Origins & Journeys: Insights from a leader

Know what you believe in

Fred Stacey: It only made sense for me to, to focus this portion, which is the open forum and just the open discussion on leadership because I mean, you’re, although I had early mentors in leading contact centers, no one really ever, provided great guidance as far as the, the art side of leadership and how to grow and build scale. So I thought, now that I’ve got you on, we can actually focus on leadership.

So with that being said, for a starting point, what, what’s the number one lesson? One or two, um, whatever you want to share that you would give a young leader in our industry today.

Steve Bederman: Well know what you believe in. I really did not become a reasonable leader until I understood my own brain and I understood two things. How do I think? Meaning how do I process? I learned that I was a visual thinker and that I really couldn’t get, uh, many, uh, structures a process unless I could see it.


Steve Bederman on the Origins and Journeys Podcast.

Episode 10 of Origins & Journeys is out with Steven Michael Bederman as he shares his origin story into the contact center industry.

The episode focuses on #leadership in the open forum and shares a ton of great insights for every level of leader.

And once I could visualize it, it was very easy to implement. But the second part was back to know what you’re believing. And I literally one time had an interview in Pakistan. Uh, I’m like their version of the Today Show and ask me a lot of questions. About socially what I believed in and economically and, and, uh, you know, the world.

And I really, all I ever thought about was getting the next thing done in the business. You know, how hard our business was. And I just really never thought about what I believed in and, I, but I got through it, I muddled through it, and I got on the airplane and I was really uncomfortable and a little embarrassed, and I, I, I just sat on the plane for hours writing a little one liners about what are the things I believe in, right?

I’ve never done that examination before. I realized, oh my gosh, I have a lot of things I’ve filled up sheets that I believed in because I really, uh, in fact, Judy used to say to me that, you know, you, you only focus on, on business. You know, you, uh, you don’t really have social, you’re sort of moderate to everything.
Steve: It’s almost a key piece, I would say is how do you find that customer? How do you find that prospect? Like, you know, where are they, depending on their generation and their own habits? The real key is, do they reside on Facebook? Do they prefer WhatsApp? Do they prefer voice? And when that happens, it’s really a matter of finding them through their channel?

Remember everybody is different

Fred Stacey: Jason, how about you?

Jason: So first off, I love what that, what you said, Steve. I think the biggest challenge is most people don’t know who they are, what they believe in, what they stand for. Uh, I went through a similar process when I wrote my book. I was like, wait, how do I sell? What do I do?

What, what actually works and what doesn’t work? And then in that process, I defined it, but before then I had just kind of done it. Um, so I love that. I think either the biggest lesson and the biggest thing I’ve learned that I would tell in a young leader is, um, remember that everybody is different, right?

So many people as a human condition, they think everyone sees the world they do and they think that everyone wants the same things they do and has the same goals and aspirations and motivations and fears and hopes. And the human condition is to just look through our lens at the world and think that everyone else sees the same thing, right?

Same reason I’m frustrated when people are in the fast lane in front of me. They don’t understand what that left lane is for. And I’m just like, how do you guys not understand? It’s actually in the DMV handbook? What that lane’s for? Why are you in my way? I think from a leadership lesson standpoint is to understand everyone’s different.

Uh, it’s why the number one leadership book I recommend to people as a general blanket one is the five love languages. When you realize that and that everyone has a different love language and a different view of the world, it will radically change how you approach and try to lead people.

Listen and Ask questions

Fred Stacey: Artie, how about you? What’s the number one thing?

Artie: Yeah, I’m, I’m gonna give it to you. The number one thing I learned early on was it’s not a title or a role. The people you lead have to give you permission to lead, and you can become a leader before you become, you know, a team leader, manager, whatever.

You can literally be a frontline agent taking calls every day and you can be an inspiration or a guru or that person that people will turn to, and you can be that leader. So it’s not a title and there’s lots of people who have those titles, uh, team lead manager that are horrible leaders, like they just don’t know how to lead.

Um, and they have people on their team who are amazing leaders and they don’t have that title. So just, just think of it in a different way. Um, you have to get the permission of the people that you lead. And then the other one, uh, which was a lesson that I learned very, very early on. Um, and my, uh, my kind of mentor, uh, who was my leader at the time reminded me of this as I was starting to become a leader was: Don’t give as many answers or solutions. You’re not there to be the problem solver. Sometimes you’re there to just listen and ask questions. So the more questions you ask, the better leader you are. As long as you’re asking the right questions and it’s not distracting, uh, you can ask five questions to narrow down into a specific topic versus just, uh, listening to a problem and then giving a solution.

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