Tami Gaines Business Leader Interview

Welcome to Business Innovators Magazine…Please introduce yourself and a brief thumbnail sketch of your background.


TG: Thanks so much for this opportunity! My name is Tami Gaines, and I have a very holistic view of business and leadership because of my background. I received my MBA from Columbia University and went to work at Colgate Palmolive in their management training program. From there I joined a very small company that revitalized older brands that still had equity with consumers. I relaunched brands like Gold Bond Powder and Ovaltine. I was offered a position in Virginia as Director, US Marketing for a 100-year-old company that had just gone public. Through portfolio management, new product development and changing the culture of this manufacturing company to a marketing company, the stock price went from $6 to $26 when I left. 18 years ago, I left corporate and started my own consulting company where I was a “brain for hire”. I helped companies with business plan development, strategic planning, marketing strategy and was also a venture capitalist for several years. During all of this, my personal life took a turn that I didn’t see coming. Because of my professional and personal journey, I’m often called on as a motivational speaker and trainer.

BI: What would you say is the area in business that you are most passionate about and why?

TG: I am passionate about building human capacity whether individually or within organizations. People tend to play small. They have more in them than they are showing. When put in the right situation (good or bad), your power is revealed. I love helping people and companies identify those moments where they find their power.

BI: How are you different than your competitors?

TG: I don’t use theoretical ideas or concepts I learned in a book when I train people. My life is my classroom. I only speak on what I’ve experienced, and I come at it from a place of insight and learning. I use accelerated learning techniques to ensure that my audience is engaged and in an on-going state of learning and application. Finally, I stay connected to my audiences long after the engagement is over. Most speakers and trainers leave the stage and leave the participants behind to fend for themselves. I offer on-going support and have been called on to do follow-up training, presentations, and even individual coaching to ensure that the progress they’ve made is anchored.

BI: Please tell me about any recent business accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?

TG: I developed a customized leadership development program for a global non-profit that moved people from being “managers” to “leaders”. The 4-day program was so successful that I continue to get “check-in” letters from the participants sharing their successes…3 years later! The program was ultimately accredited by an organization that allows participants to receive continuing education credits when they complete the program.

BI: What Leadership qualities in Leaders do you most admire and why?

TG: I admire what I teach! I put all leaders through the T.E.S.T. “T” for Transparency and Integrity. “E” for Emotional Intelligence. “S” for Servant Leadership. “T” for Team Development. Ultimately, the best leaders are transparent in their goals and have integrity in dealing with those they lead. They are able to demonstrate emotional intelligence basically says that self-leadership (controlling your emotions) is the first level of leadership. Servant leaders enrich the lives of others. Team development is the ability to identify highly-qualified individuals and use practices and philosophies that create a cohesive, productive team.

BI: What has been a key element of your success?                            

TG: There are a few keys to my success. First, I’m a lifelong learner. I learn from everyone I come in contact with, those I read about and unexpected situations that are presented to me. Second, I’m resilient. I have developed a muscle that knows how to work through challenging situations and come through them stronger and smarter. Third, I know how to bring together diverse people with individual agendas and unify them toward a common goal. My ability to assemble and lead teams to achieve those things they never thought possible, has been a critical element of my success.

BI: What are some of the business projects that you are currently working on that you are excited about and why?

TG: I’m refining my ProTeam training program which uses sports as a backdrop for teaching leadership. I’ve run the program successfully in two of the largest hospital systems in New York City, and I’m working to expand it and introduce it to industries that wouldn’t otherwise consider it. I’ve taught it in the New York City Department of Corrections, and I’m looking forward to additional opportunities to teach leadership to unsuspecting leaders!

BI: What are 1 or 2 things you would like to say to a prospective client who stumbles across this interview?

TG: I’d welcome a chance to have a conversation to talk about the challenges you or your organization are currently facing so that I can develop a customized leadership training program. Employees are individual people. If we can raise the capacity of individuals, we expand the capacity of your organization. Let’s talk! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Business Innovators Magazine - National News Syndication