Josh Magsam believes you can help potential leaders build and hone those gut instincts that are based on experience.
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 58 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is building leaders in your team. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today on the podcast, I’d like to welcome back Josh Maxim. Josh. It’s lovely to have you back. And the topic for this week is building leaders in your team and I’d love to hear your personal experiences or thoughts or advice in this area.
Josh Magsam 0:47
Building potential leaders. This is one of my absolute favourite topics. I think the key is to work with them and building their instincts, teaching them to trust their instincts. I think the one thing that that happens a lot of juniors Leaders their first time out of the gate, they come in a lot of times with nervous questions about every move they’re going to make, right? Making decisions, knowing that the responsibility falls on them. Worried a little bit about the outcome, oh gosh, what if I hire the wrong person? What if I, you know, implement the wrong action plan, etc, etc. You have to give them some latitude so they can make those decisions support them in making difficult calls. I can think of an instance where a more junior manager that I was working with at the time was hiring, it was a new position, it was kind of unique position. And, you know, we had some back and forth about what would bring success to this position, and I was pretty sceptical about the decision they were leaning towards, but they were very fierce in advocating for their position. The risk was fairly minimal, not zero, but minimal. You know, I conferred with other stakeholders and I said, I think we need to let them on this call. Right? I think we need to let them decide on this hire, make it very clear, you know what the success criteria going to be? You know, then then watch and be ready to To jump in and say kudos, you made a great call, we were wrong, you taught us something. But if they fail, also be ready to step in and say, everyone does it. It’s all right. And you know, now we’re going to iterate and move on. And the next time you screen for this position, you’re going to know a little bit more of what to look for and what helps make that and this was a particular instance where it didn’t work out. There were some issues around that. And that’s exactly what happened with the follow up. We just said, Hey, you stuck to your guns, we appreciate that. We respect that. You know, those of us with more experience, saw some angles here. Now you can see them too, because you’ve gone through it. That’s how we that’s how we saw the angles. We’d all been in your seat once right? We made some of these calls and we learned from that’s how you build great leaders is helping them recognise where their instincts are and being quick when they make a good call to step in and say that’s excellent. And when they make a bad call, be very supportive, and say, Hey, we all do it. Every one of us will I will make another bad call this year. Someone in the C suite will probably make a call. That won’t be the right One either, we’re all in this together. So the main thing you have to do is to learn from it. And I think when you’re building up new leaders, helping them develop the gut level drive that just makes this almost like muscle memory around some of these decisions, right where you feel early on, like, it’s just emotional boating, you step back and critique it. You’re saying no, I’m actually building on my experience to make a decision based on things I’ve done 1000 times in the past. And that’s just what you don’t have as your manager, you don’t have the experience. If you spend all your time running interference for them. They’re not going to get it.
Charlotte Ward 3:33
Yeah, it’s so it really is a lot about freedom and trust, isn’t it and, and tweets and actually reminding them that great leaders still make mistakes, and make errors of judgement as we as we see every day when we hold our governments to account.
Josh Magsam 3:51
I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about. There’s no getting Of course, but no, that’s absolutely and that’s one of the things that I’ve loved about figures that have been important for me, you seeing people that that you can hold up as great business visionaries, great leaders, anyone you can kind of name you can put them up and say, Wow, they’ve accomplished so much. And it feels like there’s been a lot more of the narrative around this in the last few years that these people stepping forward and saying, Hey, I fell on my face a tonne on the way up here. And it was my ability to learn from that, that got me here, and no one gets there alone. One of my favourite books from the last few years is Tim Ferriss tribe of mentors, little mixed a little on the Tim Ferriss brand overall, but I love this particular book, because he just sent out a questionnaire to something like 200 different business leaders, celebrities, artists, etc, etc, and said, Hey, you know, just kind of fill this out. Tell me how you do these things. And so many of them right back saying, you all know me as this world class athlete, right. But here’s the people that you never heard of who taught me the teachers, the coaches, the people that drove me to and from games, the person that I kept calling up on the phone, I was down and out after a bad game. That person was like, yeah, you I saw you know, you, you really screwed up in the fourth quarter you can’t do that, you know, and and the people who really called them out, and the number of big names that just sort of say, hey, you need to understand that my success isn’t due to my genius that doesn’t exist, right? It’s down to the tribe of mentors that taught me everything I know to get here.
Charlotte Ward 5:19
All these unseen support people of our own journey. really key aren’t they? They’re they’re really influential and
Josh Magsam 5:28
right and, you know, it comes from different sources. I mean, I, I was in academics before come back to the private sector. And I go back to my my dissertation advisor and mentor and friend, Dr. Lisa Frankel, who if you pulled this person’s profile up and looked at them on paper, you’d say what relationship does her body of work have to someone who’s doing this but I learned things about discipline. I learned things about you know, holding myself accountable in certain ways. I learned things about my working rhythms, all sorts of things from her and her very, you know, tough but firm yet, you know, empathetic and gracious guy. That’s not an angle people would expect you to reference they expect you to say oh such and such a business leader and I have learned, I learned from various business leaders that have worked under people that I look up to, but all these different areas where you find inspiration and guidance and meeting for yourself, those are part of what helps you build up your instinct as a leader because they teach you about your decision making processes. They teach you where you’re weak. You know, as a leader, you need to understand you know, how to hire them to delegate to your strengths, but also to your weaknesses. Right. You know, it’s another thing you think as a manager leader, I’m supposed to do it all myself. No, no, no, you’re supposed to identify the right people to put in the right place to accomplish the job.
Charlotte Ward 6:40
That’s it for today. Go to customer support leaders.com/58 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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