People

What Makes A Leader: Part 1

Posted on June 30, 2012 by


Joe Magnano / CLI Worldwide Transportation / Laguna Hills, Calif.

Joe Magnano of CLI Worldwide Transportation in Laguna Hills, Calif.
Joe Magnano of CLI Worldwide Transportation in Laguna Hills, Calif.

> Leadership is about three things: Vision, empathy and communication. Don’t just focus on the bricks; see the whole building. Remember that everyone has a story, so be patient. Talk. Explain. Ask. Listen.

> Inspire trust and clarify purpose, it empowers people to unleash their talent and put their intelligence, creativity and resourcefulness to use.

> I draw inspiration from Steve Jobs. He was innovative, passionate, and had family values.

> I love the challenges that each day brings. The idea of conquering them motivates me daily.

> None of the Town Car replacement options have quite hit the nail on the head in my mind. This is a time-will-tell issue. As more companies get client feedback over the next couple of years, we will have a better idea of what the standard will be.

> Keep family first. Live life every day.

> Patience is needed in every situation.


Matt Assolin / Nikko’s Worldwide Chauffeured Services / Houston, Texas

Matt Assolin (L) standing with his father, Nick Assolin, of Houston-based Nikko's Worldwide Chauffeured Services.
Matt Assolin (L) standing with his father, Nick Assolin, of Houston-based Nikko's Worldwide Chauffeured Services.


> I was battalion commander of an ROTC unit my senior year of high school, responsible for about 250 kids at the age of 17. I bring a sense of military leadership to the company.

> Leaders are made, not born. Your people have to trust you. Demonstrate that your judgment is sound and they will follow you.

> A strong leader is direct and tells people if they’re doing a bad job or a good job, or that it can or can’t be done a certain way.

> I think that so much needs to be done to rewrite the rules in this industry. There are people who rip-off clients and vendors and affiliates, owners who screw over their own employees when it comes to pay. I’m sorry, but what industry allows this? In our industry it’s commonplace.

> You don’t play with people’s money, because it’s not right. Everybody needs to get paid and make a living.

> When you make mistakes — and it’s a when, not an if — it’s about what you do to compensate and save the relationship with the client, like, “You know what? Dispatch screwed up. I’m sorry. What can I do to make it up to you?”

> Create brand awareness through little details. That will help differentiate your company from competitors.

> The customer experience is top priority. That’s how you succeed in this business.

> I admire Starbucks. Starbucks is about the customer experience and the quality of the coffee. The experience at every Starbucks is the same.

> The most important lesson I’ve learned from my Dad is keeping your word.

> It’s not about how quickly your company grows; it’s about longevity and placing things in place to foster your growth for years or decades.


Myron Fonseca / Ambassador Limousine & Transportation / Miami, Fla.

Myron Fonseca of Miami-based Ambassador Limousine & Transportation
Myron Fonseca of Miami-based Ambassador Limousine & Transportation


> When I started my first business at 19 years old, I put down a deposit for office space. An older gentleman named Sal told me what paperwork I needed in order to occupy the space. I called the city office to get a particular permit and waited for a call back. When Sal asked me if I got all the paperwork, I told him I was waiting for the person from the city to call me back. To which Sal replied, “Don’t wait for that person to do your job.” If I wanted it to get done, I needed to work hard to get it done.

> Most young entrepreneurs walk into business intent on turning a million overnight. At 20, I thought along those lines. That is rarely the case. It takes time.

> Great leaders surround themselves with people who are more successful and intelligent than they are. They watch and learn.

> I would love to spend time with Henry Ford. I would talk with him about his visions and how he figured out to hire the right people for his company.

> Life is by far the greatest learning environment. You have to take calculated risks to be successful. However, you have to know that the potential benefits far exceed the costs in taking those risks, and you have to manage the risk and its potentially negative effects.

> Building a successful business requires steadfast cultivation of networks, innovation, leadership and timing, among other things. Constant pursuit of perfection and adaptation.

Related: What Makes A Leader: Part 2

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