CXO Conversation Podcast

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

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.





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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

Top Grading

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


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