours, then call or text....DO NOT assume that he or she received the email.

5.  ALWAYS make sure you know what the person looks like and do not assume the person knows what you look like, send a picture or a description. If you arrive first, send him or her a text to let them know where you are sitting.

Remember; "there is no time like the present, and no present like the time." Georgia Byng

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Roads of Success

Some time ago, a client of mine asked me, what is the difference between a coach and a consultant? ...a teacher and a trainer? ...and a mentor and a coach?
He inspired me to write the following:

The Roads of Success

Show me the road,
and you are my teacher.

Show me how to travel the road,
and you are my trainer.

Show me the road that you traveled successfully,
and you are my mentor.

Show me the road that you have improved for me to travel successfully,
and you are my consultant.

Show me the road that you and I will travel together successfully,
and you are my coach.

***This is just a sample!... be sure to indulge yourself in my book:
"Pecan Pie: 32 Business Success Strategies Passionately Baked To Order"

BY IT NOW on AMAZON.COM --click on link below.
click here for Pie

“Copyright (1-27-2012) by Robert V Gambone Sr.”


Monday, August 19, 2013

Who’s Your “Blankie”?

A very good friend of mine shared a great story with me a few months back. Her daughter, a very successful business entrepreneur, called her in a frantic and wanted to know when her “blankie” would be repaired.

“Blankie” was a blanket, hand sewn by her mother, and given to her on her second birthday. Now thirty-three years old, married, owner of a business, mother of two, and still relying on her “blankie” for security and comfort (especially for falling asleep at night)...well, she was in a panic because she had been without her "blankie" for three days.

Now before you stop reading this and thinking this is silly…hear me out!

Most successful people, that I know, have a “blankie” in one form or another.
Why not?! If an object brings us warmth, inspiration, security, happiness and hope…I say, got for it!

Recently I conducted my own little survey among some of my closest friends. Their “blankie”?  
Here are their answers:
  • -          Carries a picture of his dog in his wallet.
  • -          Bible in her purse.
  • -          Teddy bear given to her by her dad.
  • -          Cross hanging on lamp near his bed.
  • -          Lucky coin in his wallet.
  • -          Christmas pillow made by her grandmother.
  • -          Birthday pillow made by his mother.
  • -          Picture of her entire family taken at a reunion, placed safely on her mantel.
  • -          First love letter from her husband.
  • -          Blue scarf given to him, from his childhood sweetheart.
  • -          Mine?   My three marathon medals draped over the baby pictures of my three children.

So…….Who’s your “blankie”?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Paralysis by Analysis

----------------------- Top 10 Posting -----------------------------


Calling all Entrepreneurs!....why do we do this?!

Yes, it is good that we examine things.
Yes , we need to be patient and cultivate business relationships.
Yes, we need to do our due diligence with respect to weighing our options.

But what I am talking about is; when the ball is in our hand, not a defensive player is in sight, our Team is surrounding us, and yet, we are afraid to run!?
… because we might trip, fumble, or not make it to the end zone?

*** Here are 7 great quotes about procrastination.
Read them, and then read them again…and oh by the way…read them one more time.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
Abraham Lincoln

“How soon not now, becomes never.”
Martin Luther (1483-1546) German priest and scholar. 

"Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy."
Wayne Gretzky

Even if you’re on the right track-you’ll get run over if you just sit there."
Will Rogers

“One of these days, is none of these days.”

“I remember reading somewhere about an organization called Procrastinators Anonymous. I think they had been in existence for some years but had never gotten around to having a meeting.”
Unknown Source 

“By not making a decision, you have made one.”
Bob Gambone - The Pecan Pie Guy. 

*** So come on entrepreneurs! Get the lead out of your butt and make a run for it!!!

Now Available...My Book!

Pecan Pie: 32 Business Success Strategies Passionately Baked To Order!"

BY IT NOW on AMAZON.COM --click on link below.

“Copyright (2-26 -2011) by Robert V Gambone Sr.”


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Rennerdale: Life Lessons

It was the bottom of the sixth, two outs, bases loaded. 
My team, the Rennerdale Braves, was beating the Rennerdale Indians 4 to 3 in the last game of the local Little League World series when Mike Grimes stepped to the plate.

Killer moment for me. How do I pitch to him? Mike was the best, a homerun king.
I remember gripping the ball tighter than ever and throwing the ball harder than ever.

And then I heard the sounds of screaming fans as I looked over my right shoulder to see the last pitch I would ever throw,  fly over the fence…grandslam!

For those of you that have experienced heartbreak as a young child, I really don’t have to tell you how long I cried over that moment.

As I walked towards the family car my mother put her arm around me and said; "Now Bob, its only a game, and when lose, you will really appreciate winning even better.”

Back in the ‘60s only the champions received trophies. Losers walked away with tears and parents (in efforts to comfort their kids) saying things like, “It’s only a game”. 
Correct, it is only a game and by definition a game is; a competition played according to rules and decided by skill, strength or luck.

Sounds like "life" to me.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Growing up in the 60’s in a little town called Rennerdale continues to fulfill my story telling moments with family and friends.

One of my favorites is the story of Richard and Gary (names changed), both my age, and two of my best friends growing up.  They lived at the further end of town near the train tracks by the water filled quarries.
Richard had 4 brothers and three sisters…Gary had two sisters and three brothers.
Both dads worked for the railroad, the families ate what was in the deep freezer from hunting season, well water was a given, along with no TV and hand-built outhouses (outdoor toilets, basically a hole in the ground).

At the age of 9, I was fascinated by Richard and Gary’s lifestyle.
So much so, I would always ask my mom if I could stay at their places for the weekend…and I did, many times.
They experienced so many things that I never did; hunting, trapping, fly-fishing, handmade toys, five kids in one bunk bed, and NO TV!
To this day when people ask me; have you even eaten rabbit or groundhog? I can honestly say, YES!

Recently I reconnected with both of them on Facebook.  In separate messages to each one, as we went down memory lane, I told them I was intrigued to hear of their success.
 “Gary / Richard", I said,  "I am so happy to hear that you found success, especially since you were so poor growing up.”
Both replied to me after a short pause,  with almost exactly the same words, “Well Bob, we didn't have a lot of fancy things, but we never considered ourselves 'poor'."

To this day, that has been my “Ah,ha” life reflecting moment … and it reminded me of a quote from 
 Art Buchwald, “The best things in life aren't things.”

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Want to be a bore? Here's how

Researchers at the University of Chicago asked students to rate 43 boring behaviors. Here are the top eight. They'll earn you the label of being "chronically boring": *

  • Complaining about one's own problems (health, finances, relationships) and not being interested in the problems of others.
  • Talking constantly about trivial things, always including unimportant details, and repeating tired old jokes.
  • Showing no emotion, failing to make eye contact. and talking in a monotone.
  • Seriousness- never smiling, joking, or making light of things.
  • Tediousness, especially talking too slowly.
  • Low participation. Never joining in conversation and always just going along with what is being said.
  • Distracting behavior, including frequent use of expressions such as "you know" and "just saying".
  • Self-centeredness. Always talking about your own life, experiences, and interests.
Credo to live by: "Be interested first, then you will become interesting."

*Teamwork notes

Monday, July 1, 2013

Big Al


The story was, you hated him, feared him or loved him…I was all three.

His name was Al. 

Al started in retail when he was thirteen and fifty years later died in action.

Al was an old school retail manager who believed that no one could be trusted and everyone should put his or her career first before family.

Al worked 80 hours a week, was a master micro-manager and believed that his day was not over until he fired someone or at least made an employee cry.

Okay, so you ask, WHY did I love this guy? Not for any of the above things, that is why I hated him and feared him. I loved him because I was able to translate his prehistoric management style into lessons that I still utilize today.

Three Lessons from Big Al

1). Al used to say, “The best and easiest recognition program is to have NO recognition program at all.”
            Translation: Employee recognition programs must be managed,  be fair and be consistent or your results could actually weaken employee morale.

2). When Al said, “Just because I’m pissed off at you, doesn’t mean you can walk around here with your tail between your legs.”
            Translation: Wear a smile and have a positive attitude; no one wants to work for a “Debbie-Downer” manager.

3). One day Al looked me right in the eyes and said, “I’m too old to change now Gambone, what you see is what you get…”
             Translation: I always knew where I stood with Al. Al taught me that leaders need to be right up front with people by providing balanced,  fair and concise feedback.

My 18 months as Al’s co-manager was very stressful, yet very rewarding.
Take a few moments to reflect on your old boss, teacher or coach…dig deep and I am sure you will find a few sunny days somewhere in that storm.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Easy, Miss. I've Got You."

One of my favorite scenes from a movie is the image of the "Man of Steel" comic book Superman hero / alias Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) with red cape and tights soaring over Metropolis, especially when he saves Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) as she falls from a helicopter and their conversation,
Superman (politely) :
"Easy, miss. I've got you."
Lois Lane (screaming):
"You've got me? But who's got you?"

In these great United States of America, the entrepreneur spirit is alive and well. Entrepreneurs are the foundation of the American business culture, as they live by a vision in search of their dream.

Along their journey to that dream, most entrepreneurs, feel like they too have been dropped from a helicopter. From increasing unemployment, to the devaluing of the dollar, to escalating business taxes and overall business costs, entrepreneurs need “Superman” to save them.

Unfortunately, that only happens in the movies.

The next best thing for entrepreneurs is to build a team. A team that will be there, a team they can rely on and trust to support them. The keystone for that team starts with a Business Coach.

For more information on building your team and a strong business foundation, drop me a note and I will catch it (pun intended).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Can Get More Organized!

If you currently are disorganized, don't despair; some of the most organized people once were among the most disorganized, including myself. This quiz is intended to help you see your strengths and weaknesses in this area.*
Answer Yes or No to the following:

1. When meeting with your team or a one to one, do you always come prepared?
2. Do you sort your work by priority.
3. At the end of the day do you make a list of your next day priorities?
4. Do you list recommended actions?
5. Do you start each day tackling your most immediate goals?
6. Do you spot check yourself, to be sure you are keeping on schedule?
7. Do you congratulate yourself when you complete a task?
8. Do you allow time for the unexpected, such as phone calls and interruptions?
9. Do you check items off your list as you accomplish them?
10. Do you help keep team meetings and one to one meetings organized and on schedule?

Total up the Yes answers. A score of 8 or more is a sign that you are well organized. A score of 6 to 7, means you get lazy like me sometimes. A score of 5 or less?.... I am thinking you may need some help.

* Teamwork notes


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Betty the Barometer


Let’s call her Betty the Barometer.

Now this story dates way back to when my hair was still black and I looked more like Mark Spitz than Jay Leno. (not to say I can compare to either of them, but you get my drift).

I was assigned as the Grocery Department manager in a new store.
Towards the end of the second week, I was walking through the store in a terrible mood because the night stocking crew did not complete their assignments and my department was not meeting customer requirements... I probably looked like a chicken with my head cut off because I circled the inside parameter of the store several times barking out orders to my employees and completely ignoring the customers.

Betty, a very petite and soft-spoken meat wrapper with 23 years in the business, had been observing me in my state of frenzy while she was stocking the meat case with fresh cut meat... As I passed by her for the third time, she called out to me.

“Gambone! …come here for second.”

I quickly stopped in my tracks and started walking towards her with a huff and a puff.

“What Betty, can’t you see I’m busy.”

“You know Gambone, that’s your problem, you are too busy. You look like you are ready to explode. What happened to that smiling face I am used to seeing?...and hey, you didn’t even say hi to me this morning!

Well, I don’t know what’s going on in your head but you can’t let your employees and customers see that you are pissed off…we need you to lift us up, not let us down.”

I looked at Betty and said, “Wow Betty, thank you …I never would have thought I'd hear that from you….but you are right…thank you again.”

From that day forward, when I got in a bad mood, I would always check with Betty to see if my “mood” was actually coming to the surface.

We all need a Betty in our lives.

Ask yourself…Who is my “business barometer?”

***This is just a sample!... if you would like a full slice of "Pecans of Wisdom", be sure to indulge yourself in my book, "Pecan Pie" buy it NOW!    on
“Copyright (9-28-2011) by Robert V. Gambone Sr.”

Friday, May 10, 2013

10 Identifiers of True Leadership

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

2. Leaders model the 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 up the hill.

4. Leaders are not necessarily the best talent, they are skilled at recognizing and utilizing talent.

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

6. Leaders know when to let other and better “leaders” lead... when the situation demands it.

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

8. Leaders turn problems into opportunities.

9. Leaders understand that everyone falls, but not everyone fails.

10. At the end of the day... managers may think about the tasks that were completed, leaders reflect on the people that completed the tasks.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Make ‘em Laugh…But Don’t Tell Jokes!

*** Re-posted Favorite***

Yes, laughter is the best medicine.
And yes, laughter is a great icebreaker when you are speaking to an audience.
HOWEVER… in today’s politically correct climate and social sensitivity, telling jokes is not the way to go.

Why? Odds are you might offend someone.

I suggest telling funny stories about you, we all have them.

“Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.”…or amusing.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Remember the Rolodex?

I know, it’s a little outdated with all the new technology, but the concept I want to share with you is the same.

Living in the corporate world for 36 years I was spoiled, yes spoiled.

When I needed a professional’s help,  all I had to do was search the company’s directory or my own Rolodex and wha-laa!; at my fingertips were the: Legal Department., Real-Estate, Accounting, IT, Marketing, Advertising, Business Consulting, Training, HR, etc...

Fast forward to today… Hey, I am an entrepreneur!, I own my own business, guess what?... no more corporate Rolodex.

NO PROBLEM! I have something so much better…I have found BNI (Business Network International), and The Referral Institute… tremendous organizations that have introduced me to the process of building my own team with people I can trust.

ATTENTION Business Owners / Entrepreneurs! Being your own boss is a lifetime dream, right? Yes!, but it can get lonely out there,  I know... I have been there, done that!

Don’t procrastinate, do yourself a huge favor and build your team with people you know and like, and most importantly you trust.

So how do you accomplish this?  Please click on the link below for more information about getting YOUR TEAM started.

T.E.A.M : Together Everyone Achieves More! CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What is Success?

A few weeks back, I had a meeting with two business associates.  We started talking about success and how we define it.
Of course the assumption was, as it is with many people, that success and lots of money go hand in hand.
As the discussion continued, we shared some stories about people we had known over the years that were far from wealthy and yet very happy, healthy, and proud.
We left each other that morning intrigued and wanting to know more about;  what is success?

When I got back to my office I decided to see what the experts had to say about success, so I Goggled "Famous quotes on success".
I read over 100 quotes from at least 6 different sites. From Lincoln to Jordan, to Edison, to Lombardi...and not one quote said anything about the mighty dollar.

We all know that money can not buy happiness...perhaps it is "happiness" not "money"  that go hand in hand with success.

What is success?  Your thoughts?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vintage Leadership

Vintage leadership is characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic leadership.

While leadership can be defined in many ways and applied in many ways I present to you:
Twelve of my favorite movies that have woven within their plots and character development, elements of vintage leadership.

Now wait a minute!....before you read the list below, make no judgments until you share your list with me and then we can have a sincere conversation. Thank you!

1. The Natural

2. Liar Liar

3. Forrest Gump

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

5. A Few Good Men

6. The Longest Yard

7. Meatballs

8. Star Wars

9. Armageddon

10. Tommy Boy

11. Die Hard

12. The Music Man

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hidden Treasures

Some people call me crazy for collecting so many letters, cards and pictures given to me over the years. I recently found a box of Giant Eagle paraphernalia deep inside our storage unit. Inside was a card sent to me from one of my mentors, Lou Zegarelli, dated January 3rd 1983, a true hidden treasure.

The Right Path Is Very Simple

Respect your fellow human beings,
Treat them fairly, 
Disagree with them honestly,
Enjoy their friendship,
Explore your common humanity,
Share your thoughts about one another candidly,
Work together for a common goal,
And help one another to achieve it.

No destructive lies.
No ridiculous fears.
No debilitating anger.

He was an amazing man, loved by all. I will always remember the words he left me with the first day we met.
"Good luck with the new store Bob and remember...the good you do, will come back to you."

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Humanity of a Real Book- For you Mom...Happy 90th!

*** Reposted - Celebrating my Mom's 90th Birthday, may God rest her soul***

As a very young child, I remember sitting by the fireplace watching my Mom read...she loved books.
From romance novels to history books, my Mom read everything.

I would often sit beside her and just watch her turn the pages. She would sometimes read to me, and sometimes let me hold the book and read to her.
Books were in every room of our home. Old books, new books…books with bookmarks in them,
books on bookshelves, in the bathroom, kitchen and even “do-it-yourself” books in the garage.
I love the feel, the look and even the smell of a real book.

Mom died 12 years ago…I was left with her books.

The other day I picked up one her favorites “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.
As I skimmed through the pages, I read some comments my Mom made (she often did that) and a warm feeling came over me… this book touched my Mom, she touched every page, she read every word and now this book touches me.

When I released my book “Pecan Pie” (dedicated to my Mom), I refused to have it published electronically. For the many of you that asked why…I think you now know the answer.

Books are for written for humanity, and nothing can replace the humanity of a real book.

My "Real" book  PECAN PIE, now available on, clink on link below
Click here for a sample  

“Copyright (7-19-12) by Robert V Gambone Sr.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What Am I Good At?

Did you ever say to yourself, what are my gifts? my talents?

A few years ago I had a meeting with entrepreneur who wanted to expand into another business. Her dilemma was that she was not sure what type of business to start.
I asked Patti,  "What are your skills?"
"Skills? I'm not sure", she answered humbly.
I knew right away that she needed my help.

I think we all struggle sometimes with identifying what we are good at.

Here are three questions you probably never asked anyone before:
  1. Ask three of your closest friends;  "What do I do that you depend on?"
  2. Ask three business associates; "If I worked for you, what would you have me do?"
  3. Ask three clients/customers; "What is it about me that made you decide to purchase my service/product?"
Write it all down and read through your notes several times. Take a few moments to think, and the question; What am I good at? ...will be answered.

Today Patti's new business is growing because she recognized her gifts and her talents and decided to do what she was good at.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Fire, Aim, Ready!

I know what you're saying, isn't it... Ready, Aim, Fire?

When it comes to growing your business by word of mouth is  Fire, Aim, Ready!

  • Ignite the "fire" with a smile and a passionate conversation.
  • Fuel the fire by showing interest in the other person.
  • Keep the fire burning by giving and offering hope.
  • Ask; what is your target market?
  • Educate them on your target market.
  • Help each other "aim" at your respective target markets.
  • Develop trust with each other.
  • Commit to helping each other.
  • Then you are "ready" to accept leadership for each other.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Improve Your Problem Solving Skills

This quiz can help you find the strengths and weaknesses of your skills in solving problems, as well as point you to ways of improving in this important area.*

Answer YES or NO to the following Ten questions.

  1. Do you gather all the information you can before trying to solve a problem?
  2. Do you seek input from your fellow team members?
  3. Do you get opinions from outside experts?
  4. Do you list all the possible solutions on a piece of paper?
  5. Do you then visualize the strengths and weaknesses of each solution?
  6. Do you let your subconscious work on the problem?
  7. Do others seek your help?
  8. Are you willing to try another solution if your first idea isn't working?
  9. Do you see problems as challenges and get satisfaction from resolving them?
  10. Do you practice your problem-solving skills on puzzles and games?
Score yourself: 8 to 10 YES answers indicates you are a pro at solving problems. Six or seven is average, but if you had a lower score, study the questions for ways you can improve.

*Teamwork notes

Saturday, February 9, 2013

10 Questions Your Team Should Ask*

"Is your team on track?"

That's a question every team should be asking itself periodically. The following ten questions can serve as a starting point in a team-evaluation. For team members to maintain anonymity, the questions can be answered on paper and typed up together on a master sheet without attribution. Then, at a special team-development meeting, the collected answers can be discussed and corrective action taken.

Here are the questions:

1. Do we trust each other?
2. Are we genuinely interested and concerned for each other?
3. Do we feel free to communicate openly?
4. Do we understand our team's goals?
5. Do we have a real commitment to these goals?
6. Do we make good use of all our abilities?
7. Do we handle conflict successfully?
8. Does everyone participate?
9. Do we respect our individual differences?
10. Do we enjoy being members of this team?

Will Rogers said it best... "you may be on the right track, but if you don't move on, you will eventually get hit by a train."

*Teamwork notes.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Are You a Groundhog?

Did you know that Groundhog Day has been around since 1841?
Well, it is true!
Punxsutawney Phil has been coming out of his burrow, once a year, for 172 years!...AND he still looks the same! He never changes!

Is your business changing?  Are you adapting to changing times?... or does it look the same as it did ten, five, or even two years ago?

Top Three Ways to Continuously Improve Your Business:

1. Network! -  not just once a year...EVERY week, get out of your burrow!

2. Sunny day and business is booming?  That shadow you see is your competition. "Keep your friends close, and your competition closer."

3. Avoid the "Bill Murray Effect"... live by "Giver's Gain"...the good you do will come back to you and to your business.

Happy Groundhog Day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The 3 P's of a Successful Meeting

Plan - Prepare - Practice

Yes! The 3 P's actually work.  Both for the person running the meeting and the attendees.
...below are some bullet points, please add comments with your "best practices."


  • Date (day of week and date).
  • Location (address/map/be specific).
  • Time (start and finish).
  • Theme (creates interest).
  • Agenda (and a Plan B for emergencies).
  • Number of attendees, names and business / roles.
  • Expected outcome (creates expectations).
  • Food? Drinks? Special needs?


  • Finalize and send out agenda.
  • Confirm attendance (ask for any special needs).
  • Prepare your presentation(s), and questions and comments.
  • Share with attendees what they need to bring to the meeting.
  • Follow up and confirm with location and food.
  • Attendees: confirm and clarify expected outcomes, agendas, themes with chairperson before meeting day.
  • Listen to weather reports. (have a plan B for travel arrangements)


  • If you are running the meeting, do several mock run-throughs with yourself or friends and family.
  • If you are contributing to the meeting practice your speech, presentations, questions and comments.
  • Make sure you know exactly where the meeting is located. Drive to the location the day or night before.
  • Make it a standard practice to arrive at all meetings 15 minutes early.
  • Make it a standard practice to follow up on meeting action steps.
  • Make it a standard practice to thank facilitators and attendees of the meeting, for their time and participation.
  • Make it a standard practice to ask for feedback, if applicable.
  • Make it a standard practice to schedule the next meeting before meeting ends, if applicable.

"Failing to plan, prepare and practice...creates a practice of preparing a plan that will fail."

Copyright (1-28-2013) by Bob Gambone.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

When is it OK to Disagree?

Disagreement within a business team can be healthy, but should you always reveal your conflicting opinion?
Here a some guidelines:*

Do express your view when:

  • You have the facts to back up your opinion.
  • You don't believe the team has fully examined all possibilities.
  • You feel strongly about your opinion, even though it may not be popular.

Don't express your opinion when:

  • You really are not sure of yourself.
  • The timing is poor or the climate is wrong.
  • You catch yourself disagreeing only for the sake of disagreement - with no strong feeling about the subject.

"Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress" - Mahatma Gandhi.

*Teamwork  notes

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't Let Your Weekend Be Your "Weak-End"

The weekend is prime time for NETWORKING!    It is the opportunity to BUILD relationships.

Whether you are going to a formal networking event, a wedding, a family / social gathering or to church...Where-EVER you GO, THERE YOU ARE, Network!

 Rules for Networking (from my book Pecan Pie)

N- Never sell when networking.

E- Earn people's respect. People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.**

T- Talk WITH people, not AT people.

W- Wear a smile!

O- Open body language, non-verbal communication says it all.

R- Resource: be the one for connecting others.

K- Keep focused, always ask "How can I help?"

I- Interested in the other person FIRST, and then YOU will become interesting.

N- "NET- xcitement" - don't make promises you can't keep, avoid the "morning-after dilemma".

G- GO! ...Don't just talk about networking...GO DO IT!

...AND your weekend will never be a  "Weak- End".

** John C. Maxwell

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Really Worked Hard at That!

Really?  when you hear someone say that, what does that mean?  I'm sure we've all said it and heard it.

Working hard- does that mean long hours? Sweating like a pig? Experiencing physical pain? Maybe becoming mentally exhausted?

Or... Its hard work because I really don't like to do it.

Or...I really do like it, and when I work hard I feel pleasure...maybe even want to reward myself, or expect someone else to reward me?

Is your definition of hard work the same as someones else's definition?  Probably not.

Do you deny yourself hard work? Do you deny that you ever work hard?  I often say, I never work hard because I love what I do...but I can still work hard,  right?

SO...are you expecting an insightful answer from me about what "hard work" really is?

Sorry....that would be hard work. (smile)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Don't Stand Me Up!

You both schedule a business meeting, agree on the time and place...and guess what?
The other person is a NO SHOW!

Has this happened to you? Sure it has.   Have you been the NO SHOW?

Five Action Steps to Prevent "NO SHOWS":

1. ALWAYS write it down. Once you agree on a time (AM or PM) and a place (exact location -address), enter the information on/in your calendars and share the calendar (meeting invite) if possible.

2. ALWAYS make sure to share cell phone numbers and contact information.

3. ALWAYS review upcoming meetings 7 days in advance and reschedule if needed. Respect people's time, that TIME that YOU scheduled only happens once in a lifetime.

4. ALWAYS confirm 24 hours in advance, call or text. If you email and do not hear back from the person within a few hours, then call or text....DO NOT assume that he or she received the email.

5.  ALWAYS make sure you know what the person looks like and do not assume the person knows what you look like, send a picture or a description. If you arrive first, send him or her a text to let them know where you are sitting.

Happy New Meetings!