Monday, October 29, 2012

Jeffrey Gitomer, International Man of Wisdom

Curitiba, Brasil: that is where I was when I realized how blessed I am in my professional life.

Sitting in the breakfast area of the Full Jazz Hotel, I was enjoying the pleasant breeze of a Brazilian morning, noshing on the brightest of fruit, drinking the heaviest of coffees, and listening to the laughter of Jeffrey.

It was our last morning of a five-day trip to Curitiba, where Jeffrey had addressed an international audience of 450 adoring fans. He was happy, content, and in his element.

We were spending the morning working, reflecting on what the past days experiences had taught us, and laughing, because when you are with Jeffrey, laughing is the one constant.

And then it happened. In the quiet after-math of our laughter, the wisdom of my boss, mentor, and friend, emerged. He paused and his tone lowered and he taught me. He transformed from the public figure that most only know him as, to the gentle, wise soul, I so frequently get to see. And in that moment, he took the perfect opportunity to do what only he can do, teach me about me and about who I can become.

You see that is what great mentors do. They teach. They encourage. They share. They enlighten. And they share with you their wisdom and their laughter so that when it seeps into the deepest depths of your soul, you learn.

I am blessed. I have had these fleeting moments of mentorship enough in my three and a half years of working with Jeffrey, that I gobble them up with excitement when they occur. They are my Gitomer Gold Nuggets that I treasure, reflect on, and keep for future use. They have molded me into a believer that I am destined to be more than what I set out for myself to achieve. 

Jeffrey is not a conventional boss by any means. But he has mastered the two elements that allow his people to flourish around him, encouragement and clarifying teaching moments.

Jeffrey writes and speaks on the lost secret of leadership: encouragement. As an employee who has been on the receiving end of leader encouragement, I can testify for him that this is one of his best principles. He encourages me to do more, be better, and try harder. And he does so, with a genuine grace, that the only valid response is a smile, heightened self-esteem, and positive energy. When leaders encourage their people, they will have happier employees producing more.

But more than encouraging me, he takes the time to enlighten me about myself. It’s quite brilliant if you think about it. He is teaching me about how to be better by talking with me, about me. Who doesn’t want to hear someone talk about them (positively)? Jeffrey is a wise observer, who notices the smallest of details, that if slightly shifted, it could change something from good to best. These clarifying teaching moments go something like this:

• We are conversing about something related to him, his company (Buy Gitomer), his writing, his speaking, or his family. Then he will soften and tell me to “take a note.”
• Jeffrey will ask me a question, about me.
• As I answer, he will listen intently.
• Then the magic comes…he tells me his answer. And it’s the best present he can give me. It’s his experience, knowledge, wisdom, and humor all wrapped up with a bow of love. And he gives it to me, unselfishly so that I can unwrap it and use it to make myself a better version of who he already knows I will become.

This is the Jeffrey Gitomer I know.
The Jeffrey Gitomer I work for.
The Jeffrey Gitomer I respect.
The Jeffrey Gitomer I admire.
The Jeffrey Gitomer I soak up.
The Jeffrey Gitomer I learn from.
And the Jeffrey Gitomer I laugh with.

His words always encourage, always protect, and always push me to see what he already sees. And all the while, take note: we never lack laughter or learning.

View a photo album of our trip on my Sales Barista Facebook Page.

I’m your Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista. How may I help you help yourself?

Stephanie Melish, one of the few, hand-selected, Gitomer-Certified Speakers is the ONLY Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista in the world! Stephanie trains, sells, and speaks to companies and associations all over the country. To book Stephanie for your next event, please visit or contact the friendly folks at Buy Gitomer via email at or by calling 704-333-1112.


  1. The smartest people know they have so much to learn. Stephanie is blessed to work in a learning environment. I'm "educating" my team tomorrow and I completely changed my agenda thanks to Stephanie's and Jeffery's articles today. Thank you.

  2. Great post and tribute to Mr. Gitomer. Honest, heart-felt sincerity makes someone a true mentor. A good mentor and real leader will accomplish far more than a great manager can ever dream of accomplishing.
    I lived in Brazil on two different occasions and visited many times. Glad to hear you were well received and seemed to have a great trip.

  3. There is nothing like a great mentor. Thanks for sharing your experience as a mentee of Jeffrey Gitomer!

  4. Awesome post. You are so fortunate to work for such a wise man. You get him live and in person every day. I feel just as you do when you said "His words always encourage, always protect, and always push me to see what he already sees." He has done that for me through his books and newsletters.