Today I want to share with you 2 books from my bookshelf that represent my core beliefs in leading call center teams.
The first “Your Boss Is Not Your Mother” by Brian Desroches has had a home in every one of my offices for over 20 years. It’s full of great insight on workplace relationships. But let me be clear that it’s not an easy read so I’m not recommending you rush out to buy it unless you are ready for some heavy duty work.
Why then is it important to me?
Because the title reminds me that it is not my job to FIX every mistake a team member makes. I can’t kiss away their booboos. I can’t brush off bad behavior. I can’t take ownership of their decisions. Sometimes that breaks my heart.
What I can do is create a workplace that is fair and consistent. An environment where everyone has an opportunity to OWN their success or their failure.
And the second book? “Love Works” by Joel Manby.
Ah, does that sound like a contradiction to you? “I don’t want to be your Mother” but “I’m going to lead with Love”?
Not at all!
We all know that there are few high pressure, high expectation environments like that of a call center. Practically every move, every breath of a call center rep is measured and analyzed.
“Love Works” reminds me that I am a better leader when I am compassionate.
Call center reps are going to fail, reps are going to succeed. They are going to fight their way through challenges. And sometimes they are going plummet and struggle to get out of a hole. What I’ve learned is it is important how I respond to those results. Yes the goals and the rules are the same for everyone. And the reward or consequences will be the same for everyone. What’s different for each team member is the care and support they receive. For you see, each one is on a separate path, they are each unique. And I can help each one along that path in a very personal, individualized and loving way.
That’s the definition of “leadership”. Leadership is not about the results, it is how you walk the path with your team.
I’m a better leader when I lift people up.