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News & Press: Leadership

Balanced Leadership: Important Principles for Today’s Leaders

Monday, July 31, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alyce Ryan
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Written By:  Rocky Romanella, AICC 2017 Annual Meeting & Packaging Competition keynote speaker.


I’m delighted and looking forward to being part of the AICC 2017 Annual Meeting in September. As a speaker and experienced business professional, my goal will be to challenge you to think of your business and your relationships with your key constituents in new ways

As lifelong learners, we are compelled to see important things in a new light and our quest should be to go to where the puck is going not to where it has been. This has also been a prevailing theme in my career. From part-time trailer loader at UPS to President of The UPS Store and later UPS Supply Chain Solutions, this approach has helped me shape simple yet thought-provoking lessons into tangible results.  I challenge myself and others to not stop at the first right answer and to consider these same things as they are managing their operations. It also is what led me to write my book Tighten the Lug Nuts

I encourage you to holistically look at your business through the lens of what I call, Balanced Leadership™. These are principles to manage by that, I believe, help optimize business performance while satisfying the needs of your customers, your people and your stakeholders. After 40 years, I continue to use this philosophy. For me, it has become invaluable, because I see so many leaders who focus only on one area of their business – usually the bottom line. By using such a myopic approach, these leaders are neglecting two very important business components that drive true success: the people and the processes. 

Balanced Leadership
It doesn’t matter who you are or what your job and level, as a leader you are responsible for balancing the needs of your three constituent groups:  your people, your customers and your stakeholders.  

Balanced Leaders think like a customer and ensure their people think like a customer.
Balanced Leaders act like an owner and understand the business and what makes it profitable.
Balanced Leaders ensure their employees and stakeholders feel valued.

But where do you start? Which is the most important? How do you keep them equally in balance?

While I’ll discuss each in detail during the meeting, let me address your most important constituent – your customer.  For without them, your business wouldn’t exist.  

Think Like Who?
Think like a customer. It a simple statement – pretty straight forward. But how do you breathe life into this concept for your customers to experience it and your people to understand it? The answer is fairly simple:  It’s essential to create a brand identity from a customer perspective and then get your team to execute the organization’s customer strategy. 

Once you establish this critical point, then you can establish some very important next steps in the process:

What are you solving for?
What won’t you compromise?
What are your boundaries?
What keeps the customer awake at night?
What are the key metrics that you will hold yourself accountable to?
What does good look like?

Constantly Question Your Status Quo
For you to think like a customer, you have to think and be a solutions provider. Ask yourself, how do I help my customer by providing them the best possible solution? It starts with asking your customer, “What keeps you awake at night?”, that begins the solution process. You’ll need to think about new opportunities to participate in the packaging industry or create new solutions … new ways of doing business that don’t currently exist. 

Think like a customer by approaching each challenge as a true solutions provider. By watching you and seeing your example – your people need to embrace this concept so they will think like a customer in all they do. Doing so will help your team view the business from the eyes of the customer. This mindset and vision will better guide their decisions and actions.

Someone is going to be the best, so why not you and your team? Make sure you are tightening lug nuts in your control as you lead by example.

About Rocky Romanella
Rocky Romanella is an experienced CEO at 3SIXTY Management Services, LLC, Director, Keynote Speaker, Executive Advisor, expert in Customer Service and Leadership Development, and author of Tighten the Lug Nuts: The Principles of Balanced Leadership. Rocky pulls in audiences with real-life stories from an illustrious career spanning nearly 40 years at one of the most recognized and admired brands in the world, UPS. Having led record sales efforts, rapidly building brands and managing teams through difficult restructuring events and developing a culture needed to integrate past acquisitions, he inspires audiences to create a unified company with one vision. Find Rocky on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

3SIXTY Management Services, LLC are business leaders who help companies enhance their growth momentum through our Balanced Leadership™ Model using an assertive approach to execution and accountability. Contact the team at