BE DiFFERENT or Be Dead with Roy Osing

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Roy Osing is a former president, CMO and entrepreneur with over 40 years of successful and unmatched executive leadership experience in every aspect of business.

As President of a major data and internet company, his leadership and audacious ‘unheard-of ways’ took the company from its early stage to $1 Billion in annual sales.

He is a blogger, content marketer and mentor to young professionals. As an accomplished business advisor, he is the author of the no-nonsense book series ‘BE DiFFERENT or be dead.’

Podcast Highlights

Who is Roy Osing? 

Roy’s story can essentially be boiled down to breaking away and being different. He realized early on in his career in a telecom in Canada that in order to survive and thrive as a business in a new environment, people needed to step out of line and do something different from everyone else. He decided to start looking at everything as a challenge, as an opportunity to ask if it could be done differently, and that mindset has served him well throughout his career.

Career success follows people that are visible, that stand out in a compelling way that people notice. For Roy, he’s been putting the principle of being different into practice for the past 40 years and honing it along the way.

What are some examples of how a business leader can lead differently?

Many leaders practice leadership from an academic point of view. They are supposed to have a level of vision and foresight that allows them to plan effectively for the future, but that’s not really the way the world works. Leaders can’t predict the future, but they can help create it by executing well.

A mediocre plan executed relentlessly will beat out a perfect plan executed poorly every time.

Leaders need to be able to formulate a plan quickly and shift into executing immediately by building processes and culture around execution.

Servant leadership is a popular term at the moment, but it’s not a style of leadership, it’s a quality of the execution. It’s about how a leader can remove the obstacles in their team’s way to help them perform better, and be more productive and happy in their role.

Most leaders delegate too much, or when they do they are actually managing by abdication instead of delegation. Leaders need to have their fingerprints on the DNA of the organization.

Audacious leaders execute simple concepts extremely well.

Delegation vs. Abdication

Leaders have two types of tasks: routine and strategic. The routine tasks can be delegated easily but the strategic tasks must be owned by the leader.

Something strategically important like the customer experience should not be handed off to someone without the responsibility of ownership.

Roy had to sell the transformation of the company he worked for from a phone company to an internet company, and that was something that couldn’t be passed on to the business development team. He made it his mission to sell the transformation to the 10,000 employees involved in the process.

Frontline managers are some of the most important employees you can hire. They are responsible for how the customer experiences your business and can make or break performance over time. As a leader, no matter how big the company, if an aspect of the business is a crucial component of the results you want, you need to take ownership of it.

Transforming the Traditional Planning Process

The strategic planning process is based on three questions. The first being “how big do you want to be in 24 months?” That’s a revenue question and top line revenue is an indication of what the market thinks about how well you’re serving them. This question is the reverse of the traditional planning process where the strategy is created and the revenue gets determined by the strategy. It uses the revenue number to drive the game plan. Aiming to double your revenue creates the character and shape of your strategy. Be as audacious as you can because that will drive innovation and force you to think differently about how you can reach the goal.

The second question is “who do you want to serve?” Choose customer groups, not market segments, that your business is going to serve. Pick the customer groups that are most likely to help you achieve your revenue target.

The third question is “how are you going to compete and win the customer groups you’ve chosen?” What differential advantage do you have that makes you the only one to do what you do? Everything else is just aspirational messaging that doesn’t really mean anything to the customer. Your Only Statement will constantly challenge you to be unique and truly create something different from the rest of the competition. The Only Statement is also very testable, just ask your customers if it’s true.

Complexity is sexy, but simple gets executed.


Roy’s New Book



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