Roy's Blog

November 21, 2016

The heat of the moment was an amazing teacher

My math studies taught me the theory of differential equations, linear algebra and micro economics, but for the most part the educational content sat on my cognitive shelf aging as my career progressed.


In retrospect, my years of academic toiling netted out to learning how to solve problems created when intentions and results don’t match.

But I needed more. My education should have prepared me to better provide the value my organization required to succeed in a complicated and intensely competitive environment.

I had to learn many practical things in the heat of the moment.

School is proficient at teaching us to conform to accepted academic dogma.

If you master book wisdom, you are rewarded with a first class mark and the expectation you will land a plum job and a rewarding career.

Well, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

Business success is not about how well you master the content of your chosen degree.

It’s not about how effectively you memorize course material.

It’s not about mastering case studies and learning how organizations were successful in the past.

I was never exposed to these 33 principles in school, yet they have stood the test of time as being critical to organization success and survival.

1. There is no right answer in business, just degrees of wrongness.
2. What works for one organization or person doesn’t necessarily work for another.
3. The perfect business strategy is a myth.
4. Fast imperfection is a competitive advantage.
5. Plan ‘A’ never works; Plan ‘B’ might.
6. Leadership is more about listening than directing.
7. Success = (doing) (lots of) (imperfect) (stuff) (fast).
8. If a person gives you goosebumps when telling a story, hire them.
9. Be good at anticipating but GREAT at responding.
10. Effective selling is the result of serving.
11. Execution, NOT the plan, determines who wins and who looses.
12. The ‘average’ customer doesn’t exist.
13. Corollary: Mass markets don’t either.
14. ‘Let’s head west’ is a valid strategy.
15. Competitive advantage comes from being the ONLY ones that you do.
16. Low price = low value.
17. If you have to talk about price, you have no value to offer.
18. Benchmarking best in class adds ZERO strategic value.


19. Corollary: The fast follower achieves ZERO faster.
20. Growing shareholder value is a meaningless objective.
21. Internal policies belong in the warehouse, NEVER exposed to customers.
22. People can’t be trained to provide caring service. You can train them to smile but that’s all.
23. Corollary: Don’t trust anyone who grins you.
24. Never ask a lawyer’s opinion on how to respond to a customer complaint.
25. Entitlement is a four letter word.
26. ‘All things remaining equal’ is Keynesian crap.
27. Linear regression is a trend line to nowhere.
28. Standout leaders encourage imperfection.
29. Without the HOW, the WHAT is a dream.
30. Great communication has a fog factor of ‘0’; KISS!
31. The more mistakes you make, the more successes you have.
32. People can’t do more than 3 things well at the same time.
33. BE DiFFERENT or be dead

It’s about time our graduates arrived on the steps of business with PRACTICAL skills; treat this as your ‘learn on the run’ list of practices to guide you.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 11.21.16 at 05:41 am by Roy Osing
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