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7 Questions with Adam Giovia

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Jonno White

7 Questions with Adam Giovia

Name: Adam Giovia

Current title: Chief Administrative Officer and Vice President

Current Organisation: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace

Adam Giovia has worked in the retail industry for over 23 years. Throughout his work history, he has worked in multiple levels of leadership. Adam was a Sales Manager for CompUSA, a computer retail outlet for 10 years, a Store Manager for Hollywood Entertainment, a national video store chain, a Staffing Manager for an Independent Supermarket Chain, an Area Human Resources Manager for Lowe's Home Improvement and most recently held the titles of Human Resources Direction, Chief Administrative Officer and Vice President for Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace, an independent grocer in New York and New Jersey.

7 Questions with Adam Giovia

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1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

The most challenging aspect of the role is finding the time in a day to ensure you are interacting with and assisting your team. Within a large enterprise there are so many different aspects of the business with large teams that need leadership, guidance and support. You need to have very strong time management skills and be ok with your plans having to change at a moment's notice.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

When I was hired for my organization, I was initially hired as a Human Resources Director. My task upon being hired was to create a Human Resources Department and be ready to double the size of the organization.

During this time, I built a strong Human Resources Team. I placed Human Resources Coordinators within my store locations to ensure our store personnel had someone they can go to.

We created all of our policies and procedures needed to support the organization, while creating a strong benefits package and improving on our employee engagement.

Within the first year, turnover went from 120% to 40%.

At the same time, I was becoming involved in the company's operations. I noticed that the store teams were lacking guidance and structure. There were no procedures on how to accomplish their tasks, and very little guidance.

At the same time, I noticed similar concerns within the rest of the organization. Marketing, Pricing, IT and Accounting all needed some level of support.

Regardless of my title, I felt an obligation to support the rest of our teams. Ownership noticed this, and promoted me to Vice President on my 1 year anniversary.

After growing the company with structure and process, and building strong teams throughout the company, I was promoted into my current role and trusted by ownership to act as their conduit.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

My family life and balance is exceptionally important to me, so I wake up early enough to see my children before they leave for school. Upon coming home, I exercise 5 times a week which allows me time to decompress and plan my next day. While sleep is important, I typically only get 5-6 hours of sleep each day, as I'm always thinking of ways to improve the company or help one of my team.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

What you say and do, impacts more than just people's work life. How you lead your team impacts their personal life just as well. People remember what you say and do, so it is important to ensure that you are being the person they need. I believe you have to truly care about your team to be a great leader.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

N/A

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

You lead by example.

Your team is in their positions for a reason. It is up to you to ensure you are getting the most out of the team and provide support to them. The more you empower the team and provide them an opportunity to succeed, the stronger leaders you will have in your organization.

You have to withhold the desire to take things over, and really allow your team to showcase their talents. Ensure you are providing feedback and praise to them to keep morale high.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

I'm currently in the process of relocating my family to another state, which required me to resign from my current role.

I've been at my current organization for almost 7 years, and in that time have watched both the companies and employees grow.

When I announced my resignation, the amount of emails, texts, cards and letters I've received are overwhelming.

I've always believed that leadership is not just about achieving company goals and metrics. I've felt the responsibility to help those that work with me achieve both personal and professional goals.

Reading all of the communication that I'm receiving about how I made an impact in their lives, not just jobs, gave me the most rewarding feeling I can ever have.

Out of all my accomplishments throughout my career, it is the feedback from those I work with that mean more to me than anything else.