60: Building Leaders in Your Team with Greg Skirving

60: Building Leaders in Your Team with Greg Skirving

Greg Skirving talks about how he easily spots potential leaders by the queue at their desks!


I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward 0:12
Hello, and welcome to Episode 60 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. I’d like to welcome to the podcast today. Greg Skirving. Greg, would you like to introduce yourself?

Greg Skirving 0:41
Absolutely. Hey, Charlotte, how are you? Yeah, Greg Skirving, currently I’m a Support Manager with Broadcom, the semantic enterprise division. I’ve been doing support for probably about 15 years but in my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have sold and done implementation and professional services.

Charlotte Ward 1:02
Awesome. Thanks, Greg, lovely to have you. The topic for this week is building leaders in your team. And I’m curious how you identify those leaders and how you encourage leadership, qualities and skills in your individual contributors.

Greg Skirving 1:21
Yeah, firstly, I think having an actual team lead or even a de facto leader within the individual contributor group is, is critical to the success of the overall organisation. And it’s a tough role. It’s tough to be a pseudo manager and yet still be one of the folks that’s, that’s that’s doing the doing the job taking cases dealing with customers. So it takes a very special, very special person. I find that leaders naturally bubble up you’ll notice them over time. They get there. respect of their peers, they typically have a long line at their desk with looking for looking for help. And it’s not just the technical part, the core part of the job, it may be dealing with customers, it may be other administrative parts of the role. You know, you see that over time, what I like to do when I have people that that are in that position, and want to really embrace that and move forward, is provide opportunities for challenge. You know, have them covered for me when I’m, when I’m out. In my role, obviously, I fill a role but when Greg so the role doesn’t leave. So who’s Greg when Greg’s not here, and great opportunity to have people actually get in the saddle and see what it’s like that also provides a different perspective managers deal with with their individual contributors. And, and we know why it’s, you know, typically to maybe take a call or can you handle that case or there’s an escalation. But the perspective of the, the individual contributor is, is, why is that manager always pinging me. So I think when you when you find them, and can develop a leader who’s actually one of the individual contributors, they actually get to see what it’s like on the other side, and can help propagate that message as to as to why and there is rhyme and reason why your, your manager might be reaching out to you and no, he or she’s not picking on you. It’s we’ve got business to do here.

Charlotte Ward 3:33
I think that’s really, really true that the perspectives differ wildly from IC to manager. And if you have people who are able to see both halves of that coin that that really does really just build that bridge doesn’t it enables you to have those conversations, potential leadership is often flagged by those queues of people at someone’s desk and it isn’t just one In the technical aspects of the role, and in fact, quite often, your best leaders, your best potential leaders aren’t your best. ICS. Right.

Greg Skirving 4:09
Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up. And that is, I think, a common mistake viewpoint. Typically, your best technical resource doesn’t have the overall leadership skills, that doesn’t mean that they’re not your best technical resource. And I’ve seen in my career in succession planning where we need to move somebody up to take over the managerial position. And well, you know, Bobby or Sally is the best performer on the team, let’s make them the manager. And, and that has two effects. It puts that person in a situation where they they might not be cut out or even worse, want to pursue that Managerial career. Number two, you take your best, your best performer out of the poor. So, you know, that’s not to say that, that people who are overly technical can’t be leaders, but you know, it’s We’re looking for the ability to influence people have have people look up to them. And one of the critical thing I’ve found is to perform at that top level you you you have to perform with only having downside you know it’s easy to be somebody new and you can make mistakes and you know we might you might have a Have a good day but when you’re seen as as as that top person there’s a lot of responsibility and if something goes wrong, you know you’re going to hear about it. So that’s another quality I look for in in in leaders being able to perform with with only heavy downside because you’re the best and we only ever expect the best.

Charlotte Ward 5:40
I’ve got one more thing I want to touch on which is something you said before which is that when you when you find that person to step into your shoes when you’re out I you always calling on that one person or do you share the love around.

Greg Skirving 5:55
Typically I will have you know one or two or maybe three people are in that, that de facto team lead or literal team lead role? And yeah, I do like to. I do like to spread it around.

Charlotte Ward 6:09
Yeah, yeah. I mean, obviously a lot depends on the size of the team, but you use the right word there. It’s quite often the de facto leader. It’s somebody who doesn’t necessarily have the title, but that has, you’ve spotted those qualities in and you have that level of trust with right to deal with things while you’re out. Yeah.

Greg Skirving 6:28
And my current role, we don’t actually have a literal org chart team lead, but I’ve always had a quote unquote, team lead or two.

Charlotte Ward 6:39
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/60 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


A little disclaimer about the podcast, blog interviews and articles on this site: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text and podcast belong solely to the author or interviewee, and not necessarily to any employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.