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168: Leaders with Heart Look Out for Their People

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In this episode, Heather interviews Christiano Gherardini, President/Owner at Turnkey Technologies, Inc., a Gold Microsoft Dynamics Partner. Christiano started the company about 27 years ago – and now serves local, regional, and national customers. They sell and implement accounting software and CRM software across the US that help businesses replace their legacy business systems and automate their financials and operations. His company, Turnkey Technologies, Inc., makes businesses more efficient and profitable.

Key Takeaways: 
  • The culture within an organization is an essential aspect of the business.
  • Transactional decisions are straightforward – the human ones are the difficult ones. 
  • As the leader, he must make the hard decisions within the company.
  • Knowing your people outside of the office gives you a better understanding of who they are and their struggles.
  • Getting to know your teams helps you help them.

Your best producer could be your most toxic employee. – Christiano Gherardini #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet


Christiano Gherardini is the President/Owner at Turnkey Technologies, Inc., a Gold Microsoft Dynamics Partner. Christiano started the company about 27 years ago – and now serves local, regional, and national customers.

He graduated from the University of Missouri with a BS in Computer Science and Math and was part of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Soon after graduating, he joined Grace & Company, where he worked as an Accounting Software Consultant/Developer for over seven years. 


Furthermore, Christiano started Turnkey Technologies, Inc. in 1994 and has been the President/Owner of the company ever since. The company now has over 50 employees all across the country. They work together to sell, create, and implement accounting and CRM software to help businesses achieve their goals.

Turning Point

In 2018 I was diagnosed with the big “C” word that everyone fears. It was a hard time in my life – but thankfully, I am healthy and much better now. As for most of us, my life being at risk made me think about how I was living it. I like to think that I was a good person before cancer, but being sick put into perspective what was important and what wasn’t. For example, before getting sick, my company’s health insurance didn’t cover short-term and long-term disability – but now it does. Beforehand it was an option to opt into it, but not a requirement. But who would choose to be sick? Nobody. So now, it’s included in their health insurance. These are things that no one thinks about beforehand, and it’s my responsibility as the leader to make sure to prepare for the unexpected.

christiano gherardini leadership podcast

It's up to you as the leader to make those hard decisions. – Christiano Gherardini #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet 

Work Culture

When I think back to my leadership style in the past, I think, “maybe I was too tolerant of bad elements in the organization.” Because as a leader, “everybody looks for my example and for me to make those hard decisions, and when you let somebody exist that’s toxic, and you don’t deal with the situation on a timely basis, then you create a fallout.” So, looking back, those problems were my own fault. Those decisions have always been hard for me. The transactional choices are easy – but the ones that involve my people are always the hardest.

Showing Empathy at Work

 I could have never imagined that I would get sick. Those are things that no one plans or anticipates. We “have always been pretty bullish with benefits” but didn’t include short-term and long-term disability coverage until after I was sick myself. It’s one of those things that no one thinks about until it’s too late. “People need those types of health insurance coverages because they can’t plan when something’s going to show up and interrupt their lives,” so now all of our plans include it. Moreover, going through it myself taught me empathy and truly changed my perspectives on benefits and the importance of supporting my people through their hardships. 

If somebody really doesn't fit into the organization then we must take action, and if you can't correct them or get them to self correct, then they gotta leave. -Christiano Gherardini #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet


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Heather R. Younger, J.D. YouTube Channel