The Inspiration Behind the Name

After 20 years of having the privilege of leading, mentoring and developing great teams and managers in the corporate world, I decided to launch my own leadership training and development company. My first step in this new and exciting chapter of my life presented my first challenge; deciding on a company name.


I was having a hard time coming up with a name, so I decided to reach out to an entrepreneur and good friend of mine who runs a successful business of his own. I shared with him my struggle and he talked about how he named his company after his grandmother, who was a huge influence in his life. And it was in that very moment that the cloud blocking my creativity lifted and gave way to incredible clarity.


As I reflected back on my conversation with him, I laughed at the irony. It served as a good reminder of how the answers we seek are often times right in front of our eyes, but too close to perceive. As a certified executive coach, I often tell my clients that part of my role is acting as a sounding-board, which helps to bring self-awareness and self-discovery by tapping into the instinctual intelligence that dwells within every being to fully explore our human potential.


Our discussion reminded me of something that I often highlight during my management training workshops or while mentoring new and emerging leaders. I spend a great deal of time talking about how impressionable the initial years of practicing leadership because it is within these first years of leading that management skills and philosophies on how to manage take shape. The first year especially, tends to be the most crucial, as leadership styles start to take root.


That said, I admit that in most cases, the seeds are planted much earlier in life. All successful leaders are molded by the influence of other inspirational figures. In my case, it was my grandfather. Growing up in a quintessential immigrant Italian household with my grandparents living on the 2nd floor, I was blessed to have a great mentor who pursued excellence and exuded great wisdom and leadership skills. Whenever someone needed advice or guidance, he was the person to provide the most trusted counsel.


My grandfather was a tailor by trade. It's interesting when you take a moment to define what a tailor does and how it mirrors what great leaders do. A tailor asks the right questions then makes, mends, alters material - tailoring it to suit the needs of a specific customer and just like my grandfather, I take the same tailored approach to solving problems and providing solutions that propel businesses and leaders forward.


After much introspection, I decided to name my company Sarto Leadership Group. Sarto simply means a “tailor” in Italian – a fitting tribute to a great leader and mentor.


Rob Fonte
President and Founder