Leading & Self-Managing Through Adverse and Ambiguous Times

Dr. Relly Nadler: Today, we are going to be talking with Steve Gavatorta. He is going to be able to talk about Leading and Self-managing through these adverse and ambiguous times. So, as we are coming out of the pandemic, this is the perfect time to have Steve.

We’ll have some questions for him and hear a little bit about his background in just a moment.

So, Cathy, welcome to the show.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Thank you, Relly.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Let me say a word about Steve and then we will bring him on. We are really glad to have Steve Gavatorta.

Steve is the owner of his own coaching group called The Steve Gavatorta Group, specializing in empowering individuals and organizations in identifying and developing, and exceeding performance goals.

So, that’s really what we are going to tap him for, is how does he go about that with his groups.

He’s had the privilege of coaching and training thousands of high performers across an array of industries from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. But he collaborates with them to create foundations to set the goals and then to eclipse their highest potential.

So, kind of moving forward, he is a certified professional behavioral analyst and also a certified professional values analyst. He uses the Myers-Briggs – a tool that both Cathy and I love. He also uses and coaches around emotional intelligence.

We have a lot in common here.

His newest book, In Defense of Adversity – Turn Your Toughest Challenges into Your Greatest Success, won the Richter Publishing Amazon Best Seller’s Award in 2018.

He lives in Tampa Bay.

Steve, welcome to the show. We are really glad to have you.

Steve Gavatorta: Happy to be here. I just realized though after hearing your introductions that nine books – I’ve only done two. I have a lot of catching up to do, I think.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Well, maybe you are younger than Cathy and I and you’ve got more time to do that.

Steve Gavatorta: I don’t know, I swore after the last one that I did, I said it would be the last one. But I said that about my first one too. So, you never know.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Exactly. It’s better that way. You need to surprise yourself. I always tell people, never say never.

You know, Steve, that brings us to our first question. Relly and I always like to start off with knowing a little bit about you, personally, before we get into the business of dealing with – as my grandmother would say – all of our craziness, mishegoss in this world.

Tell us a little bit about who’s influenced you and the role that you are now playing in the world of coaching.

Steve Gavatorta: Yeah. It would be the gentleman that hired me at my first job out of college. I didn’t realize how fortunate I was that one day I would be interviewing with a man who would be not only my mentor but in many ways my father. He was actually the director of training and manpower development at my first job called Beecham Products.

Beecham Products was a consumer package goods company. We sold one of our biggest products which was toothpaste. So, I am a former toothpaste salesman.

But I interviewed with a gentleman named Santo Laquatra – that’s a mouthful, from Pittsburgh – but Santo again was director of training and manpower development. Beecham Products, at the time, all their upper management including Santo were former Proctor and Gamble employees.

Back in the day, Proctor and Gamble was known as the Cadillac for training and development. So, I was very fortunate my first job out of college was a company and a leadership team that believed wholeheartedly in coaching, training, and developing their people. That really resonated with me. I think after I went through my corporate career, I realized how companies were falling away from training and development. A lot of consultants were coming in and they really didn’t understand our business and the skills they were teaching us weren’t relevant to our jobs. They didn’t connect the dots.

I started thinking to myself, “Wow, I wonder how much this consultant is making because I think I can do a heck of a better job.”

After about twenty-plus years of corporate America and this desire to get into the training development world, it was sticking in my craw for many, many years. Finally, I had enough of some things going on and I saw the opportunity to leave cold turkey and start my own business.

The gentleman that I mentioned was the biggest influence on me, Santo, he actually left the corporate world as well and started his own training and development company. So, I kind of followed his path and he is still a mentor to me this day. I really, fully realized – especially after what we are going to talk about today, a lot of what I want to talk about is brain functionality; how our brain functions every day in the optimal state but especially how our brains function in not-so-optimal situations and how training connects the dots between and ensuring that we are functioning at that optimal level.

So, I am a big proponent of coaching, training, and development. Without it, people are not going to optimize their potential and companies are not going to optimize their business potential, either.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Oh, outstanding.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Yeah. We are definitely excited to hear that.

So, tell us why this is so important for our listeners and this is recorded so someone could be listening ten years from now. But as we are coming out from the pandemic – and Cathy mentioned there are still variants that come up – so we are not really out yet. Also, you kind of hear from some of the professional athletes who have actually been vaccinated and still got covid. So, we are still in it.

So, why is this so important – your topic about dealing with adverse and ambiguous times?

Steve Gavatorta: Even before – this whole philosophy, this understanding really came about during the research of my book, In Defense of Adversity – Turn Your Toughest Challenges into Your Greatest Success, and even before this whole covid dynamic. One of the tag lines of my business is “We are in a fast-paced, high tech, ever evolving world. Change is hitting us faster than ever. Adversity is striking us deeper. The speed at which we may need to make decisions is getting shorter and shorter and shorter. This is the new way of our world.”

So, there is a new type of approach we need to take to this fast-paced world. Add the fact that in corporate America I think there are actually four generations with vastly different viewpoints on the world in many ways all in this work environment now. Many times, some of these younger folks are now getting into leadership positions over some of the old dogs, so to speak.

There is a lot – it’s really tumultuous times not only in our world but in the corporate world, primarily again because of this fast-paced scenario we are in. Then you throw covid into that, which makes that even more pressing.

I even tell people, even after this covid is gone – the world has changed. We are in a fast-paced, high-tech, revolving world. The need to have steady, wise, rationally thinking leadership; it’s always been important. But I think more so now than ever because of what I just said – the fast-paced, high-tech, ever-evolving world.

We need to have leaders who have high emotional intelligence, who can think rationally, logically and reasoned in the face of obstacles and they, in turn, can lead and keep their team in that same rational, logical mindset as they are going through these crazy times as well.

I think the importance – EQ has always been important in my book. But it has taken an extra leap because of the world we are in today.

You can listen to the entire interview above by clicking on the play button.

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