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CEO Bill Wosilius, Why and How to Prepare for CEO Chair

CXO Conversations

Release Date: 02/25/2020

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As was wrapping up being CFO of , after a Accel KKR transaction to Terminus Capital Partners, he was asked to complete the final year of a City Council seat, provided he would not run for reelection. Tyson readily agreed - he wanted to give back to his community.  Tyson shares his thoughts on: How serving as a Company Executive helps him be a good public servant Corporate kills and experiences that he is able to utilize as a City Council member Shared thoughts to those who are interested in serving their community David served as COO/CFO for Delta Data until a change of control...

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While a CFO for , led the iconic brand through a global transformation from print to digital and live events globally.   David shares his thoughts on: Early digital adoption and transformation of a globally respected brand Listening to the client base What he learned and advice offered from the global experience David led the project management of the transformation with consulting selling both internally and externally. He also listened to clients and subscribers as they went from weekly print only to digital and took the brand live with events from Africa, Europe to North...

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After Travelers Insurance acquired several companies, as a Director, wrote a transition memo and proposed he lead the initiative.  His superiors countered by promoting him to President, relocating him to California and told him to run the whole thing.  Stephen speaks to: Experience of going from Director to President overnight and how he prepared Overcoming self-doubt by continuously learning and improving As a 32-year-old, leading an older C suite Generation Advice 55-year-old Stephen would give to 32-year-old Stephen Stephen went from Director to President overnight and...

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has served as a CTO for numerous technology companies in France and the US.  He speaks to the differences in managing technical vs non technical staff and aligning to their motivations.  Frederic talks to: Differences in leading technical and non-technical professionals Role of the CTO on the executive leadership team Advice to those who seek the C suite.  For the last seven years, Frederic has served as the CTO for and held the CTO chair at 3 other companies after serving as a Project Manager for IBM.  Thank you to for being a sponsor of CXO Conversations...

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, CFO for talks to her creativity and passion for embracing challenges as opportunities with an entrepreneurial spirit. During the interview, Kathleen speaks to: ·         Being promoted from VP to CFO ·         Overlooked Roles and responsibility of being a CFO ·         How being a Big 4 consultant helped prepare her for the C Suite Kathleen was a partner track consultant at KPMG when after 13 years,  she decided to become a small business owner. Then Kathleen...

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CXO Conversations is excited to share some great insights from a global CFO and CTO, curious CFO and CEO who created a President role for himself at age 32.  CFO of Bonfire airs on July 19th, followed by Dashlane CTO , Briotix Health CEO  and former CFO for The Economist, .

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An accomplished investor,  is  the Managing partner and co-founder of . Rand has invested in many well-known companies such as Zayo, Cloud Sherpa, LogRhythm, Iterable, Chegg and others. For over 24 years, Rand has been investing and hiring executives for portfolio companies and he’s learned and observed a lot about what makes an executive a great leader and successful. In this episode, Rand discusses: He invests not only dollars, but real relationships with people Advice to current and emerging CEOs What makes a leader successful and how he finds it in candidates After...

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is a CRO who started his sales career at an industrial supply company and observed what was happening in the technology sector and said - I want in on that. For those who wonder how to make the transition from one sector to another, this is a conversation not to be missed. In this episode, Jay discusses: How he transitioned from the industrial shop floor to a tech company How he demonstrated his skills to overcome lack of Tech experience As a member of the executive committee, how the CRO contributes to company strategy David has held leadership roles at companies such as Amdocs,...

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, an Executive Coach and founder of , has gone through the challenge of changing a career path and embracing new opportunities. Carla speaks to the advantages and growth (both personal and professional) of pushing yourself and getting outside of your comfort zone.  Professionals achieve career accomplishments by continuing to push oneself, learning, tackling new projects and improving. That’s how Executives are formed.   Carla talks to; Realizing path one is on isn’t always the right one Pushing your boundaries and trying new things She agrees UDub is the best university-...

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David Parkhurst is the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) and Managing Partner for Omni Interactions. Additional roles he has served as includes Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and Chief Growth Officer. David discusses: The differences between CCO, CGO and CRO Moving from VP to C Level and the shift in revenue responsibilities When a deal falls apart at zero hour & lessons learned David has held leadership roles at ServiceSource, Skykes Enterprises and Alpine Access focusing on customer care solutions. This has given David insight into economic cycles and client business...

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Bill Wosilius joins the show to discuss matters ranging from declaring your role and how to obtain it, assessing the situation and making hard executive changes, why become a CEO, and how to prepare for it. He has a wealth of advice to share and the experience to back it up; don’t miss this episode.



After graduating from the U.S. Airforce Academy and serving for eight years, Bill worked for companies such as InFlow, Sunguard, Healthgrades, CoreSite, Optiv, and now NexusTek.





Podfly Productions: Podfly.net

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[1:52] Michael introduces Bill and asks him to share an interesting tidbit about himself — Bill made a promise to himself that he would run one adventure race a year, every year until he couldn’t.


Bill talks about what NexusTek does and who they are.


ACCIDENTAL CEO [5:55] Bill shares how he came to be a CEO at NexusTek, and shares a few pieces of advice for reaching the C-suite, including avoiding target fixation!


ALL OF IT IS IMPORTANT [9:35] Looking back on what led him to where he is today, Bill shares that every single experience in the last 10 years has contributed to him being an accidental CEO and IT guy.


FIVE FROGS [12:24] Bill shares the story of how he led his first integration and what cascaded from it, including the challenges of merging and integrating the Hatfields and the McCoys!


M&A BACK OFFICE [19:02] Although he wasn’t directly responsible for the back-office functions, Bill did get a chance to see how an M&A affects them. He touches on how important it is to hire strong, competent leaders for each of the functions.


NEWLY MINTED CEO [21:36] Bill describes his first 30, 60, and 120 days at NexusTek. He shares the first four questions he asks:

  1. What’s working?
  2. What’s not working?
  3. What should we start now?
  4. What should we stop now?


H.A.C. G.A.S. N.A. [24:54] Bill breaks down the acronyms he used to keep himself on track in choosing a team.


HUGE CHESS MOVES [27:36] Within his first 120 days, Bill had brought in — among others — a new CFO, COO, VP of Professional Services and a VP of Integration; he speaks to those decisions.


MANAGEMENT STYLE [30:22] Bill describes his management style, which he’s been both praised and criticized for!


ADVICE FOR ASPIRING CXO’s [32:32] Quit focusing on it! Just do a good job — the best job you ever had is the one you have right now.


HIRING EXECUTIVES [38:34] Bill shares the qualities he looks for when hiring for executive positions. He shares the use of the FORMS acronym.


FINAL THOUGHTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS [44:38] Bill shares his final advice: every job prepares you in some way; all of them are important. Michael shares his best worst job for the first time!


BEST WORST JOB BILL EVER HAD [46:52] All of them were good: except two where he worked for authoritative micro-managers.


Michael shares his own best worst job for the first time!


MORE FINAL THOUGHTS (as the music plays Bill off the stage!) [49:18] Bill has more invaluable advice to offer.


[50:35] Michael thanks Bill for coming on the podcast to share his insight and closes out the podcast with his favorite takeaways.


We hope you learned something today and enjoyed the conversation. Please give us 5 stars on iTunes and share your comments so we can improve and ask the questions you want to hear.




Five Frogs on a Log: A CEO's Field Guide to Accelerating the Transition in Mergers, Acquisitions & Gut Wrenching Change, by Mark L Feldman and Michael F. Spratt

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Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Lief Babin

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World,
by Admiral William H. McRaven



Jalan Crossland for the music

Angela Johnson at OC Executive Search

Joseph Batty at Podfly

Corey Coates at Podfly