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.

Cultivating Team Accountability

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Since leaders are responsible for the performance of their teams, they often assume the role of primary accountability monitor for each team member.  

In team meetings, each teammate reports to the leader, in turn, on her or his activities. The result is a one-sided presentation of information between team member and leader, with little dialogue occurring among the rest of the team. This creates an environment in which team members assume that the leader is the only one responsible for sustaining accountability, so others on the team withhold their comments that might support their teammate’s performance, or worse, that might raise a concern that something is not working well. 

The most effective means of ensuring individual accountability, and exceptional team performance, is peer pressure. Having made a shared team commitment to an objective, nothing motivates individual accountability more efficiently than the fear of disappointing valued teammates who are relying on each individual’s performance to achieve their targeted team outcome. 

It falls to the leader to transform this individual peer pressure fear into a productive shared team accountability by creating a culture where the team serves as the ultimate arbiter of its performance. It’s a culture that commits a team to […]

By |July 28th, 2021|Grolistic, Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

It’s the Right Time to Make a Difference

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

After working virtually for over a year, most employees have now begun returning to the office, and they’re finding that it’s not the same. 

 While the crisis played itself out, these folks kept the wheels turning, doing the necessary work – fulfilling their duties, meeting deadlines, working to achieve goals. Some enjoyed the flexibility of working from home, and most felt satisfaction that they were getting the job done during a rare, extraordinary time. 

But to many, returning to the office surprisingly feels almost as disruptive as being restricted from it in the beginning. Working back into the office routine, joining the office community again, being able to socialize, interact and touch, reminds them of the culture they were missing when being kept apart. Most want this culture back, but the separation experience has left many with a thirst to do more:To reconnect with, and contribute to, a purpose they believe in…To invest their energy in more meaningful work…To make a difference. 

As their leader, this inflection point for your business presents an exceptional opportunity to start anew with your team. It’s a chance to reset their expectations, to leverage their restored personal connection, and to nurture their aspiration […]

By |July 21st, 2021|Grolistic|0 Comments

Your Leadership Is Reflected in Your People

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

In a rapidly changing market, with accelerating workflows, responding to urgent operational issues is an increasingly common occurrence. Often, there is no time to wait while senior leadership decides how best to respond, so front-line, customer-contact employees are challenged to make “in the moment” decisions which can have a serious impact on the company’s reputation, brand awareness and finances. Situations like these provide teaching opportunities that support talent development. High impact, urgent and rapidly evolving scenarios will continue to multiply, so leaders are compelled to train and nurture their customer-contact personnel to manage these circumstances in accordance with their expectations. In 1999, Charles Krulak, a highly decorated, deeply experienced, retired General in the United States Marine Corps published an insightful article about leadership in such situations. His core leadership principle, which is often described as Krulak’s Law of Leadership, is “that the future of an organization is in the hands of the privates in the field, not the generals back home.” The premise is that leaders are “ultimately judged by the quality of the leadership reflected in their subordinates.” Ensuring that their employees make the right decisions is a leader’s primary responsibility. As familiarity with Krulak’s Law grew among business […]

By |July 14th, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Creating Customer Value

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

The marketplace is noisy, filled with commodities of all sorts, pitched to the masses, often using low price as the seductive hook.When the objective is to get orders, as many as possible, quickly and easily, then offering a low price can attract the crowd. Low price is obvious, direct and easy to evaluate for these buyers; its benefit is the same for everyone.If your growth strategy is to market your offering as a commodity, then selling on price is a simple, effective strategy. But it’s a one trick pony, discounting your expertise and requiring that you resellyourself with each transaction.On the other hand, if you seek to grow your business by marketing solutions to customer problems, creating trust and building relationships that generate recurring orders with customers, then discovering what your customer values, in addition to their stated need, is the key to this strategy’s success. Because each customer defines value differently, there’s an opportunity to focus your unique knowledge and expertise on delivering the exact benefits needed to create the customer’s value, those benefits generated by your product or service. Resolving a short-term pain in a manner that contributes to the customer’s progress converts a transaction into an investment in […]

By |July 6th, 2021|Grolistic, Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Leadership is a People Business

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Leaders learn by leading, and they learn best by leading in the face of obstacles. As weather shapes mountains, problems shape leaders. ~ Warren G. Bennis  

The pace of change challenges leaders to be bold. But the unpredictability of bold actions can cause fear and anxiety within a leader’s team, inhibiting them and potentially compromising the expected outcome. For such actions to be successful, it becomes a leader’s priority to minimize the team’s stress, to help them become more agile, and to confirm that their leader has their back. 

Leaders can boost their team’s resilience and help them shine in tough circumstances with these tactics:

·        Clarify the Goal: Ask your team, “What are we trying to accomplish by our actions and why is this important?” When people are engaged with a clear, meaningful goal, they are more likely to see a challenge as an opportunity, and to show greater resilience in their efforts to achieve the goal. Help your team envision a successful outcome and how it will feel to win; then, warn them that there will be peaks and valleys on the journey towards that outcome. 

·        Know Your Team: Your people are your most sustainable competitive advantage. Get to know them, […]

By |June 30th, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Overcoming Obstacles to Improvement

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Leaders are expected to improve results, which means something must change.

People often see change as risky, so they resist it until they are convinced that the expected improvement will outweigh the risk of the change. Surviving in a competitive world demands that improvements continue, so motivating people to change, to improve a product or process, consumes much of a leader’s time.

Leaders may launch an improvement effort by explaining why the change is necessary, how it will produce an improvement, and how the improvement will create value for the company and its people. But then, the leader must engage in a dialogue about the pros and cons of the proposed change to secure the commitment necessary to pursue the improvement. The two most common barriers to commitment are:

The fear of change. Defeating this fear requires that leaders show optimism in considering what is possible, confidence in assessing the risk of change, and courage to act in implementing the improvement. Remaining engaged throughout the change assessment dialogue generates the momentum that overwhelms the fear.The change will disrupt a precedent which has delivered efficiency, quality and risk . This objection most often arises from those responsible for preserving […]

By |June 23rd, 2021|Grolistic, Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Relying on Feedback

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

All automated systems rely on feedback loops to sustain accuracy and repeatability. These loops compare results against system settings, and adjust variables to ensure alignment and expected performance.  

Then, when change compels a system’s performance to improve, there’s a ready baseline of consistent data against which to measure and generate improved results. It’s a logical, unemotional process that delivers higher performance. 

The performance of people is similarly subject to unrelenting change that disrupts their status quo. And because the workings of people are more complex than those of a system, progress depends on helping people discover how they are currently making a difference, and how their future impact can be magnified by reacting with agility to change. 

Gathering feedback from others is an essential tool for exercising agility. It projects what others see and advises precisely what they want or need. Once the feedback is given, the choice is to accept or reject it. 

Leveraging feedback to improve performance drives learning and growth. Reacting positively to it conveys respect for those who provided the feedback, converting vulnerability into credibility. And key relationships, the lifeblood of business and of life, are strengthened.  

The outright rejection of feedback using argument or ingratitude typically results in no further feedback being given. It’s a lost discovery and improvement opportunity. And […]

By |June 16th, 2021|Grolistic, Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Resilient Culture

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

In the last ten years, we’ve experienced more change in business than ever before. 

The way we work will necessarily keep evolving – we’ll need to work differently.And new, different work will need to be done. 

Operating productively with this level of required flexibility will compel every business to rely more heavily on its culture. Hence the increasing dialogue about the value of culture in executing strategy and adapting with agility.  

Leaders who are more comfortable with the certainty of being directed from above will become increasingly disoriented by the pace of change, and results will suffer.

There are crisis situations when a directive from above is necessary, appropriate and effective. But if directive leadership is the culture under which a company’s leaders and their teams typically operate, then once the emergency is resolved, the sense ofdisruption and urgency will return, causing decision paralysis and employee withdrawal. Resilience disappears and the system becomes brittle. 

As the market continues to change ever faster, it’s the community and connection of culture, nurtured by collaborative, accountable leadership, that enables versatility and progress. We’re discovering that all of us know more than any one of us. Leadership and culture that encourage curiosity, dialogue, and taking responsibility, create an effective and resilient response to the churn […]

By |June 9th, 2021|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments

Why Purpose Matters

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Human beings are designed for more than mere survival. Once our basic needs are met, and we’re feeling reasonably secure, we begin to ask why we survive, for what? Why do we exist? 

Purpose is the answer to these questions. It’s that yearning to be part of something bigger than ourselves, something that motivates us to connect and contribute for a better future, something that makes our lives meaningful and fulfilling. Purpose creates satisfaction and happiness. 

Businesses are living organisms, communities of people who share this quest for purpose. The most successful ventures appreciate this basic human need. They seek to bond their people around a shared company purpose, and the values which personify it, to yield a sense of fulfillment in making a difference, for each other, their customers, and the business.  

It’s our emotions, more than our knowledge or skills, that drive our actions. The bond of shared purpose provides the emotional trigger that sparks our curiosity, that enables us to risk change in pursuit of improvement, that prompts us to explore new possibilities. Every successful endeavor can be traced back to someone who cared deeply. 

Prosperity results, and personal purpose can be fulfilled, when people contribute their energy and talent to […]

By |June 2nd, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Building Organizational Resilience

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Organizational resilience is the proportion of energy that an organization consumes in productive activities. An agile organization relies on resilience to adapt in reaction to significant change or challenge. The combination of 4 elements enables organizational resilience:

Personal Alignment: Individuals in the business, particularly the leaders, walk the talk – their behaviors are aligned with the company’s values, demonstrating credibility and integrity that builds trust.Structural Alignment: Teams within the business act in accordance with the company values and culture, in addition to its rules, structures and systems of governance, showing a collective integrity of shared commitment and accountability that facilitates progress.Values Alignment: The values and behaviors of individuals, and the collective values and behaviors of their teams, are aligned so that everyone is acting in accordance with the company’s culture, creating coherence, collaboration and productivity. Purpose/Mission Alignment: There is alignment between the company’s purpose/mission motive and its profit motive. Its purpose is the core of an organization’s culture, its values and behaviors reveal how that culture lives within the business, and all employees understand how they make a difference for customers, each other, and the company, fostering clarity, focus and trust.

Leaders buildCulture drives employee fulfillment. Employee fulfillment drives customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction […]

By |May 27th, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments