About Bob Schultek

Bob has more than 30 years of service as a senior sales and business development executive, CEO and business owner. His expertise includes customer-partnered business development, strategic planning, sales management, customer service, operational alignment, lean process analysis and improvement, quality assurance, and performance management. He has worked in the energy, medical device, bioscience & pharmaceutical, discrete and process manufacturing, packaging and distribution, communications and information technology, and business-to-business service industries.

Going First

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Credibility is the number one reason people choose to follow their leaders. That credibility is based on the leader’s behaviors, transparency and accountability. How they walk the talk, keep promises, lead from the front.

To build a vibrant organizational culture, leaders must go first. They are the first to make sacrifices, the first to take risks, and the first to feel consequences. They are the first to model the company’s values, first to follow policies, first to point the way forward. The rules apply to them first, before they apply to those that follow.

As a result, a leader’s actions are remembered long after any words he or she may have uttered.  Leaders succeed because people view them as credible and choose to follow them, enabling a productive culture to flourish and endure.

How consistently do you go first? 
How do you assess your leadership credibility?

By |December 13th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Why Leaders Won’t Coach

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Leaders know that coaching their personnel produces a “markedly positive” impact on performance, culture and results. Yet coaching is one of the tools least used by leaders. Why?

The common excuse is that there is no time for the slow, tedious work of teaching/mentoring employees when trying to succeed in our competitive, high pressure economy. Another explanation is that coaching can be complicated and involved, and there’s concern about failing at the process. Yet it’s these employees whose performance delivers success; they are the organization’s most sustainable competitive advantage.

More than ever, leaders must find time to coach. How can coaching be made less complex and more efficient?

In his book, The Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stanier offers these suggestions for leaders:

Identify the type of coaching required. Most coaching focuses on a performance issue, to help resolve a specific challenge. The dialogue around this issue is usually well-defined and the challenge for the leader is to guide the employee to a resolution rather than hurrying the process and specifying it. People don’t learn, and become more dependent on the leader, if the learning process is short-circuited.  This also ensures a continued parade of issues that demand the leader’s time versus helping an employee develop some autonomy.

The more complex coaching challenge involves coaching […]

By |December 5th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Reward from Risk

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

There can be no reward, no change initiative, no return on investment, no relationship, no success until someone first takes a risk.Life is uncertain; risk and reward is the natural order. Whether we succeed or fail, we learn by continuing to go forward. Shrinking from risk only creates a false sense of security.

Manage risk assessment by considering:

1. What benefits will be missed if the decision is made not to proceed?
2. Will the situation/market be stable long enough to earn the expected rewards?
3. Is there a way to reduce the risk at a reasonable cost?
To secure the lessons learned, when the risk has been taken and the outcome is clear, determine what worked well and what could improve.

How do you evaluate risk and reward?
What was learned from your most significant risk-reward experience?

By |November 28th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

High Tech – High Touch

Bob Schultek
Author of 
The Gauntlet

When I see three or four folks sitting around a table, each interacting more with a phone than with one another, I wonder why they have chosen to meet.  Why is being together not valued more highly?  Where’s the conversation, the laughter, the stories?  What’s the nature of their relationship? If there were no phones to distract them, how would they react?

Experts have confirmed that our increasing dependence on technology creates a corresponding rise in our need for the human touch. We rely on our phones and other technology to help us be productive in today’s society, but our human nature demands a level of personal intimacy and development in order to endure. Our relationships fulfill this basic human need, preserving a healthy balance as the use of technology expands.

Think about a crisis situation, like the recent hurricanes. How would it feel to have your home damaged, and to be without water, power or cell service for days?

Circumstances like these compel a greater awareness that relationships are the foundation of society; they provide the human touch necessary for people to survive when technology is not available. Neighbor helps neighbor, and people share resources; folks talk to […]

By |November 15th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

How Does a Trust Relationship Begin?

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

For trust to begin growing, the right intent must be readily apparent. Sharing a valuable insight, without expecting to get anything in return, is a natural first step. When no insistent ulterior motive is involved, the kindness of the offer is appreciated. Making the offer implies sacrifice – it took an investment of time and resource to discover the valued information that is now shared, with no repayment expected in return. The wrong intent is sensed when the offer is a one-time only proposition, done a bit regretfully; the offer doesn’t feel generous.

Offering discounts or giving products or services away for free is not true generosity; this doesn’t demonstrate caring. Because you’re an unknown entity, these offers are compromised by their lack of linkage to a thoughtful discovery effort intended to identify a real need. Earning trust takes time, and it is true generosity that enables others to see you as being genuine in your interest.

True generosity reveals human vulnerability, demonstrated by openly caring and sharing. Even if a generous offer does not immediately lead to a new trust relationship, the vulnerability embedded in the offer invites a response and enables the building of trust.

It’s generosity that is the genesis of trust.
How often do you […]

By |November 7th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

3 Steps to a High Performing Culture

Culture is the glue that binds an organization together, and it’s the hardest thing for competitors to copy. Your story, your purpose and your values are what make your business distinctive. When culture is carved into a unique identity, with an uncommon brand promise and a clear set of behavioral expectations, your people learn how their contributions help the organization succeed. Culture is what enables your people to evolve as your most sustainable competitive advantage.

Yet some companies continue to think that the aim of strengthening culture is to make their people feel good about where they work. In reality, as high-performing companies know, stronger cultural alignment helps employees, and thus the business, perform better.  With improving results as the primary goal, try these 3 steps to reinforce the impact of your culture:

Establish a common understanding of your culture and metrics to monitor it. Revisit your story and purpose with the entire organization. Then, assign several senior executives to conduct small-group discussions with informal leaders in the organization about which of your values or cultural traits need attention. How do they describe a specific company value in practice? What does it look like to demonstrate a winning attitude, or integrity, or collaboration? Document the described common behaviors and communicate them.

Focus on the few values that matter most. High performing teams share values like results orientation (how do we […]

By |October 31st, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Pursuing Mastery

Bob Schultek
Author of 
The Gauntlet

Pursuing mastery in the workplace can take several forms. It can refer to an extraordinary competence, related to technical excellence or subject matter expertise. Under this perception, masters are those who have the highest level, a “state-of-the-art,” understanding and technique in a given discipline. There is a compulsory set of specific skills to be learned and applied.

But for leaders, encouraging their personnel to pursue the mastery of a function or process can help each individual in a team discover how he or she makes a difference. This insight provides the inspiration necessary for people to invest discretionary effort in delivering productive change and improved results. The pursuit of mastery releases a person’s creativity and ingenuity, boosting curiosity, initiative and imagination. It asks, “why not” instead of “why,” pushing the boundaries of established knowledge and practice.

In a highly competitive, dynamic market, encouraging the pursuit of mastery should be sustained as a factor of culture. Exceptional leaders understand that everyone has the potential for mastery, an awareness that can bond an organization together. Matthew May says it well: “It is not enough that we become the best at something, we must become the best for something.”
How are you encouraging the pursuit of mastery
in your organization?

How […]

By |October 24th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

The 3 “Cs” of Exceptional Service

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Recently, my awareness was raised about the great diversity of customer service experiences we encounter every day. During a recent hotel stay, my perception of exceptional service was redefined. Every staff person I met at this facility – at the door, at the front desk, in the restaurant, in the hallways and in a meeting room support role – shared a common purpose of sustaining their guests’ comfort and satisfaction. They were well trained and ever vigilant, consistently demonstrating these three behaviors.

They were caring.
Heads were up and eyes were focused outward, towards their guests. No cell phones were visible. They were conscientious, empathetic and humble, consistently demonstrating a strong sense of duty, shared accountability and reliability. Greetings were warm and genuine, almost as if we knew each other. A common phrase was: “How else can I assist you or make you more comfortable?” When working near the lobby, I was frequently offered coffee, tea, water or other beverage. The level of care and respect they exhibited to all guests, and towards each other, made it evident that each staff member wanted to make a difference for their visitors.
They were curious.
Curiosity is often described as a person’s hunger for […]

By |October 17th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Discovery Questions That Provoke Awareness

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

When we need help to resolve a problem, none of us wants to be sold; but we do appreciate the opportunity to explore what we value and why, without the high pressure tactics.A customer may have a good handle on his or her specific challenge or goal to be achieved, but often there is less clarity about why achievement is important. Resolving the problem may address a visible, troubling short term pain point, but could the solution be configured to also contribute to the achievement of a longer term objective, one that produces sustainable strategic value?

Asking provocative questions elevates the customer’s awareness of this option. They challenge the customer to think more broadly and to see things differently. They can help the customer align divergent interests, clarify goals, understand inherent biases, and identify mistaken perceptions.

Provocative questions are designed to challenge the customer to think in ways they hadn’t previously considered. “Have you considered . . . ? Can I ask why you . . . ? Where you aware that . . . ? Have you seen . . . ?  What was the motive behind . . . ?” Answers to these questions provide insights for the customer, illuminating how priorities influenced […]

By |October 11th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Leadership Happens in the Moments

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Every day, there are moments when you can choose to lead. Leadership is more about these moments than it is about accomplishing grand initiatives.  Making a difference is all about these moments.

One member of your team might be stuck and need your guidance or suggestions to open another path.

When a choice between two possible options is required, rather than immediately making the decision, you ask your team to consider if one alternative emerges as the better choice when the quantifiable benefits of the alternatives, and timing of those benefits, are evaluated on the basis of which option strengthens the company’s competitive advantage and better fulfills its Purpose.

An associate may reveal an ongoing conflict with a peer, offering you an opportunity to recommend a means of resolution that aligns with your company’s core values.

When speaking to a group about the future of your business, you paint a vision that is grounded in your organization’s culture of recognizing your people as your competitive advantage, challenging the status quo, and encouraging every associate to invest discretionary effort.

Each day, you seek opportunities to thank someone for a job well done.

There are moments like these in every day when you can choose to lead, and […]

By |October 3rd, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments