Being able to lead enterprise operations for more than four decades is a rare and impressive accomplishment, one that modern business owners could only dream of. To achieve this longevity across changing social, political, and economic landscapes, one must have a laser focus on customer needs, employee empowerment, and the demands of shareholders. Rocky Romanella, founder and senior partner of 3SIXTY Management Services, LLC, shares how he delivers results by developing and implementing his Balanced Leadership model across enterprise operations. With his rare ability to grasp a clear vision of the changing business landscape, Rocky reveals his strategies, tactics, and metrics for long-lasting success.
Rocky Romanella is an expert in cultural integration, operations, and engineering. While in executive roles, he successfully launched one of the largest re-branding initiatives in franchising history: The UPS Store. This revolutionized the $9-billion retail shipping and business services market. In addition to leading the global strategy of all US and international retail channels, Rocky was an integral part of the integration of many acquisitions, which became UPS Supply Chain Solutions with responsibilities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and South America, and led UPS’ entry into the healthcare industry as part of their supply chain logistics strategy.
Listen to the podcast here:
Delivering Results Through Balanced Leadership with Rocky Romanella
I have with me Rocky Romanella. He has over 40 years of leadership experience. He delivers results by developing and implementing his Balanced Leadership model across enterprise operations. It includes a laser focus on customer needs, employee empowerment, and the demands of shareholders. Rocky has this rare ability to see a clear vision of the changing business landscape, the passion to develop strategies, tactics, and metrics to drive desired results. Rocky, welcome.
Thank you, Terri. I appreciate that.
How did you end up getting into leadership? Everybody has a different journey to get there.
I went to college to be a high school history teacher and baseball coach. What happened as I was working my way part time through UPS, I started unloading trailers. It became clear to me and I noticed that the best leaders and the managers got their people to do things willingly and accepted or understood what it was that they were asked to do. It’s because they took the time to explain things, coach them and more importantly teach them. I never gave up my passion for teaching. My classroom became a work environment versus a class environment. That’s how I began this leadership journey.
Tell us what is your Balanced Leadership model?
Nothing is more difficult for people than when the approach is out of balance. What I mean by that is, “Is it Student Body Left? Is it Student Body Right?” You see it in very small businesses or very large businesses. We’re going to spend all this money to do this and all of a sudden, we don’t hit the P&L or we’re not hitting our numbers and stop everything. We’re counting pencils. We go from giving everybody a pencil to we’re counting pencils. Student Body Left, Student Body Right or that swing from side to side that takes you out of balance is difficult for a business, it’s difficult for growth and it’s difficult on your people. Your early adopters, those people who are following you and are excited to be part of your team, you’re sending them all over the because they’re trying to be early adopters and you’re going from side to side.
As I grew and developed myself, I started to realize that the extremes were no good. As we started to build processes and try to make improvements, I recognized that it was either one or the other. It was either a cost thing or profitability we’re trying to get for our customers. I started to realize it is about three key constituents that in all our decisions we need to think like a customer, make sure our people feel like valued individuals and act like owners in all the decisions we make. I began to have this balanced approach that in all decisions that we made and the views that we took, we want it to be in balance at those three key constituents, customers, people, stakeholders or shareholders.
It really fits with Heartrepreneur. Heartrepreneur is all about creating happy employees, creating satisfied and happy client family members or customers, as well as vendor partners. It’s being very conscious, socially aware and doing the right thing as a conscious capitalist and giving back to the go local community, the society, the environment, whatever it might be. It’s a holistic, balanced approach. What happens as a result of bringing this Balanced Leadership model in?
You make better decisions but more importantly you make decisions that have the best chance to be successful. A quick example would be someone brings you a new product and obviously the marketing department, the sales department, they had done their homework. They know the product placement, they have a good sense of the pricing, how it fits in and how the product will work and everybody’s excited about it. Of course the CFO, he or she is sitting there banging away on a calculator and they’re all excited because it’s going to make money.
[Tweet “Nothing is more difficult for people than when the approach is out of balance.”]
At that point people are, “Let’s go forward,” so for me I would stop at that point and say, “Our customers are represented, our shareholders or stakeholders are represented and the profitability of this product. How about our people? They have to execute on our behalf? Do they understand why we’re going into this new product or what this new product does? If there’s a service disconnect, how do we handle it? What training do they need?” In the past we would have ran with this new product and be all excited. For me, maintaining the process would say, “Do we have a training regimen? Do we understand what the product’s supposed to do and how are people supposed to execute?” It gives you the best chance to be successful because the three key constituents are represented in the thought process or in the decision-making process.
What do you see today as you look out into the future? What do you see are the big changes coming for business in general? If you think businesses are alert and aware of what’s coming down the pike?
Everybody has gotten the message. Everyone’s embraced technology. The slower piece has been eCommerce. Look no farther than Walmart and some of those individuals. My example would be somewhere around 107-year anniversary are the Sears Roebuck catalog, they stopped having a catalog. When I asked why they said, “Nobody buys from a catalog anymore.” If you think about it, you could argue Amazon is today’s version of the Sears Roebuck catalog online. What it highlights to me is people embrace technology or understanding it’s there but more importantly, what they are slow on is to understand, “Where is the puck going?”
AOL for example, you think AOL years ago thought there would never be a person with an AOL account. Everybody has an AOL account. I’m sure Gateway 2000, at one point, thought everybody would have a Camel box in their Gateway computer. For me, especially on a small business and entrepreneurial side, sometimes their strength is they started a business, they know the business, and they work the business as a chief cook and bottle-washer, that’s their strength.
Their weakness is they started the business, they know the business as a chief cook and bottle-washer, and they have to come out at the end of day and start to have vision. Sometimes businesses get caught up in the day-to-day and the things that they need to do, I understand that to be viable. You also have to understand what you are going to look in the next six months, eighteen months and three years from now. Where’s this company going? What am I going to look like? How do I get to that spot?
Even the people that I talk to everyday, you have to get more and more with eCommerce. People are moving there, companies are moving there. I still think they have to be even more alert and more advanced. We have to have the vision and in order to have the vision of where we’re going. Stephen Covey said, “Start with the end in mind.” In order to get there, we do have to come out of that day to day, especially in smaller companies where you’re more entrepreneurial, you’re the HR person, the salesperson, the marketing person, you’re everything. You must tap in to the vision and get your folks inspired around the vision. Any quick tips and tools that you can give?
I was in a conference and we were talking about this to small business owners. The question was, “How do I compete against Amazon, Google and Apples of the world? They’re taking some of the world class talent out there.” For me, the answer to your question is simply never be embarrassed that you’re a small business. Small business owners sometimes are apologetic. They recruited a very talented individual and they start with, “We’re a small business. We’re not Google or Amazon.”
Let me tell you, that’s your advantage. I tell people all the time. Jeff Bezos isn’t walking around warehouse and saying, “Hi, I’m Jeff Bezos,” but you can. It’s cool to say that, “I know the owner of this company.” To me that’s an advantage. Never apologize for your size or apologize for the fact you’re a small business. You can think big. The internet gives you the opportunity. The internet allows a small company to feel big and the big company to feel small and more intimate. As a small business owner, that internet, that web allows you to act and feel like a much larger organization to those people who are engaging with you on the internet. Don’t apologize for your size. Be proud of the fact that you’re a small business owner.
I have a company, I won’t mention the company I’m working with and they said, “We’re a small company and people want to deal with bigger companies.” I said, “Before I never met you guys, I researched people that want to talk to me and I look at their website and their presence. I assumed you were a big company because on the internet you look like a big company,” and that’s one of the cool things that we can do today. Rocky, how can people get in touch with you, stay in contact with you and find out more about Balance Leadership?
The first place is our website, it’s www.3SixtyManagementServices.com. It’s very interactive. I get a lot of questions on there. I’ll answer and respond. My email address is RockyRomanella@Gmail.com if you’d like to get in touch with me that way. My book, Tighten the Lug Nuts is sold on Amazon online, they do a great job with fulfilling that. I enjoy that. I get a lot of great comments about the book and I enjoy the interaction that comes through the website or through the email. I hope they enjoy the book and they see great value in it.
I believe that the Balanced Leadership model fits so much with what we are here at Heartrepreneur. You’re a great fit.
Rocky, I’ve enjoyed our time together. Thank you so much for being a guest here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thank you very much. It’s been my pleasure. If I can help any of your readers in any way, I would love the opportunity to help them as well.
Thank you so much, you are very generous. For the readers, if you have not yet gone into the Facebook group, which is Heartrepreneurs With Terri Levine, we invite you to come in there. You can drop links to your books, your promotions, your specials. We tell you about our radio shows. We have blog posts for you. Definitely go into the file section, there’s lots of free files, reports, webinars and videos. It’s just the place where Heartrepreneurs hang out. Thanks again for tuning in and we’ll see you next time at Heartrepreneur Radio.
- Rocky Romanella
- Tighten the Lug Nuts
- 3SIXTY Management Services on Facebook
- 3SIXTY Management Services on Instagram
- Heartrepreneurs With Terri Levine on Facebook
About Rocky Romanella
With over 40 years of Leadership experience, Rocky delivers results by developing and implementing his Balanced Leadership Model across enterprise operations. This includes a laser focus on customer needs, employee empowerment and the demands of shareholders. Rocky is an experienced CEO who led one of the largest re-branding initiatives in franchising history; The UPS Store, revolutionizing the $9 billion retail shipping and business services market. He also led the integration of more than 20 acquisitions that became UPS Supply Chain Solutions and lead its improved financial performance, capabilities and global network footprint. Rocky has the rare ability to see a clear vision of the changing business landscape, the passion to develop strategies, tactics and metrics to drive desired results.