(610) 463-5492 JOHN@JOHNGRONSKI.COM

The Boys Club

The Boys' Club

Defining Moments from the Life of John Gronski
There are events in life that reach the level of defining moments. These are moments or timeframes that teach a lesson and generally build confidence in some way. I remember first visiting the Scranton Boys Club when I was about 14 years old. I was a freshman in high school. I grew up just outside of the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania. I played basketball with a group of friends every winter at the Scranton Boys Club from my freshman through my senior year of high school. I was a poor basketball player, possessing very little athleticism, but I loved playing at the Boys Club with my friends. I had grown up in a mostly white community. Playing at the Boys Club opened the door to friendships with a more diverse group of people. This was a formative step in my youth that began to open my eyes to the world beyond my neighborhood. The reason this experience at the Scranton Boys Club was a defining moment in my life is because it was the first time I found that I had the ability to make friends and develop a network outside of my family, neighborhood, and school. To a small-town boy like me, the city of Scranton was bigtime. As it turned out, I developed long term friendships with adult staff at the Boys Club and felt it was an institution that I could go back to rekindle friendships, even after being away for years at a time. Establishing those friendships with people who were clearly outside of my tribe gave me a tremendous amount of confidence to spread my wings and begin to branch out from my hometown of about 3,000 people. I learned lessons about relating to people and how to make friends at that Boys Club, and perhaps, more importantly, I gained confidence that I could make new friends, even with others who grew up with experiences different from mine. I learned that for the most part, all people have similar wants and needs. Most people want to be liked. They want to make new friends. People reciprocate when they are treated with kindness. Karma is a powerful thing. You reap what you sow. A smile and a little empathy and consideration go a long way.

Lead By Asking

I have a question. What is a powerful leadership tool that can enhance team dynamics, promote growth, and drive success? Good leaders are good communicators and good communicators are good listeners. Good leaders must ask their teammates and other stakeholders...

Penn State Great Valley Commencement Speech

On Friday, May 3, 2024, I had the pleasure of delivering the commencement speech for the graduate student graduation at the Penn State Great Valley campus in Malvern, Pennsylvania.  View the speech here   Following is the text of the speech I delivered to the...

Developing Resilient Teams

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine Teams do not rise to the occasion; they perform at their level of training. This was demonstrated very clearly in April 1970 when Gene Kranz and his team at NASA mission control successfully brought the astronauts of Apollo 13 back...

Lead By Asking

I have a question. What is a powerful leadership tool that can enhance team dynamics, promote growth, and drive success? Good leaders are good communicators and good communicators are good listeners. Good leaders must ask their teammates and other stakeholders...

Penn State Great Valley Commencement Speech

On Friday, May 3, 2024, I had the pleasure of delivering the commencement speech for the graduate student graduation at the Penn State Great Valley campus in Malvern, Pennsylvania.  View the speech here   Following is the text of the speech I delivered to the...

Developing Resilient Teams

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine Teams do not rise to the occasion; they perform at their level of training. This was demonstrated very clearly in April 1970 when Gene Kranz and his team at NASA mission control successfully brought the astronauts of Apollo 13 back...

Motivating Others – A Guide For Leaders

When I speak to junior leaders someone usually poses the following question: How do I motivate those I lead? When I ask groups of leaders about some of their biggest challenges, motivating others is always on the list. Leaders must have the ability to motivate their...

What Attribute Do You Look For in a Leader?

What attributes do you look for in a leader? I asked this question of a group of aspiring leaders I recently spoke to and here are the top five attributes this group said they look for in their leaders. Call it like it is. Provide direct communication and feedback....

What Good Leaders Do

Millions of Americans watched the women's NCAA Final Four basketball game between UConn and Iowa on Friday, April 5, 2024. With seconds on the clock and UConn behind by one point and making a run at going ahead with a game-winning bucket, a referee stopped the game...

Civilianizing Mission Command

The Army does a great job of training leaders who are both competent and display character. To be effective, leaders must demonstrate both. General Norman Schwarzkopf made this crystal clear when he spoke to the corps of cadets at West Point on May 1, 1991. One of the...

Leadership Must Practice Peopleship

I believe Admiral McRaven was spot on when he wrote something to the effect that leading well is simple, but it is still not easy. The reason leadership is simple but not easy is because leadership involves the human dynamic. Leadership is about people. The principles...

Does Leadership Really Make a Difference?

Recently I was in Indianapolis speaking at a business conference. I stayed at the Marriott in the downtown area. I never stayed in a more friendly hotel. Everyone who worked there was extremely courteous and helpful, and I immediately felt at home. I asked myself why...

Iron-Sharpened Leadership with IHLA

Had a wonderful time presenting "Iron-Sharpened Leadership" to the many business owners and executives who attended the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen's Association conference in Indianapolis. These incredible leaders came away with several important leadership takeaways...
Share This