Roy's Blog: Leadership
April 24, 2017
Why is it essential for individuals to be different?
In a world of frenzy competition for career opportunities, if you’re not different in some relevant and meaningful way, you’ll go unnoticed, be ignored and will be just another member of the faceless herd.
To blend in is to have no personal identity; nothing special that will shout you out to others.
Being like everyone else in the crowd may feel comfortable but it is no recipe for long term survival and success.
Being different is the call for people to step out; to walk away from ‘this is the way we’ve always done it around here’ and sell ideas that are contrarian in nature. To perform a role in a unique way that produces amazing and unexpected results for their organization.
There is, however, a dark side to being different; where people try to explain away and justify dysfunctional behaviour under the banner of being different.
Being different does not give an individual the right to demean others. Disrespect them. Bully them. It’s not about committing outrageous acts with language intended to hurt someone else. It’s not building yourself up while tearing another down.
Being different is the enemy of narcissism. Create remarkable value for others and you will attract attention and recognition to yourself. Self adulation and promotion are not necessary; others will provide the energy as an expression of their love for who you are and what you contribute.
Politicians that try to out-shout their opponents with name calling and personal assaults aren’t different; they’re people who attack rather than articulate the unique contribution they intend to make.
Executive leaders who chide their managers in public aren’t different; they’re bullies who love to exert their power over others.
Team members who constantly gossip about their colleagues aren’t different; they’re opportunity seekers who want to portray themselves to leadership as being connected and having ‘their finger on the pulse’ of what’s going on in the organization.
Step out and serve others in a special way.
Step on them and join the bully crowd.
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- Posted 4.24.17 at 06:36 am by Roy Osing
April 19, 2017
It’s in the self interest of many constituents to complicate how business should be successfully conducted.
There are finance experts who promulgate principles for having a healthy balance sheet; sales wizards who describe what an effective sales funnel looks like; inventory management specialists who define the level of product turnover required to drive optimum operating margins and leadership pundits who prescribe the fundamentals necessary to maximize employee engagement and loyalty.
Each discipline brings their own specific area of expertise to the table to help organizations enhance their performance, but how does leadership determine which specific tools are key to improvement?
It’s too complicated.
There are numerous moving parts involved in how an organization operates, and determining how each component part should be synchronized to optimize overall effectiveness is an extremely difficult challenge.
It’s like a golfer trying to improve their game. There are lessons in how to address the ball, grip the club; the backswing; the ball impact; shifting body weight; and the follow through (to mention only a few!). The golfer focuses on the grip and can’t assimilate the rest of the swing fundamentals; their game doesn’t improve to the level they expect. They are frustrated.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Business CAN be simplified; it can be boiled down to a single crucial focus that drives sustaining levels of remarkable performance.
Leaders should be building organizations to EXECUTE brilliantly; building execution as a core competency and applying it to ANY strategy they create. And if they do, they WILL outperform their peers and outpace their competitors.
Pay attention to these four execution fundamentals.
1. Loosen up on planning. THE most critical element of performance is how well the strategy is carried out. Yes, a “good” plan with a sensible direction is required but if execution falters the plan is worthless. An average plan brilliantly executed produces far better performance than what people might consider to be a “brilliant” strategy that can’t be satisfactorily executed.
So invest 80% of the time available on EXECUTION planning; 20% on STRATEGIC planning.
2. Lead by serving those in the trenches. Serving leadership cultures unleash individual executional effort and lead to unexpected and amazing results contrary to its “command and control” cousin.
“What can I do to help you?” is the question servant leaders pose to reduce grunge and eliminate internal barriers that prevent things from getting done.
3. Recruit people “lovers”. Transactions continue to happen when an employee invests honest emotional energy in taking care of a customer. Execution prowess demands that millions of mind blowing “moments of truth” occur seamlessly between an organization and its customers.
This happens ONLY when employees have the natural inbred desire to serve their fellow man.
And remember you can’t TRAIN people to love people; you can train ‘em to grin but that’s about it.
4. Stop selling; start serving. Flogging products and services tries to advance the organization’s agenda, not the customer’s. This one-sided dynamic may result in a single short term transaction but does nothing to create an annuity stream of revenue over the long haul.
Execution genius looks out to the horizon, so organizations need to be “mindless” about building and deepening rich customer relationships by serving THEM; marching to THEIR agenda; subordinating the interests of the BUSINESS to THEIR interests.
Keep it simple.
Build an execution machine first, THEN use the self interest constituents to fine tune it with the relevant micro stuff these experts love to pitch.
- Posted 4.19.17 at 12:06 pm by Roy Osing
April 16, 2017
The recent debacle with United Airlines has once again demonstrated the woeful state of leadership in some organizations.
And don’t even suggest that it’s not a leadership issue.
It is in every respect. The buck stops at the leader when there are egregious acts committed by their company.
The leader is responsible for the values and the culture of the organization; they get paid the big bucks to ensure that customers are served with respect, employees are inspired to perform and shareholders earn a reasonable return on their investment.
What can leaders learn from the recent United meltdown?
1. The employee outranks the customer. No room for employees meant the plane was “overbooked”and a customer had to go. Really? No other solutions?
Hard to believe, but to me it shouts out the priority of the organization. Where is the leader’s fingerprints on this process? MIA.
2. The “dumber” the rule the more draconian the enforcement measure. Actually there is a range of treatment at play here. On the one hand the customer is enticed to accept compensation for “overbooking” to physical extraction if they don’t accept it.
3. The customer’s personal circumstances don’t matter. The passenger was a doctor and had to get home to see patients but that didn’t seem to matter. He was chosen to go and that was it. No special dispensation here.
4. The first response should be to blame the customer for the outrageous event. After all a “belligerent” individual deserves what they get, right?
Seem to me there should be an organizational value that deals with the customer’s charter of rights.
5. Do whatever it takes to NOT apologize, and get the lawyers involved in the communications process. Have the lawyers tweet out your position to mitigate any potential liability you might face.
Draw the process of repentance out as long as possible hoping the matter will soon fizzle out and the royal OOPS! will soon be forgotten.
Basic customer service leadership 101: own the screwup IMMEDIATELY, apologize - say it… “We screwed up and we are so very sorry.” And go further and state what the plan is to “make it right”.
6. The power of social media can be “managed” to keep it from shining the spotlight on egregious acts like this. Leaders need to understand that people now have a powerful voice which they use to expose things that are just plain wrong.
So when things go awry, leaders need to anticipate a social media response and get out in front of it.
This event so far has cost the United shareholder dearly and there is more potential bad news coming in the form of a law suit.
United is not the only organization committing unforgivable acts on their customers but we should take the opportunity as leaders to reflect on how our organizations deal with similar situations.
Don’t ask for an organizational review.
Get on it yourself.
- Posted 4.16.17 at 03:03 am by Roy Osing
April 13, 2017
If you have lived long enough, engaged in business, served in the military, or participated in sports, you have your own ideas regarding “leaders” and “leadership.”
You’ve had parents, teachers, and employers who have taught you about leadership.
You have observed political figures in the media.
Examples of leadership are everywhere.
How do you define leadership? Whether at home, work, or within your community, do you consider yourself a leader?
Leadership has many definitions.
One definition is the ability to influence. Since each and every one of us has the ability to influence, I’ll challenge you to accept that every day you live your life, you have the opportunity to be a leader.
I’ve heard it said; “The effect you have on others is the greatest currency there is.” How are you using your “currency”, your leadership, your influence?
Everything you do or don’t do, say or don’t say, will have an impact and influence those around you. My challenge to all of us, is to take this role seriously.
We expect those in power, responsible for our well-being, to be good leaders. If we hold them to a higher level, we should expect nothing less from ourselves.
We look to our leaders as public servants and expect them to “serve” us and our best interests.
As a leader, look for opportunities on a daily basis to be a positive influence, and make a difference in the world around you. Lend a helping hand, speak an encouraging word, or share a smile.
Maybe your leadership starts within your own family, neighborhood, community or job.
When I was raised, my parents always encouraged me to treat people the way I would like to be treated.
This is such a basic principle, one that still holds true today.
Leadership isn’t difficult if you make a choice to treat the people in your life the way you would like to be treated.
Be a leader and use your influence to positively impact those around you.
Lead selflessly with integrity, compassion, humility, and forgiveness.
If we take our leadership roles seriously, just imagine what a wonderful world this would be.
Bob Zimmermann is a Naval Academy graduate and a current Captain for United Airlines. He is a partner with Vector Academy. He is a motivational speaker focusing on leadership and human performance training.
- Posted 4.13.17 at 05:31 am by Roy Osing