Joe Olujic

One of the great challenges of executives in any industry is finding the ability to strike the type of balance that allows for an equal focus on the many important aspects of business operations that work in concert and are undeniably vital to the continued success of any organization. In the gaming industry this is especially difficult, but it seems that Joe Olujic has found a way to effectively manage his leadership responsibilities while delivering the kind of financial outcomes that investors frequently demand.

Mr. Olujic’s long career in the gaming industry has been defined by his ability to serve as an effective communicator whose interpersonal skills have allowed his business acumen to shine through in every encounter. Of course, his service-oriented philosophy has served him well in every business endeavor, as there is no industry that does not benefit significantly from consistent attentiveness to the customer base that supports the organization.

This is admittedly difficult in the gaming industry, however, as there is a danger in placing customers in an adversarial role. Mr. Olujic, however, has adopted a number of strategies that have not only kept customers from developing the “us versus them” mentality that plagues many casinos, but has instead succeeded in creating a loyal customer base in each organization in which he has served in a leadership role.

According to Mr. Olujic, the key to successfully generating loyalty among gaming customers is not to express optimism regarding future success in gaming. Mr. Olujic instead focuses on providing services in addition to gaming that customers clearly value and appreciate. This helps to ensure that even the least fortunate of gaming enthusiasts will not feel the least bit slighted and will happily return in the future.

Executive Level Leadership

Mr. Olujic has spent his entire professional career working in the gaming industry and has well over a decade of experience serving in high-level executive positions. He has spent a great deal of that time with The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, serving in various positions that include his longtime role as assistant general manager. It is in this role that Mr. Olujic successfully managed the financial endeavors of the organization.

The financial acumen that he exhibited in his role as assistant general manager was immediately recognized and led to countless offers from other organizations that wished to experience the type of outcomes that Mr. Olujic had created in his work with The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, but his loyalty to the organization and the satisfaction he felt in his daily work resulted in Mr. Olujic turning down some very lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

After eight years, Mr. Olujic was finally convinced to accept a position outside of The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. His new role as chief operating officer enabled Mr. Olujic to combine his skills in finance with his interpersonal skills, as he quickly worked to create a corporate culture and establish an overarching philosophy that would benefit the organization tremendously going forward. In addition to the establishment of practical policies that improved the function of the organization, Mr. Olujic also spearheaded a project that would see the organization expand its market reach in a significant manner.

The organization, which was headquartered in Oklahoma, had encountered strategic difficulty due to rampant competition in a state known for its abundant opportunities for gaming. Mr. Olujic created a company culture that included the application of his service-oriented practices at every level of the organization, which resulted in a more loyal customer base that began to rapidly expand despite the many other casinos in the area.

Once the customer base began to expand, Mr. Olujic was able to put a corporate expansion plan in place that would see his new organization develop a greater market share in the gaming industry. In addition to expanded gaming opportunities, Mr. Olujic also created a foothold in the hospitality industry for the organization, which served to further separate and elevate it from its competition.

While Mr. Olujic’s successful and rapid expansion of this organization is what he is known for within the industry at large, those who have worked with him know that it is his communication skills that are most valuable. Mr. Olujic possesses a rare talent for interpersonal relations that has benefited him and his organizations in both internal and external interactions.

Employees feel comfortable approaching Mr. Olujic and he openly courts challenges to any idea he poses so he can effectively see all sides of any issue. His open-mindedness and his friendly disposition have made him someone that people truly enjoy working for, and his executive-level partners value his keen business insights and his willingness to act on the big ideas that have proven to be consistently profitable.

Personal Interests and Values

Mr. Olujic has spent many years occupying leadership positions that require a great deal of his time and his energy. Despite this, Mr. Olujic has endeavored to ensure that his personal life and his professional life are separate so that one does not suffer because of the other. Part of the reason that Mr. Olujic has experienced so much success in the world of business is because he understands the many benefits of maintaining and developing relationships while showing appropriate appreciation to all of the people involved in his life, both personal and professional.

Even though Mr. Olujic seems to have an intense focus in his professional life, his family has long come first and is very close-knit. In fact, many of Mr. Olujic’s principles relating to his service-oriented approach to customers and his personal approach with members of his organization is the result of principles he learned from his family, noting that there is nothing more important than treating everyone with the respect that they deserve and ensuring they receive recognition for any valuable contributions.

While many executives are known to take their work home with them and to never be “off the clock,” Mr. Olujic has adopted a personal policy in which his attention turns solely to his family the moment he leaves the office. There was one instance in particular that influenced this personal policy and solidified it in Mr. Olujic’s mind.

This particular instance involved a perceived emergency that resulted in executives calling Mr. Olujic at home during a family dinner, and his flat refusal to have the family dinner interrupted caused a bit of initial consternation. After Mr. Olujic explained his position and asked that his position be relayed to the parties at the center of the perceived emergency, the executives found that while initially upset, the parties agreed to instead meet with Mr. Olujic in his office the next business day rather than continue to demand an immediate resolution. Those parties appreciated Mr. Olujic’s candor and his family-first approach, and the so-called emergency was easily and amicably resolved the following day in Mr. Olujic’s office.

Though these values seem increasingly rare in the business world – and especially in the high-stakes gaming industry – Mr. Olujic has preached that focusing on what is truly important will lead to a life filled with happiness and contentment. Employees feel comfortable requesting time away from work for family functions and the organization has found that employees work harder and very rarely request any additional time off for trivial reasons.

In addition, Mr. Olujic’s values seem to have influenced the satisfaction that employees experience at work, as they enjoy working for someone who they know cares deeply for his family and who clearly values the familial relationships of others as well. This is just another example of the many contributing factors that have made Mr. Olujic’s career in the gaming industry an unequivocal success for well over a decade.

After many years in the gaming industry, Joe Olujic remains a highly sought-after executive whose leadership style is frequently emulated by executives in competing organizations. His creative approach to business operations and his pragmatic view of financial matters has led to overwhelming organizational success in each stop of Mr. Olujic’s professional career. A longtime veteran of the gaming industry, Mr. Olujic continues to enjoy the daily challenges of his leadership role and constantly strives to find new and effective methods to further enhance the experience of the customers who take advantage of the gaming opportunities he provides.

Resources:

http://ggbmagazine.com/issue/vol-13-no-1-january-2014/article/people-to-watch-2014-joe-olujic
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-jensen/the-hiring-guru-joe-oluji_b_7076310.html
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/joe-olujic/23/b16/41

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