Q&A with Michael Mellano, CEO of Mellano & Company and 2019 MAP Presidential Award Winner

​​2019 MAP Presidential Award Winner Mellano & Company’s CEO Michael Mellano knows family business. The company’s roots go back to 1925, as does their devotion to growing and distributing flowers of exceptional beauty and in fact, they state. “We’re not just in the flower business. We’re in the beauty business.” 

The MAP Presidential Award celebrates the excellence of a highly diverse group of leaders who are demonstrating extraordinary dedication to leading themselves, their teams and their organization, and have implemented the MAP Management System™ to achieve breakthrough results. 

“Recent times have proven difficult for many companies and Mellano & Company is no exception,” said MAP Senior Consultant John Acampora. “However, they are emerging with a positive spirit along with the discipline of a proven management system that will keep them moving forward as a strong family business.”

In a candid conversation with Michael, he gets real about what it means to be a CEO of a family-owned business during COVID times and shares secrets to his success.

Q: As CEO, what has been your biggest challenge during COVID?

A: Helping my team focus in the midst of an ever-changing horizon and the emotional rollercoaster associated with the instability. Before COVID hit, we were on a high – hitting on all cylinders and breaking sales records. In just a few days, we went from everything to nothing – no business coming in, no clarity and no indicators of what to expect going forward. 

Q: What steps did you take to overcome the upheaval and keep your positive culture in tact? 

A: As CEO, I had to stay optimistic and focused to help my team weather the storm. We believe in teamwork and pride ourselves on being a business that goes beyond blood. Everyone’s opinion matters, regardless of their title. When I think of our team, the words longevity, commitment and passion are the first that pop in my head. 

I don’t want to be the smartest person in the room, and the team knows that. Everyone was all hands on deck answering the question of, “What can WE do?” We had lots of time to think when the business came to a screeching halt – from booming like never before to a complete shutdown – to explore options and take in everyone’s opinions. I made it a point to be strategic in my decision making and avoid any knee-jerk reactions. 

Now the bumps in the rollercoaster are leveling off and we’re settling into a bit of a more predictable rhythm, which wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t stayed focused and strategic. 

Q: How did your MAP Senior Consultant John Acampora assist you during this time?

A: John helped us focus on metrics, minimize distraction and avoid excuses that often coincide with the distractions. He always gets us micro-focused on what really matters. We want to operate and deliver better than our competitors and John helps us do just that. He recognized the uniqueness of our company and is the right fit in personality and philosophy. He’s been key in helping us get back to stability. 

Q: What piece of advice do you have for others CEOs, specifically leaders within family businesses that have a rich history such as Mellano & Company? 

A: Embrace diversity and breathe. Maintain objectivity and patience. Do not dismiss diversity in options, rather capture and embrace them (which is not easy). And always remember… family business IS personal. 

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Are you ready to take your business to the next level in focus, accountability and alignment? The MAP Management System’s key benefits include:

Improving productivity and profitability

Identifying your organization's goals that align to key strategies

Driving execution and accountability

Improving leadership effectiveness through executive coaching

Creating focus, alignment and accountability

Contact us today (map@mapconsulting.com) to learn about how our consultants help implement the MAP Management System uniquely for each client. 

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