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Walking the Leadership Talk

listen to ME!Image by Orange_Beard via Flickr

I've known Terry Starbucker since the beginning days of our blogging journies. Terry blogs his "Ramblings from a Glass Half-Full" about leadership, and he is one of those rare bloggers who is a continuous stream of great content that is forged in experience. From Bringing Joy to the Workplace to the Seven Deadly Sins of Leadership, Terry has great advice for anyone in a position of leadership.

I want to tell you about a lesson in leadership Terry taught me that you won't find on his blog.

Terry and I connected in the blogosphere, then we had the opportunity to meet in person. It was a great example of the fortuitous connections you make through social media. Terry happened to oversee two contact centers who handled sales and customer service functions for his employer. My group helps companies measure and improve customer satisfaction and customer service, especially service delivered in contact centers. The result was that I had the priviledge of working with Terry and his team.

It's one thing to read and listen to a leadership guru, but it's another thing to have the experience of working with the team that guru leads. It was an opportunity to see if Terry walked the talk, and I was not disappointed. The team under his leadership were among the best contact center professionals I've ever had the pleasure to work with. I observed in them:

  • a constant challenge to grow and develop professionally, both as individuals and as a team
  • a exceptional standard of conduct and professionalism rooted in high expectations
  • an attitude of service in which the leaders served their team well, all the way down the chain of command.

I'm constantly reminded that front-line service delivery is a reflection of the leadership and culture created in the executive suite. As I stand on my soap-box about service quality, I know that it's critical for me to walk the talk with my clients and colleagues. I'm constantly reminding myself to lead by example.

I'm grateful to have good examples, like Terry Starbucker, to follow.

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Tom, thank you. I can't tell you what these words mean to me. You never know if you're making progress until someone you know and respect tells you that you are. All the best, and thank you for the help and guidance you've given to our staff.


You're welcome, Terry. Thanks for the continuous inspiration!

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