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Rocky Romanella, author of Tighten The Lug Nuts

| 05.23.2017 |

Rocky Romanella is a former truck loader who worked his way up to become president of UPS Supply Chain Solutions. He later served as CEO and a board director of UniTek Global Services and founder of 3SIXTY Management Services. He is the author of the new book Tighten the Lug Nuts: The Principles of Balanced Leadership.


Q: What inspired you to write your new book, and how long did it take you to create it?


Rocky Romanella: This book began as a tribute to a wonderful family and in grateful respect for an excellent career that I feel very fortunate and blessed to have lived, learned from, and experienced. It also gave me an opportunity to recognize and say thank you to two very influential people in my life, my dad, Pasquale, and my thoughtful, caring wife, friend, and partner, Debbie Romanella. Affectionately known as “the Hon.”


Leadership is something we all have concerns about. Leadership is a concept that is not reserved for or only applies to certain people in business, government, and civic organizations. The reality is that no matter our age, gender, occupation, educational level, or position in life, each of us touches and influences other lives.


Your character is your legacy; it is what you leave behind. It can be seen in the people and places you have touched. As you grow and develop, take on new challenges or simply move into a new phase of your life, you will be faced with complications and adversity that may set you back. Honesty, perseverance, and trustworthiness will become major factors in overcoming these obstacles and creating your personal brand and your legacy. My hope is that this book will help people both in their personal and professional lives understand their legacy and help them to define what it is that they have left behind.


The book is a 40-year journey of experiences and stories that took me about a year to write.


Q: In your professional opinion, what are the traits and characteristics that ensure a successful business leader?


Rocky Romanella: I believe the definition of a successful leader can be summarized as a person who adds immediate value as a trusted advisor, mentor, and visionary who uses a process approach to lead the organization and its people to new levels of success. Great organizations need to have a thoughtful vision and strategy. Great leaders need to combine that strategic vision with the ability to tactically execute the strategy.


Leadership is about building a bridge to the future. You give your people the opportunity to help build that bridge by communicating and educating each one of them on your vision and strategy. Leadership is also the ability to quickly, accurately, and effectively assess who you are, what you stand for, and what you will never compromise.


Q: What is your view of the state of the American economy, and where do you see it heading in the next 12 months?


Rocky Romanella: I believe the American economy is positioned for growth and expansion. Regardless of your politics, the fact the president has business experience will give investors and entrepreneurs a more optimistic and positive outlook. I believe it is an exciting time to be in business in the U.S.


Q: What advice can you give to someone who is contemplating going into business for themselves?


Rocky Romanella: My recommendation would be to set realistic expectations, have a vision and understand what it means to be an owner. What are the traits of an owner? How should we act if he owned the company? These may be some to consider as essential ownership traits:


  • Owners have the vision to look ahead to create a compelling sense of purpose and validity. Know and go to where the puck is going.
  • Walk the talk.
  • Be an effective communicator. Have clarity, credibility, and persuasiveness with all constituents.
  • Use sound judgment and make thoughtful decisions.
  • Be results oriented. Drive the process to achieve breakthrough performance.
  • Never compromise integrity and ethics. (Remember, it’s what you do when no one is watching that counts.)
  • Get the market pulse in all segments by thinking like a customer; then create brand loyalty by delighting customers.
  • Own the problem, not just the results.