August 12

Poor leadership and bad culture leaves call centres out of pocket.

Many organisation managers are performing well below their potential due to the rising numbers of leaders who are notoriously poor at leading their people and building internal cultures to support their key focus and value proposition. In my experience as a strategic advisor, I always advise organisations to begin to tackle their leadership effectiveness issue by pumping some value back into the word leadership.

Typically the call centre leader may struggle with a ‘them and us’ culture, and while clearly ‘management’ requires to some extent authority and an element of control, a true leader is only so because people choose to follow! If we define leadership as being evident even in the absence of power and control, in fact if any type of ‘control’ is used, by definition it isn’t leadership!

Every company, not just call centres, needs to recognise that developing new perspectives on traditional management principles is now key to commercial survival.  For the organistions I work with, I implement a culture of innovation to drive competitive advantage – it is innovation which can change the way that people are managed and motivated, improve efficiency and generate sustainable results.

So what does innovation have to do with management techniques?

Create a community where everyone is able to contribute and where nothing is seen as the status quo. Regardless of whatever you do, your people are your product.  Understand and appreciate their value to your organisation and also their untapped potential.  Make sure everyone is “on the bus” and find the right way to reward them for their efforts because the innovation journey has to be worth it!

It may be time to reconsider your role and consider the definition of “management” and “leadership” and what you feel your current role requires.  Management is about being “in charge” of accomplishing tasks and objectives through people, whereas leadership is about influence and guiding people in a certain direction or on a course of action or journey.  To quote on one of the best management thinkers around, Warren Bennis: “Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing”.

Leadership on its own is built on values like sincerity, trust, inspiration, motivation and belief and none of those require power or control. Leadership is about influence and guiding people in a certain direction or on a course of action or journey.   It may be time to reconsider your own values, your take on leadership and management, and the way in which you lead your people and the values you advocate.


Engagement, Innovation, Innovation Culture, Leadership

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