The Quintessential Leadership Success Formula

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being the Master of Ceremonies (MC) at our multi-day fiscal year kickoff meeting. Over 140 people from around the world joined us in Florida for the “Mission Possible” themed New Year event.

The orchestration of this event was a great reminder of the quintessential leadership success formula. It is never about you. My mission possible life and career has been inspired by these three success elements. 

Reticent Preparation

The execution of a successful multi-day conference requires a tremendous amount of preparation. Here is an incomplete peek of the behind the scenes activities to get to flawless execution of the kickoff meeting.

  • A theme needs to be developed along with the creation of all the presentations months ahead of the event. 
  • For this event, we needed an integrated “Voice of the Customer”. Hours of research followed on YouTube for global customer videos on either the future of retail or successful business transitions models.
  • On day three, I moderated a live customer panel (the image at the opening of this post). Getting the panelists together in a casual dinner the night prior to their stage appearance led to very powerful messages delivered by our customers on stage
  • For the MC and key members of the “run of show” support teams, each day started at 6 AM and ended at 11 PM. 

Success requires an abundance of reticent preparation. It is the homework that you do behind the limelight that leads to a successful event and may I add to your career. 

Have Fun

 “Mission Possible” thematically captures the position of our growing retail business in an industry being transformed by technological forces. I had a choice at the start to either be reservedly stoic or create memorable fun motivational moments. 

As a team, we decided to open with the musical theme from Mission Impossible television series. Spontaneously with a simple pair of sunglasses, I transformed myself into Tom Cruise.

On stage I commented that being Italian, it was my pleasure to start this conference as Tom Cruisino. The “Mission Possible” event was off to a memorable start. 


The positive response from the audience led to planning the opening for the next two days. On day two, to the theme of the “Godfather”, Don Corleone appeared on stage with a purchased TY stuffed cat as the movie prop. The Don received a call from Tommy Cruisino that this audience needed some reinforcement on the “Mission Possible” theme. 

Agile Consultation

On day three, from behind the curtain, Rocky Balboa (white hotel robe and borrowed boxing gloves) swaggered onstage to the theme of “Eye of the Tiger.” The Godfather called Rocky as the meeting seemed to require some muscle to reinforce the “Mission Possible” theme. 



Life is too short. It’s not where you start that matters. It’s where you finish that makes all the difference. You can spend each day feeling sorry for yourself, being de-motivated, and dying at an early age. Alternatively, you can approach each day with the glass half full. 

For me being convivial means active positive engagement with individuals and teams. Create memorable motivating moments that inspire others to greatness.

Success is contagious. Readily available items such as a pair of sunglasses, a stuffed cat, and a hotel robe can be the transformational start of a new bright day full of enduring positive possibilities.

Thank You FY 18 Kickoff Team

In a previous post, I wrote that “a lesson that I learned very early in my life is to be continuously thankful for any kindness, positive feedback, and personal or professional milestones reached. This can be as simple as a ‘Thank You’ email which to this day I still sent very many.”

This past week, I hosted a celebratory luncheon with most of the team members that supported the successful kick off meeting. 


It is all the smiles around this table that inspired this post. Never forget to say thank you. All success, especially yours is a team sport. As Steve Jobs correctly stated, “great things in business (and in life) are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” 

The quintessential leadership success formula is very simple. Prepare to succeed through gobs of reticent preparation, have fun knowing that your audience prefers inspiration, and do not ever forget that success is a team sport by saying thank you. Wishing you all a “Mission Possible” healthy and prosperous future.



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