About Jim

Do you want to lead a championship organization? Do you want to innovate and lead the resulting change? You’re in the right place.

Great leadership is something you can see and feel, but it’s difficult to put your finger on what exactly makes a leader great. Have you worked with a great leader? Have you been on a championship team at work? I hope you’ve had that experience, although it is rare.

It’s obvious when great leadership is missing. We’ve all had that experience. There are short term impacts from poor leadership, but more importantly there are long term effects on an organization, the people, and the leader’s success.

The rest of this site is about what we do and how we can best help you succeed. Explore.

The phrase: “It’s not personal, it’s business.” doesn’t fly here. When I work with clients, it’s very personal. This page is about where I come from, which is the foundation for the philosophies that you’ll see throughout this site and in my writings.

“I don’t know everything. But I want to.
I love to learn and I love to teach.”

Humble beginnings in the Italian dirt

Olives in Calabria

All four of my grandparents were born to peasants in Italy, working in the fields. They came to America in their teens during the early part of the last century in the midst of the industrial age. While my parents were born in the United States, they didn’t learn to speak English until they started school.

I remember so well sitting with my grandmother as she told me stories of her journey to America during World War I, with German U-boats shooting at her ship as they crossed the Atlantic. I brought my friends to hear these wonderful stories and that’s when I realized she spoke a beautiful mix of Italian and English that they couldn’t understand.

My grandparents vision was generational. Their sacrifice, risk, and courage were not for themselves but for their future generations. Their life was about legacy. This immigrant upbringing shaped me significantly.

The Aha Moment

Commerce started early with a grass cutting and car waxing business. I then managed a pizza and sub shop at 16. The Ohio State University and a Finance degree included full-time work and business travel.

During this first ‘real’ job, a stint in the accounting department changed everything. As a staff accountant for five business entities I provided advice to the business leaders. I discovered this was my calling. The great leadership mentors I encountered there solidified this calling.

I then became the second employee of a consulting firm and participated in shaping the growth of the firm as we worked with 14 of the top 25 banks. This championship team, sustained over eight years, contributed leadership lessons that cannot be taught in any school. I learned more about advising top executives, learned about sustaining growth, and also discovered I had to create my own firm.

Transition Management Advisors

Transition Management Advisors started in 1995. By design we are structured as a boutique advisory firm which we think is best for our clients. We have a permanent staff of one Holly Canterucci(Holly, my wife) who is a brilliant client support expert. Her background is in planning very large corporate events and she works closely with our client meeting planners who bring me in to speak to their audiences. We also have a corps of contractors to help us serve our clients, predominantly large organizations.

Since I first put on a tie to go to work at 17 years old, the focus has been on leading large organizational change. We started there with the publication of Change Project Management – The Next Step. In this work we focus on the leadership of change, helping you to do it right so you can reap the benefits of your innovations. The natural other side of the change coin is innovation. This led to the publication of Personal Brilliance, a unique approach to developing an individual habit of innovation.

Day in the life

My view of life balance is a bit different than most. The goal is a seamless life that blends business and personal. I like to do different things every day. Maybe talking with a CEO at 7:30 in the morning who is getting ready to address her team, followed by a radio interview, writing a blog post, followed by keynoting a leadership retreat for the top 150 leaders in a multinational corporation. If I am helping you in some way lead innovation and change in your organization, I’m having a great day.

Frankie playing FrisbeeThis means a lot of airplanes. When I’m home though, Frankie our Border Collie, is by my side and enforces a rigid fitness program. However, she’s a great white collar work dog. She knows a video conference means it’s time for her to take a nap. The other place you’ll find us is on a golf course. Sometimes I even work with clients while playing (we can talk).

You

The focus of our work is predominantly directed to leaders and leadership. If you get leadership right, you can you do great things. The umbrella phrase that encompasses my leadership work is The New Leadership Normal. This will be the subject of my next book. As a side note, I don’t write a book until I’ve taught and discussed the principles with thousands of people so the content is most relevant. This site gives you the ability to participate.

We work directly with CEOs and their teams, as well as leaders throughout your organization (people like you) in a variety of ways, not the least of which is through custom video leadership development lessons.

Spend some time reading The New Leadership Normal blog. I share my actionable ideas there every week. We can also connect one-on-one online each Saturday morning to keep your leadership muscles in shape; and you can participate in our active LinkedIn Group.

To connect in person, give me a call (614.783.6565) or send an email. I love kicking around leadership ideas and would love to hear from you.

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