Roy's Blog: September 2017

September 25, 2017

4 practical ways a leader can keep on growing

Once you’ve grasped the leader brass ring you’ve made it; now you can relax and ride the wave until you decide to do something else.

If that’s what you believe, get ready for a rude awakening.

What you’ve earned today, you must fight to keep tomorrow. It’s amazing to witness a leader in free fall who doesn’t stay relevant to their organization.

Every standout leader has a personal development plan; a strategy to continually build their value as an individual that can enhance the performance and long term survival of the organization.

Leader growing

A personal development plan should have these four elements.

1. New organizational capabilities. Defining the new skills and competencies that must be acquired if the organization is to retain its competitive position - and the current ones that must be abandoned because they’re no longer relevant.
Long term success isn’t about continuing to do what created past success; it’s about defining the course to be charted that will meet the challenges tomorrow of changing customer demands, disruptive technology and new competition.
The survivor leader must paint themselves a rich and detailed picture of what the organization must look like tomorrow if it is to continue to thrive.

2. Personal competencies. Given the new capabilities the organization needs to develop for future success, the leader defines the new skills they must possess and an action plan to acquire them.
If for example, their business faces much more aggressive competition brought on by new disruptive technology, a personal development plan to learn and practice new marketing skills would be very appropriate.
For leaders to grow, they must continually be morphing their skill set to be synergistic with the challenges facing the organization.

3. 360 degree feedback. Obtaining feedback from others on a leader’s performance is a vital element of a personal development plan.
Many organizations use this tool to measure performance; I believe, however, that it has the most powerful impact as a personal development tool.
Personally, the 360 was most useful in obtaining feedback from my peers; my boss and direct reports tended to rate me favourably and from them it was difficult to define a specific improvement action plan. My peers, in the other hand, had no problem hammering me on behaviour they thought inappropriate.
I used my 360 results to improve my performance and to identify developmental experience and skill gaps that I had to close.

4. A lateral move. Most leaders don’t give this element of their personal development plan the attention it deserves; in fact it is rarely mentioned.
As a developmental tool, however, negotiating a lateral move into a completely different position has invaluable growth benefits for the individual.
I moved from VP Marketing to VP Operations and it was the best thing I could have done. I applied my strategic skills to the operations role and took away an “in the trenches” practical experience that served me well on my way to a president position.
Moving around the organization is the most effective way for a leader to develop themselves and enhance their relevance to the organization.
And it gets them known in all corners of the organization as a leader who wants to learn all aspects of the organization.

A leader that doesn’t have a personal growing plan is at risk of being irrelevant sooner or later.

Don’t be a victim.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 9.25.17 at 04:16 am by Roy Osing
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September 18, 2017

5 simple ways to spot a real asshole

An asshole can really screw your career up.

I have had to deal with so many of these people in my career and have seen the havoc they can cause. It is critical to know how to spot them so you can take evasive action.

An asshole is everywhere in both our personal lives and our business lives. They live where most respectable people with integrity don’t go.


I have survived many assholes in my career; this is what they look like.

1. They are the consummate grinner; they grin you constantly.
You know that phoney false smile pasted on their face that they flash at you when they want you to believe they agree with something you are saying or a position you are taking.
In reality their grin means exactly the opposite of support; they really don’t believe a word you are saying and will admonish you whenever they get the chance.
Whenever you see the grin, be prepared for betrayal.

2. They spread fake news about you. They know who your real supporters are and will lie through their teeth about you to them. And they are smooth when they do it; experts in the innuendo. Careful to be not too blatant.
They use the “grin fodder” you have provided as the fuel for their stories.

3. They treat themselves as number 1 — ALWAYS. Never forget it. It might seem that they actually care about you and your circumstances but they don’t. They want you to let them in so you are vulnerable to a move they eventually make against you. “After me you come first” is their mantra.

4. They do not hesitate throwing you under the bus. Never expect they will take accountabilities their actions. Whenever things go awry look for the asshole to try and blame someone else for the screwup. They constantly want to be perceived as lily white to those in the organization who they believe matter and will sacrifice anyone around to enhance their position.

5. They actually believe they are righteous — and this is the real scary thing about them. If you call them on any one of the aforementioned four issues they respond with shock and disbelief and will vehemently deny any culpability. They are pathological liars who are constantly in denial; that’s what makes them so dangerous.

Assholes can cause irrevocable harm to others if they are allowed to do their thing.

Watch for them; don’t play into their hands.

And never play their game. It turns out that assholes eventually get found out and are punished for their sins.

Just don’t be part of the carnage they leave behind.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 9.18.17 at 03:12 am by Roy Osing
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September 11, 2017

9 proven ways leaders can make their stories rock

Standout leaders are crazy storytellers.

How do you rank as a class act?

How can you tell if your story is a magical journey for your audience?

— You can see it in their eyes. Their pupils widen with excitement. They smile.

— They even laugh out loud on occasion.

— They never take their eyes off you.

They hang on your every word.

— They are on the edge of their seats leaning in to what you are telling them.


— Your words draw them out of whatever place they were in before your story began.

— They rush up to you after you finish, wanting to engage with you in some aspect of your story.

— They follow up with emails and text messages. They never want your story to end.

— And, they tell their friends about what they’ve experienced.

How does this happen?

First, it’s no accident. Your intention is to tell your story in a way that excites people and leaves them wanting more.

You have a strategy which you play out at each storytelling occasion.

Here are 9 ways to do it.

1. Talk to yourself before every storytelling event.
I would say “energy up” out loud to myself before going on stage to begin my story. This is my way to refresh myself with the energy needed to “infect” the audience.

2. Look into their eyes and hold them with your stare.

3. Pick someone out in the audience who is returning your energy; play off them to hold yours.

4. Tell a story which is different from what they’ve heard before, not the same-old same-old they have heard by dozens of storytellers before you.

5. Be passionate about your topic; it is infectious.

6. Mix up the cadence of your story; do anything to avoid a monotonous rhythm.

7. And vary your volume as well. I rarely need a microphone in some parts of my story and I force my audience to listen hard to the softer parts.

8. To stimulate curiosity and interest, create your own words. I use words like “CRAP” to drive home my message.

9. Know your stuff. No, I mean REALLY know it so it oozes from your veins as a natural expression of who you are.
People get it that way. Treat your story not as an intellectual exercise but as an emotional experience. Not knowing your story can really mess up your flow and detract from the aura of it all.

If your story “takes their breath away” you know you’ve done your job.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 9.11.17 at 04:42 am by Roy Osing
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September 4, 2017

What happens when you bait people rather than reward them?

Should a special marketing promotion be positioned as bait or as a reward?

I think one of the travesties of today’s marketing is the special promotion designed to bait or attract new customers.

You know how the baiting method goes.

“Sign up to our service today and get 3 months service free”; or “If you switch from your current provider to our service we’ll give you a free TV”.

Marketers today will do almost anything to attract a new customer. For some reason new customer acquisition programs are “sexy”, fun to work on, and consume a substantial chunk of most marketing budgets.

Bait marketing

There are two main issues I have with this bait marketing approach.

First, it’s lazy marketing. The easiest thing to do is to give stuff away with the mistaken belief that if you do, the recipient of the gift will somehow feel obligated to enter your loyalty tent and remain dutiful henceforth.

What a joke.

Despite the studies marketers trot out, people value what they pay for, and if they pay nothing to move from another supplier to you they laugh under their breath and wait for the next juvenile marketer who comes along and makes you a better offer. And when they find one, bye-bye.

Second, bait marketing is not only an insult to the loyal customers who have given themselves to your organization for years, it’s also intellectually dishonest.

Existing customers rarely qualify for the bait deal. The free TV is NEVER offered to the customer who has been loyal for 5 or 10 years!

They have steadfastly paid their bill on time every month. They have put up with the odd price increase and policy change but their loyalty has been resolute.

And they have rarely been offered a deal on anything. They may have been thanked for their loyalty with words or an annual free calendar, but certainly nothing as substantial as the person being baited.

And when they discover that a special promotion is being offered to new customers and ask for the same deal they are told “I’m sorry you don’t qualify for this promotion”.

How do they feel? Second rate? Third rate? Don’t rate?

Reward or retention marketing may not be as sexy as its bait cousin, but special deals should be extended to existing customers FIRST!

Marketers will explain that it’s not done because it costs too much to reward every existing customer. And that it’s not necessary in any event as the chances of an existing customer moving to a competitor are low - after all people are generally reticent to change, right?

It’s nonsense of course. Sure, margins are reduced on the deal that is offered, but loyal buying behaviour is reinforced as is the propensity for loyal customers to refer you to others “with love” - with no bait acquisition costs!

And it may be true that a low percent of loyalists will switch suppliers.

But that’s not the point; rewarding loyalty is just the right thing to do isn’t it?


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 9.4.17 at 04:48 am by Roy Osing
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