Roy's Blog

July 3, 2017

How to have a rewarding career in 3 simple steps

Answer three questions and you have the game plan for your career.

I call it a game plan to stress execution; the art of the doable rather than the art of the possible.

You need a career game plan and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here is my method; it works.

1. HOW BIG do you want to be?

This is about personal growth. What specific position do you covet? Most people are vague when asked about their career goals: “I would like a position managing people” or “I want to lead a marketing or sales team”.

These aspirations don’t feed execution very well, and a game plan that can’t be executed isn’t worth much.

Define the specific position you intend to get. It makes a big difference to the actions you take, for example, if you are interested in a VP Marketing position versus a Sales Account Manager position.

And be as clear as you can on the organization you are targeting. Your game plan tactics will be different if you are interested in BMW as opposed to Apple?
Each organization has a different business challenge and a different priority on the skills and competencies they require.

Career journey

Too many career hunters are unclear on where they want to land which is a normal situation for most people. The problem is, as long as you are hovering over a number of possibilities you don’t act.
You ponder and reflect. But you don’t DO anything to move forward.

It’s better to declare what you think you want today based on the best information you have available and your particular interests. Go after it. You will learn soon enough if it is the right path and you can then adjust your game plan “on the run”.

2. WHO do you intend to SERVE?

Who are the individuals who influence decisions on who gets selected for various positions in the organization you are targeting?

Game plan success means engaging with the right people to spread your word and get attention so you get the invitation to make your pitch. I have seen many talented people fail because they did not cultivate the right channels to express their skills and experience.

If you covet a sales management position for BMW, for example, identify who can help you, and “mentor up” with high currency individuals.
Other venues for your WHO hunt include social media communities, Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trades and Industry Associations.

Compete and win

3. HOW do you intend to compete and WIN?

The competition for career positions has never been greater; you need to be able to position yourself as THE most logical choice; you need to separate yourself from the job-hunting herd.

The killer question: “There are many applicants for this position; why should I pick you?” “What makes you special?”

If your pitch doesn’t crisply identify the experience and competencies you possess that are critical for the position AND how you are different from others, you won’t likely get picked.

My eyes glaze over when I hear “I have great interpersonal skills.” or “I have 10 years sales experience.” Every herd member says this stuff; it does nothing to make you special.

Create your personal ONLY Statement  to express your uniqueness:
“I am will the ONLY one with demonstrated marketing experience necessary to successfully move the organization from a regulated monopoly to competitive one requiring an obsessive focus on the customer and delivering highly differentiated value.”

Three questions; three answers and you have a game plan to start your journey.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 7.3.17 at 04:07 am by Roy Osing
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June 26, 2017

Why do amazing leaders want to know how you really feel?

Most leaders rely on financial metrics to determine if the organization is performing as planned.

Their balanced scorecard may include other targets in marketing (market share, product sales), customer service (overall satisfaction) and HR (employee engagement) but the overwhelming weight goes to the financial quadrant.

Looking at organizational performance through largely a financial lens leads to matters such as cost reduction and control, process efficiency, inventory management, collections performance, functional outsourcing and productivity improvement dominating the strategic and tactical agenda.

This is an “inside” view of performance management; it is a unidimensional approach to determining the activities necessary to enhance the long term health of the organization - and even adding an employee component continues the myopic inward gaze.

How you really feel

A sustained inward focus is unhealthy for an organization.

The customer metric must find its place in the hierarchy of priorities; it must be given equal status with its financial mate and preferred status to other internal measures.

Internal efficiency with customer dysfunction is a recipe for disaster; measuring customer perception is an absolute MUST for any organization wanting to achieve long term remarkable performance.

Customer perception is all about feelings so measure feelings!

What does the customer feeling metric look like?

Ask them…

1. How they FEEL about the service you provide; don’t rely on internal statistics on service performance.
Internal metrics reflect what YOU think are the appropriate measures of service delivery; SURPRISE! they sometimes bear no resemblance to what the customer thinks is important. Do they feel ecstatic or do they feel you suck?

2. What aspect of your service they HATE and how do they think you can improve. It’s a visceral polarized thing. You want to know at the extreme negative end of the satisfaction scale that pisses them off the most.

3. What the DUMBEST rules and policies you have and why are they so outrageous. What really drives them insane about how you treat them?
Internal rules and policies are the biggest triggers that force customers to go elsewhere; discover them and FIX them.

4. If you have a HEART. This gets at whether you are viewed as an unfeeling artificial organization concerned only about shareholders and profits or a caring team whose primary objective is to add value to society.

5. How they view the LEADERSHIP of the organization. It’s one thing to get an opinion from employees, and quite another to get this “external” perspective. Extend the 360 Feedback process to include the owners of loyalty.

These are questions intended to release an emotion response from the customer as opposed to merely looking at “the numbers”. They tell a different story than analyzing statistics, and paint a unique picture of how the organization is performing on the service front.

Numbers have no “tone”; words and emotion convey the severity of issues and as such provide leaders insight into the priorities necessary to improve service performance.

It takes guts for leadership to expose themselves to this type of conversation.

But if they do (and listen and act on what is learned) they will be miles ahead of any other organization that is content with an inside view of what is needed to improve results.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 6.26.17 at 05:46 am by Roy Osing
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June 19, 2017

6 sure fire ways to build an exciting “do it” brand

NEVER simply act.

You want to be known as an “action oriented” individual, so you better get on with it and DO something, right?

I am a fanatic about acting rather than pontificating; about trying rather than analyzing; about executing rather than planning.

But I am NOT a fan of acting without a framework that will create a better than average probability of success. Unharnessed action may feel good at the time, but it will likely not produce the outcome you desire.

Out of control

So before you throw yourself at creating your “DO IT” brand, b>have these fundamentals firmly in your mind.

1. Build context for action. Action with no context is at best uncontrolled behaviour with no predictable outcome. Context could be your career goals, your personal set of values or the organization’s strategic game plan. Context sets the boundaries inside which “acceptable” action is defined and outside which inappropriate action resides.

2. Look for an opportunity to add value through your action. Go beyond what might be expected; surprise people around you by adding extras rather than simply meeting expectations. “Action - PLUS” is a way to think about it: act and do more.

3. Act “with a twist”. Leave your fingerprints and personality on your action. Make it unmistakably YOURS. Action without leaving your personal mark is a wasted chance to leave a lasting impression. If your action looks like a “commoner”, no one will notice and no memory created.

4. Pause, then act. Be disciplined about taking action. Before moving, take a deep breath to ensure your action is grounded and will have the highest probability of making a positive impact. Use the pause as a necessary element of the acting process. Once you commit to act there’s no turning back so use the pause wisely.

Pause

5. NEVER ask yourself “How did someone else do it?” Using an action template of another person robs you of the originality needed to standout and be remarkable. Copying what others do keeps you in “the common herd” and prevents you from being noticed. Do whatever it takes to act with attitude and in a way that separates you from the crowd.

6. Prepare for follow up. The results of your action must be determined in order to learn from them. Think through exactly how you intend to track the outcome and the impact it had on people. Develop an improvement plan for any action that didn’t work out the way you had intended.

Memorable action isn’t a knee jerk response; it’s taken with a sense of purpose.

Cheers,
Roy

Sales blogger


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 6.19.17 at 06:11 am by Roy Osing
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June 12, 2017

Real progress is not made by being more efficient

Progress in any organization can be achieved in two ways: being more efficient and being more strategic.

In the former instance, progress is achieved by reducing the rate of product or service breakdown, eliminating software bugs, reducing outstanding collectibles, reducing cost to increase operating margins, reducing inventory turns, reducing the rate of customer attrition and reducing employee turnover.

These efficiency gains are targeted to improve operations by a process or procedural change that simplifies the way things are done, reduces cost and improves productivity.

Efficiency

The most common method employed to be more efficient is to benchmark a “best in class” organization and copy their methods.
Followed to its ultimate conclusion, the copycat method results in all participating organizations gravitating to the same internal operational methods and approaches; they don’t bestow any uniqueness whatsoever.

Efficiency driven programs are tactical; they seek to make the organization “machine” work better; progress is measured by assessing the output of a process both in terms of time and quality - delivering the intended outcome right the first time.

Efficiency gains will not move the organization to higher levels of performance in the long run. They may boost operating results in the short term through a period of continuity, but they cannot be relied on to deliver long term success over multiple cycles of economic and competitive change.

Sustainable progress can only come from being strategically efficient; achieving strategic breakthroughs as opposed to applying the efficiency formula to the way business is currently conducted.

Efficiency gains should only be considered AFTER strategic objectives - based on taking the organization to a “new place” - have been set. Determine the strategic progress needed first and THEN look for the efficiency gains necessary to make the journey as productive as possible.

Strategic

There should be a single focus of strategic progress - inching ever closer to being the ONLY organization that does what it does.

Specifically, creating a customer value proposition that answers the question “Why should I do business with you and no one else?”

This is the real measure of whether or not an organization is making progress strategically; the ability to craft and fine tune over time their ONLY Statement that declares what they uniquely do to serve their customers.

More resource time is spent in organizations pursuing efficiency gains rather than starting down the path of uniqueness.

Why?

Because it’s much easier to copy best practices and achieve incremental progress than it is to seek a “special place” in the market that you and only you own.

The thing is, “if there is “no pain”, there’s likely to be “no gain”.

Focus your efforts on being unique in a compelling and relevant way and being efficient in THAT world.

If you’re successful your progress will be measured by product and service innovation, disruptive technology introduced, revenue growth and market dominance, not systems throughput.

Leave “blind” efficiency to the herd.

Cheers,
Roy

Sales blogger


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 6.12.17 at 02:51 am by Roy Osing
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