Jeff Gamboa is currently the Florida Caribbean Division Manager in the Cutco/Vector Marketing sales organization. He’s a 24-year veteran with the company and member of the company’s Hall of Fame. He coined the term “VectorTrained” to represent the wide range of skills and competencies that people gain through selling Cutco, participating in Vector’s Leadership Academy program, and advancing into leadership positions with the company. For over 2 decades, Jeff Gamboa has been developing students into “5-star graduates,” and his strategies and programs are emulated by many other leaders throughout Vector today.


Q: Let’s hear a little about your early days in Cutco.  What were some of the things that enabled you to have such great success out of the gate, besides following the program?

  • My first weekend I made more than I had in 2 weeks of cutting grass.
  • I really bought in that starting business with friends and family was the best way to start a business.
  • Coming into the office all the time, I noticed, was a key to success because of the environment.

Q: What made you want to stick with Cutco/ Vector once you left college?

  • I took the resume building that was promoted so much in Vector to heart.

Q: So you started out as a manager in the Maryland area and then became the Division Manager for the DC Metro area and now you’re down in Florida.  Can you tell us a little about that transition and some of the transformational experiences that came from that?

  • I really learned the value of stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Q: There were some bumps along the road though. Can you tell us about some of those experiences going down to Florida?

  • Not having friends and family, regular routines,
  • I read a fortune cookie that read “adversity willingly undergone is the greatest virtue.”

Q: Who were some of the key people you’ve had a chance to work with in Maryland or Florida that stand out in your career?

  • Kate Vasey (Arbuthnot) was my Pilot manager when I got started and now she’s the Division Manager. She was my first real business partner.
  • Cathy Christen (Vazquez) and she’s a Division Manager.
  • Andy Jeanty

Q: You have a track record of developing great leaders, an engineer of people, and I really want to spend some time today on being “Vector Trained.” This is referencing the technical skills as well as the mental skills.  What do you think it means to be Vector Trained as a sales person?

  • Learning to manage time better than anywhere else.
  • Learning how to work hard.
  • Learning how to take rejection and not take it personally.
  • Staying organized.
  • Prioritizing your life.
  • Business skills.
  • Financial skills.
  • Learning how to speak to people.
  • Above all else would be the confidence you gain from obtaining all these skills.

Q: How about as a leader?  What are some hallmarks of what it means to be Vector Trained as a leader?

  • Learning the importance of your circle of influence. As a leader you are influential, who you take influence from, and who you hang around.  Really taking seriously who are the 5 or 6 people you spend the most time with.
  • Choosing your communication wisely.
  • Servant leadership- when you help people get what they want it comes back 10 fold. Also, people will follow you more when you’re helping them get what they want and not the other way around.
  • You’re a role model. People watch what you do.
  • We have to think ahead for our people and meet them where they’re at.
  • You become more organized and think further ahead for more people.
  • Indoctrinating our people how to think.
  • We’re the thermostat not the thermometer.

Q: You referenced the servant leadership and being a role model for your people which can be exciting but it can also be exhausting.  How have you gotten past those moments when being a role model was both motivating and exhausting?

  • When you genuinely agree to commit to someone that you’re going to support them. When you commit to someone do you follow through and do what you’re going to say you’re going to do.
  • I love that making a decision and sticking to it provides me certainty.

Q: What about some other elements of mental attitude and mental toughness… how does someone who’s Vector Trained think and handle adversity?

  • It becomes automatic to look for the gift in adversity.
  • Being a solution finder rather than a problem reporter.
    • What can you control?
    • What’s the gift?
    • Have you thought of a solution yet?
    • Where focus goes, energy flows.
  • It’s not how you thrive, it’s how you recover that makes you great!

Q: Any other personal characteristics that stand out about someone who’s Vector Trained?

  • High energy and genuine enthusiasm for recognition and achievement.
  • “We’re going to find a way.”

Q: Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.  Any other final thoughts about the concept of being Vector Trained?

  • The concept of being a big fish in a small pond.

Q: As you look ahead into the future in your career and your life, how do you aspire to change lives through your work and through your influence?

  • Our mantra in our organization is “creating 5 star graduates.”
  • “I went 14 for 14 in my grad school programs when 5 for 5 is considered monstrous.”
  • We fill in the gaps around all the areas college doesn’t teach.
    • We teach soft skills you won’t learn in your major.
    • We fill in the relational gaps and we pour belief into people.


  • As a sales person being Vector Trained is about the idea of organization, developing your presentation skills, managing your time, work ethic, dealing with objections.
  • As a leader being Vector Trained is about servant leadership mentality, developing your skills of influence, your empathy, and being a role model.
  • Vector Trained ways of thinking- optimism, high energy, look for the gift in every problem while looking for the solution.


  • District Manager- a Cutco/ Vector office/ manager that runs a year-round office full time.
  • Division Manager- a Cutco/ Vector manager who runs a team of District and Branch Managers as well as their own “Pilot Office.”
  • Pilot Manager- right hand to the Division Manager. Responsible for day to day operations in the Pilot office.
  • Leadership Academy- a systemized leadership and management development program to help brand new manager candidates go from a brand new leader all the way up to a District Manager.
  • Push Period- a 2 week sales contest amongst reps in a given area.


Show Notes for this episode were provided by Carlo Cipollina.


To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!


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Please give us feedback below …

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Ishmael Santos- Johnson
    July 19, 2021 10:23 pm

    This was really helpful and inspirational I got to take good notes to working toward being vector trained.


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