Roy's Blog: Careers

May 13, 2019

How to be hungry and have a successful career

What separates the individual who has a rewarding career from those that merely show up for work every day and leave unsatisfied?

My experience shows that successful individuals are more hungry than their competitors; it’s as simple as that.

Certainly there are other factors at play that influence performance and success such as education level, practical experience, reliable mentors, and good old fashion luck, but I have seen that “being hungry” is the one single thing that stands out from all others.

In fact, many individuals manifest the common traits and capabilities of success yet don’t rise to the top of their game. I have seen highly educated people, for example, with a deep experience profile and excellent skill set fall short of their potential while others who possess less emerge to finish first.

Those “qualified” individuals who fell short lacked the desire to finish; they didn’t seize and apply the raw power of emotion to grab the opportunity presented to them and drive to capture it like no one else.

The hunger drive to succeed isn’t an intellectual matter; it’s a visceral one which is a fundamental part of who they are.
People don’t think about applying their hunger, they do it involuntarily just as you don’t have to tell your heart to beat.

This is the profile of “the hungry one”.

They’re the first one in

They are the first one to put their hand up and volunteer for a new project. They are driven to find a way of being part of new horizons rather than perpetuate the status quo. They want to be known for coveting uncharted waters.

They love change

They are always leaning in to conversations that address a different direction the organization should take. They are at ease with personally introducing the necessary discontinuities required to force current momentum to another path. They are a true change agent.

They don’t talk about the past

They talk about what needs to be done not what yesterday achieved. They don’t suffer “custodians of the past” lightly. Dwelling on what worked yesterday frustrates them to no end. They see reflection on the past as an impediment to taking action and moving forward.

They are mindlessly focused

They are extremely focused on the critical few things that need to be done in order to achieve the end objective. They are not a fan of brainstorming and see it as only a way of defining what COULD be done as opposed to what MUST be done.

They never stop learning

They are voracious learners who pursue knowledge paths that are consistent with the new competencies the organization needs to adopt to perform at high levels. A shift from a monopoly business to a competitive one requires adopting marketing and customer service expertise; the hungry person acquires the knowledge and skills necessary.

They take risks

They are extremely proactive and never have to be told to do anything. When they see that something needs to be done that gather the expertise around them they need and they just do it. While others around them ask for permission, the hungry ones assume the inherent risks of taking action and are confident they can achieve positive results.

They execute first; plan second

They monitor execution relentlessly. They understand that the plan isn’t good enough to achieve results; rather flawless implementation is required. They are fanatics about ensuring that people assigned tasks complete them on time and on budget.

They have “spider senses”

They are restless, waiting to be on the move. They are anticipatory people who are always poised to act. Some might describe them as impatient and frustrated when they are hovering and waiting as opposed to acting. Their “spider senses” are alive to spot the opportunity to jump.

They have ridiculous goals

They have “unrealistic” career goals. They declare a bold audacious goal without any idea of how they will achieve it and they go for it. They trust trust that they will find a way to get to where they want to go.

They value what you’ve done not what you know

They are proud of their practical achievements and don’t dwell on what they have accomplished at school. In fact they rarely mention their intellectual strengths, but love to discuss a tough project they successfully implemented despite the roadblocks, barriers and impediments the organization threw in their way.

Successful people have competencies that go beyond the normal. They are based on the instinct to survive and win by standing out from those around them.

They don’t win by being the smartest.

They win by being the hungriest.

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 5.13.19 at 04:58 am by Roy Osing
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May 10, 2019

8 easy ways to boost your confidence in college — guest post

Boosting your self confidence is not something that you can keep up; it’s a roller coaster ride. Sometimes, you might be feeling great and happy about everything that you do, or sometimes you might feel like you are out of your element.
But there are definitely ways for you to improve the way you see yourself.

If you want to keep your self-confidence up as often as possible, then here are some tips that you might want to follow.

Encourage positive thoughts

Staying positive is not just another idiomatic expression; there really is truth behind the words.
If you invite positivity towards your daily life, then you will get a lot of it coming your way.
A positive attitude does wonders because everyone around you will remember you for how you see things better and how you see the good side of everything.

Find a confidence role model

You can find confident people anywhere around the internet. There are all sorts of people, whether virtually or in person, who you can meet or look up to.
And if you are looking for some extra confidence boost, you might want to find one from among the many social media influencers, bloggers, writers, and other public figures. You don’t have to live the same lifestyle that they do, instead you should look up to them and the way they feel confident about themselves. If they can be as confident as they are, then you can do that, too.

Don’t compare yourself to others

One of the things that can contribute to a low self esteem is if you keep on looking at others and comparing yourself to them. Not everyone lives the same life, grew up the same way, and thinks the same way.
You should think more about how you can feel great about who YOU are and what YOU you. You are unique in your own way, and that’s something you should think about.

Avoid missing classes

To be more confident about your studies and if you want to excel in all your subjects, you should attend every class as scheduled.
if you don’t attend a class and don’t have the opportunity to participate in discussions led by your college professor your confidence can be adversely affected because hearing how a subject matter expert explains a particular concept fosters a better understanding of it.
And the better you understand something, the more confident you are in it.

Focus on one thing

There are so many things to think about during college. But if you want to good grades and to graduate with flying colours, try to be more focused on your studies.
Learn how to prioritize and concentrate on what needs to be done in the moment.
If you have an exam coming up on calculus, for example, focus on studying and reading your calculus notes; leave aside all the other stuff you could be doing but isn’t a burning priority.

Realize you’re not alone

The struggle for a better self confidence is real and you are not the only one who goes through this challenge — give yourself a break and don’t feel so pressured about lacking some confidence every now and then. Remember that at the end of the day, we are all just human and you can only do so much.

There definitely will be times that you won’t feel so great, and on those days, just focus on things that you know you can feel good about. Focus your attention towards things that can help you see the brighter side of your life.
Maybe you don’t feel so attractive today because you didn’t get enough sleep last night because you were studying, but at least you’re going to own that test!

Look how far you’ve come

You are in college! That on its own is such a huge accomplishment, because not everyone gets to pursue this phase in life — but you are here now and you should make the most of it.
Look at it this way: if you made it this far, then you can make it through any other challenges that life may throw your way. Self confidence is a state of mind, and if you made it to this point in your life, it just means that you had enough confidence to get past the different challenges that are presented to you during your entry to college.

Take comments constructively

People will always have something to say. And it’s up to you if you are going to listen to them or not.
Whether it’s a solicited comment or not, you can always decide on how you will take the comments made to you. It might take you a while to get used to taking comments constructively because we have a natural tendency to get emotional about things that don’t seem to agree with our values, but if you are aiming for self improvement and more confidence, it helps to see things on a positive note.

It takes a lot of practice and patience to improve your ability to constantly find something to be confident about.

There are things that might affect the way you see yourself every now and then, but if you want to be the best version of yourself, it’s about time that you trust yourself now more than ever.

Love yourself, flaws and all.

Abby Brinn is a graduate of Drew “It’s Near New York” University, where she was an English Major and a Writing Minor. Abby is a bit of an academic overachiever, probably because her greatest educational influence is Hermione Granger. Now that she has graduated, she hopes to get a job in writing, editing, or publishing.

  • Posted 5.10.19 at 04:26 am by Roy Osing
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April 22, 2019

Why are great leaders close to the people who execute?

There is a HUGE misconception that remarkable leaders are separate from the common folk in an organization; that they exist in rarefied air that only the great consume.

Don’t be fooled.

Pundits push the view that distinctive leadership is extremely complicated to achieve given the knowledge silos a leader must be proficient in.

Gifted leadership is much more than being expert in the tools of the trade such as strategic business planning, risk management, organizational theory or interpersonal relations.

Yes, you have to understand the basics, but they alone will not place you in the “the chosen few” of leaders.

They are merely table stakes to be in the leadership game.

My experience is that standout leaders are special due to their common folk attributes, in particular connecting with others in a casual way with honesty and integrity.

Leaders who can “see” others; understand their needs and wants and are motivated by a strong desire to help them in any way they can.

Throughout my career I was pressed to conform to the standard leadership practices promulgated by experts who believed that if I followed traditional thinking more closely, I would be a better leader.

I refused. It didn’t make sense to me given the “in the trenches” execution challenges facing the organization to be successful.

Organizations perform well when they execute flawlessly; people performing their assigned roles brilliantly to deliver expected results.
Achieving amazing results doesn’t exist within a strategic plan or conflict management theory.

Rather than go deeper and learn more about traditional practices, I chose to go broader and add a behavioural dimension that I believed would make the difference for the organization.

My approach was simple: to listen to the people doing the work and try to find a way to help them; to make their organizational life easier.

My game plan was to build a team that was unmatched in their ability to execute.

My style was very informal and I was approachable.

I focused more of my efforts than my peers in the workplace to understand and solve the problems preventing people from doing their jobs effectively; to break down barriers and grunge that impeded effective execution.

The upside — my teams consistently punched above its weight; the downside - my personal currency took a hit because my “common folk” approach was deemed inappropriate by some old school executives.

And if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 4.22.19 at 04:34 am by Roy Osing
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April 1, 2019

How to avoid losing it after you’ve got it

It’s an interesting challenge: you’ve invested your time and energy into achieving your goal and now you must continue to reap the benefits of your journey.

Resting on your laurels isn’t an option because there are so many people who would love to assume the position you’re in; who would like nothing more than to replace you.

To keep what you’ve achieved, you must keep your feet moving.

These six actions were very helpful to me in my career as I navigated my way through the hierarchy to eventually reach the executive suite of a major corporation.

Change it up

Never assume what got you here will keep you here or will get you where you want to go next. If you continue with the play that rewarded you yesterday, be prepared for disappointment in your current position.
This is a tough one for most people who have a difficult time morphing themselves from their past successful job approach to something new and different; they assume that if they continue to follow the vector they are on, life will be good.

I created an approach that worked well for me. I tagged it “the magic question” — “what do I have to do differently?”. It is a disciplined method of assessing what changes someone must make when they find themselves in a new role — a self intervention.

Continued success must be earned every day; constantly reinventing yourself is essential.

Work harder

It’s easy to drift when you have achieved the goal you have worked so hard to achieve. You sit back in your new chair, put your hands behind your head, take a deep breath and say to yourself “I’ve made it”.

The issue is, however, your current resting place is temporary; it lasts only as long as you continue to add value to the organization. Falter for a moment and there are many others who are waiting to step in.

Once you’ve got it, keep your head down, sweat more and and deliver more.

Keep your friends

Continue to nurture “the family” that has supported you up to now; you will no doubt need their support as you go forward.

There is a tendency for some people to lose contact with their friends and colleagues once they have arrived at their career destination; this is a mistake.
The more challenging the role you achieve, the more you need support around you to advise you and to simply be there for you when you have emotional let downs.

Make a point of thanking each one of your support team personally for their faith in you and what you stand for, and ask for their continues allegiance.

Learn something new

You have been rewarded for what you have learned in the past, but don’t rest on your laurels too long.

New challenges require new thinking, and anyone who believes that yesterday’s knowledge can be successfully applied to consistently solve tomorrow’s problems is in for a major shock.
Continuing to relying on the expertise you’ve gained up to now will make you stale, and eventually will lead to ineffectiveness in fulfilling your responsibilities.

Keep learning new stuff. Not only will it keep you relevant in terms of your ability to take the issues of the day head on, being ahead of the knowledge curve will provide you with the energy needed to maintain the pace and momentum you require for continued success.

Look beyond the horizon

Take the initiative to play a personal role in your organization’s future.

Get out of the confines of your new job description and develop your own perspective on where the organization needs to go to build value for ownership. Study how customer demand is changing and the likely impact it will have on your competitive position. Develop a profile of new competitors being licensed by disruptive technologies. And build your own view of the strategic game plan that should be followed to meet these new challenges.

If you provide strategic value to the organization beyond what is expected of your current responsibilities, you will establish yourself as an asset with long life to your bosses.

Draft your next chapter

You may be tempted to take a time out, rest, and enjoy the spoils of your efforts once you’ve achieved your goal, but don’t get sucked in to playing the game this way.

Take a deep breath perhaps, but then look for a new prize to focus on — lean into the wind and keep your journey alive.

Successful careers are built on a number of successive achievements; rarely does the “one hit wonder” happen. It’s a serial process of achieve your goal — learn and deliver success in it — look for other opportunities where you can add value for the organization — move on.

Finally…

Many people fall victims to losing it once they’ve got it. This is not only a travesty in terms of not achieving their ultimate potential, it represents an opportunity cost to an organization.
The victims essentially robs their organization of the future value they could have provided had they been able to leverage their achievement into added career success.

These six actions will at least give you a fighting chance to hold and build, not hold and lose.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 4.1.19 at 04:12 am by Roy Osing
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