Roy's Blog: July 2017

July 31, 2017

5 simple reasons I don’t listen when you speak

It’s not about what you are saying; it’s about the experience I have when your words hit me.

Why don’t I listen?

1. Your message is irrelevant to me; I don’t particularly CARE about your topic.
People listen when your topic stimulates their emotions; when they FEEL your words. You might love your subject because you think it is intellectually interesting, but if it doesn’t touch me in an emotional way I tune you out.
You didn’t do your homework on what I want to hear. Your topic choice will either make or break my response.

2. You are like every other speaker who came before you.
There is nothing particularly special about your “performance” (and it IS a performance). There is nothing endearing about you; if I close my eyes you could be anyone; you are forgettable because you don’t stand-out from the “speaker herd”.
You look, talk and perform like every other speaker before you. You’re insipid and boring.

Don't listen

3. You are a “stiff” on stage.
Your stage presence is too formal and you exhibit no free-styling ability. You are monotonic and frigid in your delivery. You are chained to the podium or some other device which protects you from the audience “hordes”.
You appear to have no energy and passion for your topic. You appear to be anxiously awaiting the end of your ordeal. I feel uncomfortable for you and wonder why you do what you appear not to enjoy.

4. Your message doesn’t “flow from your veins”.
It doesn’t have a natural expression that exudes confidence from me. I don’t feel comfortable that you really know your material and that you are sold on it. You appear to be sharing someone else’s message as opposed to your own personal convictions.

5. You’ve obviously never been criticized for speaking too loudly
“Volume of voice” is a strength possessed by awesome speakers. They project themselves in the room so well they sometimes are criticized for shouting. Of course their passion and exuberance over their material are misunderstood by some as overbearing; but that can be forgiven.
Your timidity mask unfortunately dilutes your stage presence and prevents me from truly engaging with you.

Making a positive impact on me is all about establishing an emotional bond between you and I in the little time we have together.

Your challenge is to deliver a superlative performance and leave me wanting more.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 7.31.17 at 05:03 am by Roy Osing
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July 24, 2017

What are the 5 most important decisions fantastic leaders make?

As a leader, you do have a choice as to how you spend your decision-making time; there are numerous possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you leave for others.

How do you determine the “my decision” areas?

The criteria I used was payback. Where could I add the greatest value to the organization?


It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where OTHERS will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there.

You may be amazing at financial analysis and enjoy dabbling in numbers, but if marketing is a critical element of the organization’ strategic plan, for example, you need to leave financials to someone else and re-vector your decision-making efforts.

Decide on these 5 strategic issues. These must be owned by the leader and no one else.

1. The strategic game plan for the organization.
Leadership value starts with deciding on the organization’s future. And it should be created by the leader and not chosen from a number of options submitted by management.
What business you intend to be in and how you intend to differentiate yourself from your competition can only be decided by the leader who is directly accountable to ownership. It’s not something you can delegate to business development folks.

2. The values that shape culture. Values describe how employees behave with each other “on the inside” and externally with customers.
The leader must decide on the values critical to their strategic success and they must make the call on eliminating the traditional values that are no longer appropriate.

3. The talent that gets recruited. Strategy and values are the determinants of the people you recruit.
The leader must have their fingerprints on the “people strategy”. They must decide if it will do the job; it can’t be delegated to human resources. The wrong people in critical roles will drive your strategy to fail.
I used to participate in candidate interviews; an excellent way to monitor how your expectations are being met, as well as a great learning experience for the other managers in the room.

4. The “customer moment” architecture. If the leader isn’t personally involved in defining what the customer transaction with the organization “looks like”, dysfunction results; everyone does their own thing and offers up their own version of serving the customer in an exemplary manner. The leader must decide what the moment looks like at the frontline level where customer perception is controlled.
Leaders don’t like to engage at this level of detail, but this micro-managing is essential.

5. Aligning activities with the game plan. Aligning activities is where most things go wrong. The strategy says one thing but the people in the various functions behave in a manner inconsistent with the chosen direction. The leader must decide on an alignment plan developed by every department in the organization; it’s the only way synergy is guaranteed.

Strategy, values, people, customers and organizational synergy. What could be more important to decide on for a leader?


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 7.24.17 at 05:06 am by Roy Osing
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July 17, 2017

How to build an amazing strategy in 3 simple steps

Traditional business planning methods are seriously flawed

They are generally viewed as a time consuming and expensive process. People don’t look forward to it; it’s not a “fun” experience.

My strategic game plan process is simple. Answer 3 questions and you have your strategy.

1. HOW BIG do you want to be?

2. WHO to SERVE?

3. HOW do you intend to COMPETE and WIN?

1. HOW BIG? The process starts out with determining your growth goals. how much top line revenue do you want to generate over the next 24 months?
Revenue is the best measure of growth because it is an expression of how the market “feels” about you; it is easily measured understood.
A 24-month planning period forces you to execute TODAY and not wait for the “hockey stick” to happen in year 4 of a traditional 5-year plan. 

HOW BIG drives the strategy. The bolder the growth goal the more aggressive and risky the strategy required to deliver it.
For example, a strategy to generate a 50% increase in revenue would be significantly different that one designed to produce a 10% increase.

2. WHO to SERVE? The second step in the process is to chose the customers you intend to serve. Pick customer groups that have the latent potential to deliver your revenue goals and leverage the competencies of your organization.

And be prepared to dump the customers that are no longer part of your strategic focus.
Keeping them will only drain your resources and waste your time with no economic return.

3. HOW to WIN? The third step is the most critical in establishing your game plan. This is where you decide how to differentiate yourself from others who are competing with you for the auto era you are targeting.

Engage your team in creating the ONLY statement for your organization. ONLY defines exactly how your organization intends to be different from your competitors, and it reads: “We are the ONLY ones that…”
ONLY sets you apart from others by stating what you do that no one else does - the real way to claim a unique competitive position in the marketplace.

When creating your ONLY, avoid aspirational thinking And be granular and detailed in crafting your ONLY. Aspirations merely capture lofty intent and have no place in thinking about your competitive position.

This is not a task for the faint-of-heart. It is difficult to do and involves looking at every nook and cranny in your organization for opportunities to separate yourselves from the pack - brand, service, product, product support, and how you leverage technology are some examples of where you can look to create your ONLY Statement.

Integrate the answers to all three questions and you have your game plan.

“We will grow revenues from $20 million in 2017 to $50 million by Dec 31, 2019. We will focus our scarce resources on insurance and fleet providers in Canada. We will compete and win by being the ONLY distracted driving application that cannot be turned off by the driver of a vehicle.”

There you go. A game plan that is specific, crisp, simple and understandable.

That is focused on execution - develop your strategic game plan in less than 2 days and begin executing on the 3rd.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 7.17.17 at 04:10 am by Roy Osing
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July 10, 2017

8 practical ways great leaders get ideas from people

What exactly is a “great idea”?

How would you know one if it stared you in the face?

The fact is, an idea is judged to be “great” only when it is viewed in retrospect in terms of whether or not it led to success. iPhone, for example, wasn’t deemed to be an amazing idea until it was a hit with consumers and vaulted Apple shares through the roof.

The real issue is how leaders can generate so many new ideas in their organization, that the chance of hitting the mother load is maximized.

New idea

Leaders should consider these tactics to build momentum for new idea creation in their organizations.

1. Begin by declaring that new idea creation is an essential ingredient of the organization’s DNA; new ideas are necessary to sustain the organization over the long term.
Ensure employees understand that this is not another “program of the month” initiative that can be taken lightly.

2. Implement an idea collection portal for individuals to submit new ideas. Make it simple and easy to use. Invest in resources to quickly evaluate whether submissions have value to warrant further investigation.
Keep the idea originator in the loop with the status of their idea.

3. Ensure the core values of the organization includes creating new ideas. A core value is an activity or behaviour that is vital to the organization achieving its strategic game plan.
New idea generation must be included if any traction is to be made. If you are silent on the subject it won’t happen.

4. Change every manager’s position description to include extracting new ideas from their team members. Every team leader must be held accountable for encouraging the innovation process.
Make “tries” an essential element of every team member’s daily role.

5. Include new idea generation in the performance plan of every team member. Be specific to encourage the right behaviour - come up with 10 new ideas on how to improve the performance of product “A” by year end.
Review progress every 90 days with each individual.

6. Organize new idea conferences and invite all employees. Bring in outside business leaders who have a track record of monetizing new ideas.
Learn how they practically transformed an idea into reality; an idea with no execution is worthless.

7. Ask customers for new ideas affecting your business. These people use your products and services, so what better source of new applications, new features and competitive drawbacks could there possibly be?
I realize that market research is the most commonly used tool to determine what customers are thinking, but it doesn’t go far enough. I’m talking about one-on-one conversations with your users as the BEST way to trigger new ideas.

8. Focus new idea efforts on the priorities of the organization. If “finding and trying new ideas” isn’t one of the top 3 priorities of the organization, don’t expect a flow of innovation. Leaders must declare the importance of building new boxes and dedicate resources to supporting the effort.

A great new idea may just happen by chance, but the probabilities are slim.

Innovation cultures are created when leaders implement simple tactical steps that, operating synergistically, increase the likelihood that they will happen.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 7.10.17 at 04:17 am by Roy Osing
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