Oswald R. Viva

Oswald R. Viva is the founder and president of V&A Management, LLC, a consulting company founded in 1985, dedicated to helping small and midsize businesses. He has over twenty years of top corporate management in large and small companies, including multiple C-level positions, fifteen years as consultant in high-tech and manufacturing industries worldwide, and fifteen years as CEO and as an executive coach.
Oswald participated in eight start-ups, either as a principal and founder or as a consultant in an acting leadership position, including multiple CEO positions. He has served on  ...See more >


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"It's Lonely at the Top: there’s an abundance of comprehensive sections to guide the reader from building an organization to planning an exit strategy and hiring a successor. Viva also gives plenty of examples from his own experience, as well useful tips from some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and references for further reading. Additionally, the appendix includes helpful additional facts and information, including “A Business Owners Personal Roadmap,” which provides an opportunity for readers to track their responses to thought-provoking questions for further evaluation or clarity; a very useful business guide. The Making of a CEO: An intentionally broad survival manual for beginning CEOs. This book’s format works exceedingly well, providing a nicely balanced combination of brief counsel and relevant examples. The value of the content overshadows any minor deficiencies. The Accountability Factor: Viva touches quickly and lightly on how people may be held to account in a wide variety of domains— media, family, education, government— but he’s at his best describing accountability’s role in the corporate cosmos. His writing is crisp and steers clear of MBA jargon, although much of the counsel here is so sensible precisely because it’s so conventional. That said, it’s a useful summary of an important issue. A sound, well-structured primer for corporate managers."

Kirkus Reviews


AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS

Hometown Acworth, GA

Day job CEO Coach

Favorite line from a book Ambiguity is the enemy of accountability

Favorite word Accountability

Passion in life Family


BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-5169-4253-4
Page count: 408pp

A management consultant offers a coaching session for small-business owners.

Business startups continue to proliferate, but the failure rate for new ventures is high. Unfortunately, unskilled business owners could be the fundamental reason for the lack of sustainable success. This handy primer by Viva (The Entrepreneurial Game, 2014, etc.) is a jolt of reality that should help such owners better understand the role they need to play in leading the businesses they founded. The author, a consultant who has experience with both small and large companies, says that his goal is “not to tell you what to do or to give you the answers, but to ask the right questions or to give you opportunities to think, so that you come up with the answers appropriate for your business and for yourself.” He does this well in a book that touches on many key areas without delving into any particular one in too much detail. The text’s introductory approach allows it to cover a lot of ground, including issues such as leadership versus management, goal-setting, strategic planning, communication, delegation, performance management, exit and succession planning, and others. Much of this information is available in other books (as evidenced by Viva’s own references), but the author’s stated approach here is to provide a tasting of topics rather than a full-course meal. As with any such work, the downside is a lack of depth. That said, this book’s format works exceedingly well, providing a nicely balanced combination of brief counsel and relevant examples. In each chapter, Viva inserts short vignettes from his own experience to illustrate specific points, and he includes several self-assessment questionnaires that encourage readers to honestly evaluate their own attributes. The writing isn’t always crisp, and it falls prey to occasional typographic errors (“one or tow others”; “No Mans Land”) but the value of the content overshadows these deficiencies.

An intentionally broad, somewhat cursory survival manual for beginning CEOs.

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1462046553
Page count: 332pp

Taking a page from his own 20-year career as a small business consultant, CEO and executive coach Viva creates a practical guide for aspiring CEOs.

In the first few chapters, Viva helps readers determine what type of CEO they are or would like to be. Although there are many questions here for the would-be executive, there’s not much guidance about how to answer some of the more difficult queries. For example, Viva asks potential CEOs to list their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their goals and plans to elevate the company to the next level, a tricky request given that each person may have a skewed impression of their strengths and weaknesses and may have trouble evaluating their responses. The “Strategic Plan” section includes especially challenging questions: “Where do you want to take the company next?” and “How will you get there?” Among other things, this section asks the reader to determine cost and required resources. Despite a few minor weaknesses, there’s an abundance of comprehensive sections to guide the reader from building an organization, which includes key skills—interviewing, organization building, communication, and much more—to planning an exit strategy and hiring a successor. Viva also gives plenty of examples from his own experience, as well useful tips from some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and references for further reading. Additionally, the appendix includes helpful additional facts and information, including “A Business Owners Personal Roadmap,” which provides an opportunity for readers to track their responses to thought-provoking questions for further evaluation or clarity.

Despite a repetitive first half, a very useful business guide.

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

A brief, synoptic study of the concept of accountability, focusing on organizational establishment and maintenance. 

According to consultant Viva (The Making of a CEO, 2015, etc.), day-to-day accountability is absolutely necessary in the business world and also in dangerously short supply: “Sadly, of all the things that are expected of leaders, accountability is something few people excel in. Despite what many managers and people in leadership claim, most don’t know how to hold subordinates accountable.” Accountability, he says, requires two basic components: someone who bears responsibility for some task or objective and someone else who holds that person to account. However, this setup requires well-organized, transparent processes to be put in place and a specific understanding of an organization’s hierarchy. To that end, the author supplies a sample “functional organization chart” and explains the importance of written contracts. At the heart of the book is a consideration of the demands of leadership, as accountability, Viva avers, necessarily emanates from the top. He astutely discusses the principal obligations of a company leader—hiring and firing, the delicate act of delegation—and offers a sensible rendering of the nature of personal accountability for leaders (and a specific “personal accountability plan”). Processes, the author notes, are never sufficient—a leader must foster a culture in which employees feel empowered to make their own decisions and to own their consequences. Viva is the founder and president of V&A Management, a consulting firm in Acworth, Georgia, and has 20 years of experience coaching top managers, and he helpfully illustrates his main points by culling anecdotes from his own career. He touches quickly and lightly on how people may be held to account in a wide variety of domains—media, family, education, government—but he’s at his best describing accountability’s role in the corporate cosmos. His writing is crisp and steers clear of MBA jargon, although much of the counsel here is so sensible precisely because it’s so conventional. That said, it’s a useful summary of an important issue. 

A sound, well-structured primer for corporate managers. 

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:

PERFORMANCE REVIEWS; THE BAD, THE UGLY,... THE ALTERNATIVE
Business

In the last several years there has been a flood of articles and commentaries criticizing traditional employee reviews and even calling for their elimination all together. The reasons given are many but they really amount to the fact that performance reviews don’t do much for the employee or for the company. These publications argue against employee performance reviews but offer very little as alternatives. At most they suggest better ways to do them or different but similar processes than in reality suffer from the same problems. In this book I propose a valid alternative that has many advantages related to benefits to the employee, the manager and the employer. Management of an organization—small or large— requires measurement of performance of all employees throughout the organization. How this is done is critical to the performance of the organization (company, department or group) and primarily to the development and wellbeing of each employee. Traditional management tools (performance reviews) have many flaws and some alternatives are either not well understood, are unfair or are unproductive. A valid alternative should be welcomed by all concerned. The alternative proposed here is a proven tool that represents a significant improvement over the other methods used. I am not proposing anything new or revolutionary; to the contrary, my proposal is to use an old system, but one that is not generally used for the purpose of performance reviews. I propose that using MBO and RBGO will eliminate the shortcomings of standard performance reviews. MBO = Management By Objectives RBGO= Reviews By Goals and Objectives

ISBN: ISBN-13:978-1496144157 ISBN-10:1


THE ENTREPREURSHIP GAME; CAN YOU WIN AT IT?

This book intends to alert would-be entrepreneurs of the challenges they will face in the venture, but it is, by no means, intended to frighten or discourage them from it. Entrepreneurship is a commendable adventure, and achieving success in it is a rewarding experience. The exhilaration of success as a business owner negates all sacrifices made to reach the goal. As a coach, I specialize in small and medium size businesses, helping their owners reach their goals. Consequently, all my books aim at that segment of the business community. This book is no exception; I address the entrepreneurial efforts of those who use their talent, vision and drive to start and manage a new business, usually without any or much outside investment, but with the tenacity necessary to reach their goals. These are entrepreneurs who may be part of the baby boomer generation and have worked their way up from workingclass backgrounds. Perhaps they had been working on various trades or had been employed in different fields, but decided to take a chance at a dream. They are not the high-tech, venturebacked executives; instead they are leaders of what some people may consider boring businesses. I ignore in this book the so-called Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, young men and women who create companies on one product—predominantly software and internet based— receive outlandish amounts of cash from venture capitalists or angels and become millionaires or billionaires practically overnight. These entrepreneurs may have the traits discussed here but in general, those traits do not decide the success of the venture or of the entrepreneur. I admire them for what they do and what they offer the world, but I prefer to discuss the intrepid bootstrapper. The demographics are changing and millennials tend to be the Silicon Valley-type of entrepreneurs, but those boring businesses are still everywhere, and for the valiant people who chose them, are the bread-and butter of entrepreneurial success. This is why this book is aimed at the small business entrepreneurs

ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1500520496 ISBN-10:
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