Adam Giambrone: Above the law?

Posted March 25, 2010 in Latest News & Insights

As Adam Giambrone, chair of Toronto’s Transit Commission, plays coy on whether he’s running for re-election in his ward or not, he continues to host his live tv show on CP24.  Election rules forbid candidates from using city funds for self promotion (Giambrone’s show receives a street car and four paid TTC employees which is considered city resources).  Giambrone’s argument is that he’s not officially a candidate yet.  Really?

Regular readers of this blog know that this LeaderTalker has a bit of a fascination with derailing leadership behaviour.  Especially with very smart fast-trackers, who should have their careers by the throats and instead end up sabotaging themselves.

In looking at Adam Giambrone’s judgement on this tv gig, it makes me wonder if this guy is heading for a big career flame out.  Giambrone is a classic fast tracking young leader who, until recently, was enjoying sitting on the mantle of up and coming golden boy.  He actually quit his tv show earlier in the year in a bid to run for Mayor.  And then, thanks to a little Tiger Woods like behaviours, the wheels came off that bus.

You’d think that, given Giambrone’s recent scandals – from the infidelity debacle to taking cabs all over the city (not great press for the head of public transit) – he’d be playing it squeaky clean.  The fact that he’s pushing the envelope on this tv hosting issue makes you wonder if he’s  a) really not as smart as he thinks he is; b) completely lacking in common sense and judgment; c) so arrogant that he things he can manipulate the rules to serve his own ends or d) all of the above.

If Giambrone does decide to jump into the election at the last minute, after hosting a tv show for a few months, are we not supposed to notice?

Many leaders I know say that they didn’t really learn about themselves until they experienced their first failure.   Certainly, from my own experience, I have learned more from my own career derailments than when things have gone perfectly.   Then, it’s how you dust yourself off and keep moving forward that matters.

One has to wonder what Adam Giambrone has learned from his recent experiences… and whether his name will show up on that re-election ballot.  One of the leadership axiom’s that Giambrone may want to take note of is this:  you get judged, not by what you say, but by what you do.  And that’s a great reminder for all of us.

Happy leading!


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