How I Work: 19 quick questions with John Giannuzzi, Carolinas Managing Partner at Deloitte

How I Work: 19 quick questions with John Giannuzzi, Carolinas Managing Partner at Deloitte
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John Giannuzzi is the Managing Partner of the Carolinas at Deloitte.

He’s been with the company for 17 years, and previously served as the Partner in Charge of the Carolinas/Tennessee Audit Group, working mostly in the healthcare and manufacturing industries. Here’s how John works.

(1) How do you stay organized?

I use Notes all the time, at traffic lights, wherever, things just pop in my head. I go to Notes and they backup to my computer. And I have a great assistant, Christina. She keeps me on track.

(2) Do you use social media and do you have a favorite platform?

Well, I count LinkedIn. So yes, I use LinkedIn. I want to be prepared on who I’m meeting with. I want to see what interests people have. So I use that pretty regularly.


I will take a peek at Instagram, depending on the topic. I have four boys, they keep me out of it for the most part.

I’m trying to figure out, personally, how I can communicate more broadly using social media. I haven’t been in this role for long, and so I haven’t quite figured out the best communication style for me.

(3) What’s one thing you’ve learned about managing people?

You have to build trust with people one encounter at a time. I think if you do that it permeates.

People say, “OK, we can trust this leader. He’s got our back.”

Really embracing diversity inclusion in decision-making is also part of my management style.

(4) What time do you go to bed and what time do you wake up?

I go to bed at 11:30 p.m and wake up at 5:30 a.m. No alarm. I don’t need it. I don’t stress, so it’s not like I lay awake or wake up and think about issues. That’s not what I do. But my body needs a certain amount of sleep.

I try to sneak another hour on the weekends. They talk about eight hours and all that, but my body needs six.

It works for me, because I’ve missed four hours of work in 35 years for illness.

(5) You said you don’t stress. What’s the secret?

I just don’t believe in stress. You have to stay calm, and you just have to think clearly. You have to be a rock for people.

I mean, I’m intense. I have energy around an issue, but I don’t sit around. I equate stress with worry. That’s just not a good place to be. I think if you can approach things in a calm clear-headed manner, you can get to a good solution, whatever that may be.

My parents are 91, and they have their own house, and they go to dinner. My mother’s pretty rational and calm, and my dad can get pretty high-strung. Maybe it’s one of those things that you emulate pieces of what your parents do, and you see the things you don’t think are that effective and you go polar opposite. My dad was high-strung to some extent early on, and that’s put me in more of a relaxed mode after seeing that. I’ve just seen it work effectively.

(6) What’s your commute like?

It’s non-existent. I live in Myers Park. It’s somewhere between four and six minutes depending on traffic. In fact sometimes it’s easier for me to hit the print button here and print a document for the next day than it is to do it on my computer at home.

I’m pretty much constantly on call, but that doesn’t bother me.

I love what I do.

(7) What time do you typically leave the office?

I don’t know if there’s a set time, really, it depends.

This week I have something every night.

It’s really hard to say, you know, last night I had a business dinner and tonight I have something with the relatives. Last week I was at Charlotte Ballet. There’s just a lot that comes with being part of the community.

(8) How do you spend the first hour of your day starting from when you wake up?

First, emails. At 5:30 a.m. I’ll see what’s come in from overseas and I’ll clear that out so I have a clear conscience going into the morning.

I need a workout at least every other day, so I go to the Dowd Y and I’m on the bike plugged into CNBC.

In the summertime instead of the Y, I go to Myers Park Country Club, and I swim when the sun comes up. I feel like I’m in California because the sun comes up over the horizon and it’s delightful.

I read The Wall Street Journal when I’m done and have some kind of juice drink and then off to work.

(9) What are some habits you have and why do you have them?

I don’t really believe in habits because I think most of them are problematic.

I don’t drink coffee because I think you just kind of get hooked on it.

I’m just not a big habit person.

Like, for an example, New Year’s resolutions. You don’t need a New Year’s resolution to start something that you want to do effectively. Just do it. Pick a day.

(10) What’s a purchase of less than $100 that’s most improved your life?

I don’t know how close to $100 AirPods are, but if it’s slightly over it’s a worthwhile purchase. Those things bring flexibility.

The other thing is those Tiles. I don’t lose things much, but having one in your wallet and one your keys, how many times have you left your keys at the Y? Then you just hit the button and there it is.

(11) What everyday thing are you really good at?

On Sunday nights I look at what my week looks like coming up. I try to do that with Christine throughout the week before, but I really zero in on a Sunday.

“What do I want to accomplish this week and why?”

I said earlier I don’t stress, so I don’t have Sunday scaries, but it’s preparing for the week.

(12) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

You only have one chance to make a first impression is something I just believe in.

I think you need to come out of the gate with a respected interaction with a person.

(13) What’s one skill they don’t teach you in high school that they should?

Being adaptable to all sorts of different styles of people. Really being that integrator who can understand different viewpoints.

It’s an EQ quotient that’s important in life.

(14) What’s the best part of your job?

Being around people, particularly young professionals — they give me a ton of energy.

I love Wednesday afternoons, because I have internal meetings with some of our really top-notch professionals.

They keep me up-to-date on what’s going on in different aspects of our practice, and there’s this energy around it that I look forward to. Being part of this community is exciting.

(15) What’s your favorite time-saving shortcut?

The Monroe Bypass to get to the North Carolina beaches.

(16) What’s a situation that makes you intimidated or nervous and how do you prepare?

When the pilot at LaGuardia last week put the brakes on almost halfway down the runway, that was a little unnerving. My college roommate is a pilot, so I quickly text him and we had a back and forth about why that could have occurred. We got out of line and got right back in line and took off.

I tend to gravitate to my phone in those kinds of situations, because you can have this instant information. Whether “phone a friend” or Googling the situation. It’s just comforting in those critical situations.

(17) What’s your favorite side project or hobby?

I love riding my bike on the greenway. I love relaxing at Holden Beach. Family time is what I really enjoy.

(18) What was the last great book you read?

I enjoyed  The Boys in the Boat.

(19) Who should I talk to next for this series?

Vi Lyles. I’ve seen her in action lately, particularly in my new role, and I just think she’s amazing. She’s got the calmness but gets her point across. She’s a true leader. (Note: John’s wish is my command. Mayor Lyles is up next in this series!)

Love learning how people work? Here’s the whole How I Work series including interviews with Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, Governor Roy Cooper, developer David Furman, elevator lady Cherie Berry, Hornets player Cody Zeller, and Charlotte Checkers COO Tera Black.

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