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The Monthly Leader Review Volume 1, Issue 9
September 2006

Dear Steve,

Welcome to the 9th issue of the Monthly Leader Newsletter. During the last nine months, I've had the opportunity to interview many wonderful people who have influenced my life as well as provide helpful insights to each of you. Several of them of them I've known for years and have had the opportunity to get to know closely. In fact, two of them are my personal mentors - Santo Laquatra and Meryl Moritz.

Over the last nine months I've also had many readers ask about my thoughts on leadership - which I find quite flattering and am happy to share. So with that said, I decided to share my leadership insights in this issue.

Before I give my insights, I've provided a bit more about my background, philosophy and business model.

As owner of Steve Gavatorta Coaching, Training & Consulting, I specialize in helping individuals and organizations identify, develop and exceed their performance goals. With a vast 19-year career in high profile Fortune 500 companies such as GlaxoSmithkline, Pfizer and Eastman Kodak, as well as the last three years in the “people-development” business, I've coached, trained and developed hundreds of high performance individuals and teams in maximizing their full potential. My background and experience is very diverse which allows for deeper insights into the depth and breadth of my clients needs. I believe goals are built on a solid foundation of fundamentals and principles. So I follow a proven process that first allows my clients to build that foundation then set goals accordingly. Once the foundation is in place and goals are set, I systematically help my clients eclipse their highest potential. For those clients who already have the foundation in place, I coach them to transcend their previous performance levels. My philosophy can be simply stated by the following ancient Chinese Proverb.

"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day, teach a person how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime."

My approach is process driven and focuses on very practical, tailored and proven strategies that lead to “real world” application. The methods include one-on-one coaching and group workshop formats – the format will depend upon each individual client need. My clients include individuals, professionals, small business owners, entrepreneurs, athletic teams and corporations.

I'm a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA), Certified Professional Values Analyst (CPVA) and accredited to coach and train for Emotional Intelligence (EQ). I’m a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and a recommended resource for The Network of Executive Women (NEW). I hold a degree in Economics from Allegheny College where I was voted to the schools All-Century Football Team. In my spare time I'm active in the community. I’m also a former board member and speaker for the Tampa based non-profit organization S.E.R.V.E. as well as Big Brothers.

The September Leader Interview
  • Steve Gavatorta, President - Steve Gavatorta Coaching, Training & Consulting, Inc.

  • Steve Gavatorta, President - Steve Gavatorta Coaching, Training & Consulting, Inc.

    Steve Gavatorta: What motivates me?

    SG: The ability to help my people grow, learn, achieve their goals and most importantly face and overcome adversity. I try to help people in these areas by transferring from my experiences in achieving goals and overcoming difficult situations. Of course I use many methods aside from my experiences but my approach is basically based on relevant practical applications.

    Overall I try to provide my clients with practical tools to help them succeed during difficult times and ultimately achieve their goals - that is what motivates me! That also ties into my admiration for the Chinese Proverb I mentioned in the introduction above.

    Steve Gavatorta: How do I motivate my clients?

    SG: I think Meryl Moritz said it best a few months ago that motivation doesn't come from her, but from her clients - I totally agree. I try to lay the groundwork and provide an atmosphere to help my clients succeed and build motivation from there.

    I look at each of my clients as the unique individuals they are and let them find their motivational points. I provide direction, encouragement, insights and act as a point person to "bounce ideas." I may lay some foundational keys for them to build from but essentially I place trust in them to take ownership of their motivation and growth.

    The key is to build trust to allow people to take risk, try new approaches and break from past "ways" that may be prohibiting growth.

    Steve Gavatorta: Who do I consider to be a good leader/role model and why?

    SG: Without a doubt, my role model and person who I feel is the greatest leader of the 21st Century is Winston Churchill. He is a shining example of how someone can lead and motivate others during almost unbearable times of adversity, change and ambiguity. He uplifted the morale of Great Britain during the most trying time in it's history.

    Others include Dick Winters, leader of the infamous Band of Brothers who was a known to build such loyalty in his men that they accomplished unbelievable tasks. Pat Tillman for his unselfishness and desire to be the best person he could be. King David for his willingness to learn from his mistakes. Helen Keller who overcame tremendous obstacles in her life. Ronald Reagan who will forever be known as the "great communicator."

    And of course my personal role models Santo Laquatra and Meryl Moritz - both of whom have influenced my life through their unselfish support, candid feedback and wisdom...I greatly value their insights.

    Steve Gavatorta: How would I describe my leadership style?

    SG: I think the key to leadership and hence my style is to determine the unique styles, behaviors and characteristics of people I am leading and motivate them based on their unique style and needs...basically to understand what motivates them, how best to communicate with them...really focusing on learning the "hot" buttons of those I am leading.

    Two great quotes come to mind now that best illustrate my thoughts:

    From Football Coach Vince Lombardi who stated that in leading his teams "I've got to learn 40 different ways to communicate and motivate 40 different men."

    From Major Dick Winters who said that "sometimes leadership is a matter of adjusting to the individual and you do this everyday. You don't have just one way of treating people. You adjust yourself to who you are talking to. I might talk to one person one way, someone else another."

    Bottom-line is that leading IS a people business. By effectively getting the best out of each person based on their unique styles and having each person effectively function as one effective unit can indeed differentiate individuals and teams. There are several other key areas to describe my style, but getting the most out of people is the key!

    Steve Gavatorta: How do I continue to lead through times of adversity?

    SG: As difficult as adversity is, I try and look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. I know that I have personally learned more from hard times than good times. So when difficult situations arise, I try to remain calm and think about the learning that can take place and how adversity can be overcome.

    There is a great quote by Rudy Guiliani regarding his heroic work during 9/11 - he stated that "my father used to say to me, whenever you get into a jam, whenever you get into a crisis or emergency...become the calmest person in the room and you'll be able to figure a way out of it."

    That philosophy helped him lead New York City during one of it's most horrible days. I try to subscribe to that philosophy...many times I forget and pay the price, but when it is applied I succeed.

    Steve Gavatorta: During these fast paced times how do I lead during times of change and ambiguity?

    SG: I think times of change and ambiguity are key times to lead and differentiate people as true leaders as these are times where leadership matters the most and offers people opportunity to shine. This IS a true time for leaders to flourish.

    During times like this my approach is similar to what I described about my leadership style during adversity - to keep an open mind, think "out of the box", be willing to learn and adapt to situations as they occur.

    Leading during these times is key as if anything is a constant in our world today is that change, ambiguity and adversity are going to be the norm...so the key is to embrace it, learn from it...notice how through change, the rules change so be willing to adapt and see new opportunities where they did not exist before - again, thinking "out of the box."

    Lately I have become a big fan of the TV show 24. I think that show gives many great examples how Jack Bauer, Keifer Sutherland's character, overcomes impossible situations through creative thinking...this can only be done with an open mind and understanding the "lay of the land" that manifests with change and ambiguity.

    Steve Gavatorta: What are my suggested reading material on Management, Motivation and/or Leadership?

    SG: Well first of all I would say any biographies on Winston Churchill - especially those authored by William Manchester are worth reading. His book titled the Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone (1932 - 1940) is one of my favorites. A few others I would recommend are as follows:

    - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey

    - As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen

    - The Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, by Larry Alexander

    Any of the John Maxwell books on Leadership and lastly I always find a great deal of wisdom in the Bible.

    To see others that I really enjoy, just see the Freesources tab on my website.

    I hope everyone enjoyed my insights and please feel free to provide any thoughts, feedback and/or comments.

    I look forward to presenting our next leader in October!


    Hello, I'm Steve Gavatorta & welcome you to the September Monthly Leader Review. I hope you enjoy my insights in this months edition. A lot of wonderful events have occurred in 2006, one of which is our move to Florida. The other is the launch of the Monthly Leader Review. It has been a fantastic experience sharing the insights of so many wonderful people the last nine months. I look forward to providing more insights from many more leaders in the future. So please feel free to forward the newsletter on to others - there is no fee for signing up. I hope you enjoy and always feel free to forward any questions and/or comments.

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