John Gronski

Leadership Expert. Author. Storyteller.

My purpose is to positively influence others to become virtuous people and leaders through my mentoring and through my example.

About John Gronski

John L. Gronski, Major General (U.S. Army Retired) is the founder and CEO of Leader Grove LLC, a keynote speaker, leadership seminar facilitator, executive coach, and author. John also serves as a leadership fellow for the Association of the United States Army.

John earned an MBA from Penn State Great Valley, a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, and has been trained as a Certified DISC Practitioner and Six Sigma Black Belt.

John has earned a superb reputation as an international speaker, a motivational storyteller, and a much sought-after leadership seminar facilitator. His presentations feature inspirational stories and wisdom gained from his own leadership experience and the experience of others.

My Values






“The beauty of life lies in all that is possible.” John Gronski

John has provided leadership assessments, training and/or keynote addresses to many large organizations and companies including NATO, General Dynamics, Nutanix, PNC Bank, the United States Army, the National Conference on Ethics in America at West Point, Pennsylvania National Guard, Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network, PECO Energy, Exelon, Comcast, the YMCA, the Freedom Alliance, Penn State University, Drexel University, Widener University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh,  Wilkes University, Lebanon Valley College, Albert Einstein Health Network, Buckman’s Inc., Delaware Valley Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Schlouch Inc., Boy Scouts of America, Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce, the Kulski Foundation, the USO, Rotary International, VFW, and the Young Presidents Organization.

The Ride

John is the author of the inspirational leadership book, “The Ride of Our Lives – Lessons on Life, Leadership, and Love”. The book tells the inspiring story about a family on a transformational journey as they bicycled across the USA.

This was 1983, no ubiquitous mobile phones, internet, email, Google, nor social media sites.  The closest thing to connectivity was a payphone along a dusty road. 

Through the journey they camped in a variety of places including farmer’s fields, state parks, behind churches and schools, town parks, fairgrounds, and even fraternity houses, John and Berti Gronski and their 15-month-old son Stephen experienced the best of Americans. 

John shares the lessons learned on this adventure that made a lasting impact on his leadership philosophy over the following decades as a military officer, combat Veteran, and business leader.

John is a proven combat leader with over forty years’ service in the United States Army including active duty and in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard where he led units at the company, battalion, brigade, and division level. His significant military assignments include serving as a Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe where he helped lead 30,000 Soldiers; Commanding General of the 28th Infantry Division (ID) where he led approximately 15,000 Soldiers; Brigade Commander of 2nd Brigade, 28th ID in Ramadi Iraq where he led 5,000 Soldiers and Marines in combat; Brigade Commander of 55th Brigade 28th ID where he led over 2,000 Soldiers on an overseas deployment to Europe; and Military Liaison Team Chief in Lithuania where he led a team of American and Lithuanian military personnel and civilians. 

“It is people, not things, who nurture our souls.” John Gronski

John is a graduate of numerous military schools to include the U.S. Army War College, the Command and General Staff Course, the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Ranger School, and Airborne School.  His military awards and decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Combat Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, and Basic Parachutist Badge.  John has also been awarded the National Infantry Association Order of Saint Maurice in the rank of Primicerius; The Association of the United States Army McLain Medal; the Republic of Lithuania Medal of Merit; the Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania; and the Golden Medal of the Polish Armed Forces.

In the private sector, John worked for many years at a family business, Paul Gronski Enterprises Inc., and then worked as a management consultant for approximately thirteen years with Greencastle Associates Consulting where he led implementation teams for Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications, health care, and utility industries. 

John is a graduate of the University of Scranton where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Penn State University, and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. John has attended Alvernia University as a doctoral student in the corporate leadership program. He has been certified as a Project Management Professional and he holds a master certificate as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University.

“You’ve got to develop your internal attributes before you could have a positive effect on others. You must throw wood on your campfire before it casts light.”

John Gronski

John is the recipient of the Frank J. O’Hara Award in the Government Service Category, the highest award bestowed jointly by the University of Scranton and the Alumni Society.  He is a recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award and James E. West Award. The Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars presented the prestigious Eagle Award to John in recognition for his combat service and his leadership of the 28th Infantry Division. John was awarded the Washington Crossing Foundation Award by the Washington Crossing Foundation for service and dedication to the ideals of our Founding Fathers.  

John was raised by his father, a single parent, and was the youngest of seven children. John has an entrepreneurial mindset. His father, a WWII Veteran, opening a garage and used car business after returning from the war, and John grew up understanding the need to provide customer service in order to grow a business. His father grew the small business into a large enterprise that became a landmarking Northeast Pennsylvania.

John is a thoughtful leader and he has a reputation as a servant leader.

Leadership Philosophy




Vision and Plan of Action
Decision making


Positive energy
Overcoming challenges