Category Archives: Communication

I Can’t Reach You: Timeless Skills For A 5-Gen Workplace

The fact that there will soon be five generations in the workplace at once comes as no surprise. Nor does the certainty that products of Generation Z, those born after the global adoption of the internet and eCommerce, will be vastly different from the four groups to precede them. But before we discuss the skills we all need to…
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Interview with a Great Leader, John Sorci

sorci3In Welcome to the Big Leagues, I discuss some of the teachings from my former business coach, John Sorci. In the book, I refer to John as being the best business leader that I have worked for, and after you get to know him it’s easy to see why. Having sustained a thriving business career for 30 years, John has mastered the game. He’s recently retired but continues to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. The interview below combines questions that are both pre and post retirement. I hope that you enjoy gaining the perspective of this greater leader and business coach who has helped to guide me and many others.

Me: With more than 25 years of leadership experience, what advice would you give to the corporate rookies of today?

John: For starters, I think it’s very important to have a passion for what you do. You should care about it and enjoy what you are doing. I also encourage rookies to spend time thinking about their careers. To this day, it still surprises me how many take it day to day and don’t think about the long term. I believe that it is each person’s responsibility to be the CEO of his or her career. It is also very important to know where you want to go and what you want to do. Without such awareness it will be difficult to surround yourself with the right people and learn from those who could help you get there.

Me: Despite your hectic workload and busy travel schedule, you always spent much of your time coaching or mentoring. Why was this a priority?

John: We are all hired to get results. As a manager, growth and development of the people within the organization is critical, as we are each only as good as the team we lead. The best way that I knew how to make the team better is by offering challenging assignments and coaching for success; which is why I remained committed to such employee development programs. I also found it equally rewarding to help those who are eager to better themselves. It was sort of my way of giving something back.

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Me: What do you believe are the key attributes of a good coach and are there any parallels to being a good parent?

John: The key attributes of a good coach are to know the strengths and weaknesses of the people or players on your team. With this knowledge, a coach can place each team member in a job that puts them in the best position to win.

I also believe that a good coach needs to care about people and be willing to dish out tough love when needed; which is very similar to what you do as a parent. Having raised four children and coached 18 years of baseball, I consider the attributes of a good Parent, Manager and Sports Coach to be very similar. Attributes like integrity, passion, patience, dedication and commitment have helped me to experience success in each arena.

Me: Do you still find yourself learning today? If so, what techniques do you use to stay current?

John: Absolutely. I am always learning or trying to re-sharpen the saw. If not, one will quickly become obsolete. I complete all of the assignments in my coaching program but do most of my learning through reading and observation. I have learned a lot throughout my career by watching how others handle things. Observing what not to do can be equally as important as learning what to do.

Unfortunately, there is never enough time to read everything that I would like. In fact, I purchased a speed reading program to help me tackle more but haven’t found the time to get through it.

Me: Are your views of leadership today the same as when you started or has it been an evolution?

John: The basics of leadership have remained the same. Have a vision and clearly communicate that vision in such a way that others willingly follow.

In today’s world, the speed of change is drastically different. Communication is 24/7 and change is constant. Thirty years ago we didn’t have any of the tools that we do today. No internet, email or voice mail. This made it extremely difficult to direct people out of their comfort zones or to adopt new technologies.

The coaching I did in my early 30s was also perceived differently. Employees were fresh out of school and viewed me more as a peer. Today, I’m more like a father figure. I have a higher position and, hopefully, more wisdom acquired through the school of hard knocks. Therefore, employees are more willing to accept what I have to say.

It is very rewarding to see people that I coach develop. However, motivation has always been and will always be an internal engine. They have to do it. As a leader you have to walk the talk and hope they use some of your techniques.

Me: How have you managed family/work life balance throughout your career?

John: Each person needs to have their own set of values that they adhere to. I personally work to live rather than live to work. My career has always been important to me but never as important as my family. For 18 years, I coached baseball; which meant that I would have to leave work at 3:30pm two days per week. I’d make up for it in other ways. But the commitment to my children was well worth the sacrifice. I’m proud to say that I never missed any of my kid’s games or other big events in their life while being a parent.

When people are out of balance, they’re unhappy. My perception of success has always been on the balance as opposed to earning more money.

Me: As a leader, you tell it like it is and went above and beyond the call of duty by hosting general Q&A sessions to keep all employees better informed. Did it bother you when turnout or engagement was low?

John: To be honest with you, I was very frustrated by the low participation level. People were constantly saying that they never knew what’s going on in the company. So I made myself available twice per quarter through Q&As and All Hands meetings. I also did my homework in advance of each meeting to be sure that I could address most issues. Unfortunately, I would only receive three to four questions, usually from the same people, in each meeting. I also felt like I had to bribe employees with a free lunch to attend in person! For those who would call in on the phone, I’ve asked that they email me questions in advance but that never worked either. I thought about no longer hosting those meetings, but then wanted to remain true to making myself available.

I was always honest about results; most topics were usually fair game and I addressed the challenging issues. I am not sure what more I could have done to get the team engaged.

Me: What do you enjoy most when you are outside of the office?

John: Sports. In particular, Major League Baseball and the NFL. Family events. We have six grandchildren. I also enjoy flying (John has a private pilot’s license) but I don’t get to do that nearly as much as I would like. When it happens, my wife and I will typically get out for a day trip. I also enjoy leisure travel. Not business! The best vacation I ever had was 10 years ago in Rome. Seeing the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and the Roman Ruins was a big treat for me, as well as enjoying the amazing food.

Me: Now that you are retired can you say that you planned well for this period of your life?

John: Yes, after 2.5 years now, I am please with how it is working out. Planning for retirement is typically not something high on most people's list until they enter their 50's and that was true of myself. Like most people, I wanted to keep the same lifestyle and shift my priorities to things I enjoy (family, travel, reading, flying, ball games, etc.) and not worry about making enough money to support it. In addition, good health is the first requirement for a happy retirement so one can pursue their passions and I am fortunate to have that as well (thanks to good genes and not necessarily my own efforts).

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Me: Looking back at your career: What do you miss most and would you have done anything differently?

John: I miss the people and personal relationships the most. Although I keep up with a few people via email and an occasional lunch, they and I have moved on so we have less in common. I sometimes miss the intellectual challenge and working with suppliers. To be brutally honest, I miss being in a leadership position at times. I don't miss the 40 mile commute, business travel or the relationships with some difficult people.

Looking back, I stayed at the same company for too long mainly for financial reasons (stock appreciation) and should have moved on to a position of increased responsibility 5-7 years before I retired with more customer interaction like I had at previous companies. I enjoyed having direct responsibility vs. running a number of support groups like I did in my last role.

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"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:10:18+00:00

Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential to read."

David Tu, President, DCL Inc

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:28:33+00:00

David Tu, President, DCL Inc

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential Continue Reading

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found that it brings clarity to events that have affected my own professional career. I strongly recommend the read."

Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T15:44:27+00:00

Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found Continue Reading

"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T15:40:11+00:00

Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read this book."

Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-26T20:14:08+00:00

Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read Continue Reading

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Del Sordi knocks it out of the park."

Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:05:40+00:00

Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Continue Reading

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:08:32+00:00

Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-26T20:17:43+00:00

Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T16:03:36+00:00

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2015-03-30T12:25:09+00:00

Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-09-24T16:00:37+00:00

John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-09-25T07:10:06+00:00

Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed edge on how to succeed."

Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T15:43:04+00:00

Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed Continue Reading

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way. He is right on the mark and hits home as I relate back to the early part of my career. The corporate world is a very competitive environment that can be loaded with stress, ill feelings towards others as well as being a very unhealthy place to be. It is only those who understand how to identify roadblocks and how to handle them who thrive in such settings. In his book, Carmine has done an excellent job in highlighting all of this and giving some great advice to the corporate rookie, but I will also say that it is a refreshing read for us veterans that have been through it. I found that I was very entertained and recommend it to all."

Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
5.0
2014-03-14T15:37:11+00:00

Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way."
5.0
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