Matt Beckwith Show Notes Page
Matt Beckwith considered leaving his contact center job because he felt bogged down by the things he didn’t like about the job. He almost left, and then his boss asked him some very insightful questions that helped him find clarity almost instantly.
Matt Beckwith grew up in the central valley California cities of Fresno and Stockton. He and his identical twin brother were in the middle of the pack of four other brothers and a sister, all from his parents’ other marriages.
Matt’s parents were both self-employed and taught all their children the value of hard work but begged them not to go into business for themselves. Matt’s mother was an employment consultant, his father was a private substance abuse counselor, and they would share lessons about business, finance, and customer service. Matt was very young when his mother taught him the law of supply and demand and how a natural market could set the price for a product.
Matt worked in restaurants early in his life and very much enjoyed the fast-paced hectic world of full-service restaurants. But the restaurant life was not for him and he set out to start a career.
Nearly 25 years ago, Matt was newly married and scored an interview at the local pencil factory. The babysitter arrived late, which caused Matt to arrive late to his appointment. They would not allow him to interview. He sulked for a while before learning that the phone company was hiring directory assistance operators. Having always been fascinated with the history of the telephone, Matt jumped at the chance and within a few weeks he had started his new job as a 411 operator.
Matt spent just one year as a 411 operator before moving on to another company (at a time when it was considered crazy to leave the phone company) where he quickly started to take on training and supervisory roles. Matt has spent the years since then leading customer service and sales contact centers in various industries, from banking to healthcare to pest control.
He is currently the Contact Center Director for Clark Pest Control, one of the largest and most successful pest control companies in the US. Matt is a proud contact center geek and enjoys connecting with other contact center leaders all over the world. He is a 2018 ICMI featured contributor and Call Center Demo speaker and panelist, and Frost & Sullivan conference advisory board member and panelist. Matt also serves on the steering committee for the Northern California Contact Center Association and writes the blog, contactcentergeek.com.
Matt is an avid cyclist and part-time runner, who recently completed his first marathon. He is also an active board member for the San Joaquin Bike Coalition.
Matt and his lovely wife, Dawn, live in beautiful Stockton, California. Together, they are most proud of the job they did raising their two amazing daughters, Emily and Makenzy. Makenzy is a second-year business student at San Jose State University and Emily and her husband Garrett have given Matt and Dawn the greatest gifts they could have ever asked for, two wonderful grandchildren, Avery and Maverick.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“We have to do more outreach as an industry to get people to want to work in a contact center.” – Click to Tweet
“Like with any technology, it just makes challenges we’ve had in the past, bigger.” – Click to Tweet
“There’s more scale today and there’s more at stake.” – Click to Tweet
“We are the most customer-friendly organization I have seen in my entire life.” – Click to Tweet
“We can get even better than we are today if we look at it holistically.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s about taking those inputs from the outside and synthesizing them for our own customer base.” – Click to Tweet
“To a fault, we think of our self as the customer. That’s a trap.” – Click to Tweet
“We start learning and creating real innovation by looking outside of our business.” – Click to Tweet
“Don’t tell me who you are, show me who you are.” @mattbikewith @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet
“The things you think are the biggest issues today, in another month or year, you’re not going to think that.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Matt Beckwith considered leaving his contact center job because he felt bogged down by the things he didn’t like about the job. He almost left, and then his boss asked him some very insightful questions that helped him find clarity almost instantly.
Advice for others
Let go. Live in the moment. The things you think are the biggest issues today, in another month or year, you’re not going to think that.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Doubt and fear. Less than it was yesterday.
Best Leadership Advice
It will always be about your people. Nothing matters before your people.
Secret to Success
Life is too much fun and leave to chance – plan it out. I plan my week, I plan my month, I plan my year.
Best tools in business or life
Manager tools podcast.
Contacting Matt Beckwith
Resources and Show Mentions
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
204: Matt Beckwith: I almost left the contact center
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
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Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who can really give us some insight into accidents and why they should happen. Matt Beckwith grew up in Central Valley California cities of Fresno and Stockton. He and his identical twin brother were in the middle of the pack of four brothers and sisters all from actually and a sister all from his parents other marriages. Matt’s parents were both self-employed and taught all their children the value of hard work but begged them not to go into business for themselves. Matt’s mother was an employment consultant and his father was a private substance abuse counselor and they would share lessons about business, finance and customer service.
Matt was very young when his mother taught him the law of supply and demand and how a natural market had set the price for a product. Matt worked in restaurants early in his life and very much enjoyed the fast-paced hectic world of full service restaurants but the restaurant life was not for him. He set out to start a career nearly 25 years ago Matt was newly married and scored an interview with the local pencil factory the babysitter arrived late which caused Matt to arrive late to his appointment they would not allow him to even interview him. He soaked for a while before learning that the phone company was hiring directory assistance operators. Having always been fascinated with the history of the telephone Matt jumped at the chance and within a few weeks he had started his new job as a 4 1 1 operator.
Matt spent just one year as a 4 1 1 operator before moving on other company opportunities. So he quickly learned to take training and supervisory roles. Matt has spent the years since then leading customer service and sales contact centers in various industries from banking to health care to pest control. He’s currently the contact center director for Clark pest control one of the largest and most successful pest control companies in the United States. Matt is a proud contact center geek and enjoys connecting with other contact center leaders all over the world. He is a 2018 ICMI feature contributor and call center demo speaker and panelists and Frost & Sullivan conference advisory board member and panelist. Matt also serves on the steering committee for the Northern California contact center association and writes the blog contactcentergeek.com.
Matt is an avid cyclist and part-time runner who recently completed his first marathon. He is also an active board member for the San Joaquin Bike Coalition. Matt and his lovely wife Dawn live in beautiful
Stockton California together they’re most proud of the job they did raising their two amazing daughters Emily and Mackenzie. Mackenzie is a second year business student at San Jose State University and Emily and her husband Garrett have given Matt and Dawn the greatest gift they could have ever done and that is two wonderful grandchildren, Avery and Maverick. Matt Beckwith are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Matt Beckwith: Yes, I am Jim.
Jim Rembach: Matt, I’m glad you’re here. Now get in my Legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
Matt Beckwith: My passion tend to hover around a few things at any one time but lately my mind’s been set on my grandkids a lot because my youngest grandkid turns one this very weekend so we’re very excited about that and in my day job life super excited that our company’s moving forward with focusing all of our efforts around true customer experience transformation and that’s a buzz term but actually doing the hard work to look to see how the entire company impacts the customer and that’s that gets me up every morning and it’s on my brain when I go to bed every night.
Jim Rembach: Talking about that on the brain every night, you and I had the opportunity to chat prior to recording and we started talking about how you and I and probably many people kind of have found the contact center as a career by default. And I would dare to say too when you start looking at the proliferation of the whole context center and customer centric focus for a lot of companies that has been by default but now they’re being more intentional. For us as people who’ve been around for a long time I think we kind of owe it to both ourselves and the industry to kind of make this a destination point because things are getting so complex that we need an entire skill lift to occur and that the context center could be a lifelong career.
Matt Beckwith: Yeah, absolutely. There’s so many of us, as you and I were talking about before, that as we go to industry events or we go to conferences and we speak to other people so many people’s stories are the same they started off in industry A and somehow they ended up in this and they look back after 20 years and they consider it an accident and I wonder too what that is going to look like for the next generation of leaders or next generation of customers and employees if we don’t do something to change the intentionality. If we start driving this as a career choice truly as a career choice around full cycle customer experience with all the exciting changes in technology especially we have to do more outreach as an industry as leaders to get people to want to do this. I’d love to go to college campuses in hear students say I want to get into customer experience work I want to work in a contact center because there’s a lifelong career ahead of that. I think we could do a lot better certainly for our future generations if more people intentionally—think of all the amazing things we’ve done by accidentally getting here, wow, and think of the power if we were intentionally getting here.
Jim Rembach: I think that’s a great point. I think when you and I kind of said there was a little bit of a difference from your path because you kind of had this fascination of being an operator but for me I think operator will head a little bit different context you know way back then. However, it did get you into being someone who is actually leading an entire context operation for a lot of different industries. So, tell us a little bit about how all of that took place? I kind of read a little bit in the bio but, how did you actually really get interested in being an operator?
Matt Beckwith: Well, the funny thing is my first call center job was a 411 operator but my first experience with an operator, my mother who believed in teaching my brothers and I how to be physically sound my twin brother and I got our first checking account I think at 13 years old a checking and a savings account she was a co-signer, and when there was a problem with our account or we had a question we called the bank and back then it’s a bank that’s become a big National Bank but I called the number that was on my statement that came in the mail and at that time it went to the bank but shortly after that I called that same number and it went to something that I could tell was not the bank and I learned about this and they called themselves the operator but they answered my questions. I was fascinated because I was a teenager and I thought they’re on the phone all day that’s what I wanted that was I how I equated it. What’s a customer first customer second the first is they sit on the phone all day and so here I was a very young teenager I might have been 13 and thought there’s a job where people are on the phone talking to people that’s the job that I want. It was always on the back of my mind like I said, I wanted a good work for a pencil factory I often wondered what my life would be like if I went to work for that pencil factory. But I got that 411 job and that started my career and sometimes it is dumb luck that happened but thankfully it did.
Jim Rembach: For myself there was a local 411 company it was actually an outsource for 411 company that therefore sold their services back to the carriers one of the things that I always found interesting about that particular 411 center is it kind of was a training ground for all of the other contact centers in the area. They would have people come in and for them, I think their turnover and tenure was really high but for us it was like a huge benefit because, I mean I wasn’t in that space, how did it differ from North Carolina which is where I was to California when you start looking at that type of business?
Matt Beckwith: Well first I would say the times must have been different. Because I can tell you as much as I’m a contact center geek today I’ve always been a telephone company geek so I’ve always studied of history around the telephone company and the telephone but when I was in 411 the Public Utilities Commission didn’t allow for outsource 411 in fact the very first national outsource 411 was a company called Tell Me which eventually became 8855 Tell Me, they were the first national one. But back when I did it 25 years ago it was only in California. The Public Utility Commission only allowed Pacific Bell to do that and how different was it? We were not a feeding ground. I was the first person hired in that building that was not related to a phone company employee in the history of that building. I also was part of the team that transition from massive paper books that had listings to computers. And when the phone company decided to go to computers they didn’t buy computers they built computers. And because it’s the bureaucratic red tape phone company they didn’t build QWERTY keyboards they built keyboards that were three inches high and the letters went ABCDEFG on the top row they worked a regular QWERTY keyboard. So I remember complaining that when I went home to my typewriter it affected my ability to type.
Jim Rembach: There was zero innovation it was a couple years after and I continued to follow that industry for many years, there was a couple years after that they starting to become a competitive landscape certainly the ubiquity of cellphones and there was companies jumping in on that market when I was there only 411 was considered public utility and only the local telephone company was allowed to provide it.
Matt Beckwith: That’s really interesting because for me that starts resonating. I think I remember reading a story about this type of outsourced versus handled by the actual company. Something that happened in Connecticut where the state legislation that actually instituted a new law that said, you must provide it and you can’t outsource it anymore and that was a big buzz and that was probably ten years ago or more. I guess the whole regulation by state can make things dramatically different on how that service was actually delivered. I think it’s a great—to me that’s one of the things I think you were talking about connecting with other people within the industry, it’s amazing to me to see how much we do have in common but yet how much we do differ and that when we come together in that community and share these stories. Much like, hey, by default you came into the contact center somewhat but I was full default you mean I was retail and I actually had double majored in finance and real estate I wanted to be an investment banker well when I graduated in a recession they weren’t hiring people with my degree and so I needed to, like your parents taught you. I came from a blue-collar family myself, my dad actually overhauled aircraft engines for small aviation and my mother was a shop clerk taking care of invoices and fulfillment requests and all those kind of things and that’s where I came from. So it was like, hey, you need to support yourself so I had to find a job. I found a job working with a company in retail and for them they actually auto zone Auto Parts that does well in a recession so they were growing like crazy because people don’t sell cars or buy cars they work on cars during that time. And with that company found my way into the contact center and so it’s kind of like, hey that’s how strange these things happen. But when we start looking at the commonalities and the differences also you’re seeing more and more that being part of the association, but when you start talking about people seeing things and things differing where do you see most organizations from a contact center perspective differing a lot more so than being similar?
Jim Rembach: I think we could talk for a week everybody does it the same but I think now everybody’s trying to find and certainly my involvement with our association our association is unique across most of the local associations across the country in that nearly half of our members are public employees so
Federal government or state of California government we call them the alphabet soup because they all go by these two letter N acronyms but they all for us because half our membership are public and half of them are private employers we still see this wide chasm of organizations that are trying to reinvent something maybe it’s because we’re in California and the mega centers are gone from California they’ve been gone for many years so you don’t have 300 400 seat centers anymore but you have organizations that are trying to do interesting things as its to recruiting we know the entire country’s in a tight labor market Northern California is feeling that ten fold so how companies are going around getting better candidates how companies are retaining people how pay is changing in California. Thankfully with our association you see a lot of sharing you don’t see a lot of competitors in the same industry so then that allows for tons of sharing. You see public employee call centers public institutions sharing best practices with private companies. I say that the greatest area of innovation that we see amongst our members are around automation and AI and bots it’s the same stuff we hear across the country but on a much smaller scale because these might be smaller organizations or smaller departments.
Matt Beckwith: Well I think that’s a really interesting point. When you start talking about the whole labor aspects of where we are in this industry, I don’t think that’s going to change because even if we come into a scenario where we have more potential job candidates I think we’re going to run into because of those bots and AI and things of that nature that we’re going to have a skill issue finding people that are able to come into an environment that is more complex than it once was because of all of those self-serve options doing what we need them to do handle the simple stuff.
Jim Rembach: However, when you start looking at the whole multi-channel aspects of a contact center now where I’m handling so many different types of interactions is that the entire door and windows are being open to the organization so people can contact us any way they want anytime they want and we have to be available to serve that. So again it goes back to that skill I think we’re going to see more and more folks being able to handle multiple types of interactions that we’re looking for to hire, an you do five different things at one time?
Matt Beckwith: Yeah, and that reminds me there’s a watermark for people like you and I that have been in this industry for a long time and that that watermark or that tree ring as I like to think of it is when IVR self-service took off. The reason that that’s a watermark is we were all managing. If we were managing budgets then we cared about average handle time more than anything and that’s how we staffed and all of a sudden we created this new whiz-bang technology at the time that happened I worked for a credit card company and we put together a pretty rudimentary IVR but it played your account balance right away, what did that do that chipped away at your basic call that was going to be 40 seconds anyway? And that began the challenge that we still think today which is that took away the easier casts from all of your agents which meant your average handle time wound up but your calls went down and as your business grew your calls went up to make up for that and you still have this same budget where you were working on a, I don’t know three minute handle time but even that handle time must exist cause 40 second calls are gone that happened in the early 90s and it’s happening again today but it’s happening today at a much different scale. I think back then the labor market at least in California was different what that meant was it was a made budgets type. Today it makes the labor market even tighter because of what you said then we have a skills gap it’s same verse song when I said we’ve been down this road before but it’s just magnified because of technology.
Jim Rembach: I really like the way that you explained that talking about the watermark thing and that makes total sense and when that happened, and I even see it happening still today with other channels. For an organization the whole aspect of visibility was a significant issue so when it came to budget time, and I’m looking at the workload that we have to support in the contact center, if I didn’t have visibility into all of the things that you were referring to there and now all the visibility into the work that I have to do both on phone and off phone it all becomes part of my staffing model I am going to be totally wrong side and I’m not going to properly pitch the business need in order to be able to execute on that whole customer centricity thing. Because—okay, so now I have to do a better job of communicating across the entire organization, well how does that happen? It’s not smoke it has to be intentional it has to be managed. Same thing with all these different customer service channels who’s going to manage that bot being a good bot? Otherwise it’s going to be like that first IVR that rolled out, many of that have rolled out since it is not designed well it’s not constantly managed it’s not going to do its job. So the work I think is shifting but it’s still an important thing when you start looking at visibility. Do organizations have visibility into all of these channels and all of their off phone activity so that they’re doing a good job of being able to transform and be customer-centric?
Matt Beckwith: Yeah, absolutely. It will be I think like with any technology it just makes the challenges that we’ve had in the past bigger. It may not make them all go away it just creates—I think there’s more there’s more scale today and there’s more at stake. Certainly in California you talk to any leaders no matter what industry you’re in it’s about the tight labor market and then that just makes it like I said 10 times harder.
Jim Rembach: Okay, so talking specifically about Clark you mentioned the transformation that you guys are going through and you said you’re excited to see that. Most often that doesn’t happen with a flick of the switch I mean there’s something that happens and then it’s like, okay, we’ve made the decision we’re now going to be intentional we’re now going to move this forward. When did you see or could you tell, without giving any trade secrets, when that was going to happen it was going to flip it was going to start being intentional?
Matt Beckwith: Well, I’ll tell you I totally agree with you it’s never a switch and it wasn’t for us either it’s been very intentional. I am insanely proud to work for the organization where I work. We are family owned and operated still. Mr. Clark who found the business almost 70 years ago up until just a few months ago came to work every single day. His two grown sons run the business but he set the standard in 1950 being one man with one truck servicing customers. We are the most customer friendly organization I have ever worked for or seen in my entire life and when it comes to now focusing on a true cx-focus and true transformation it’s really now connecting all of the dots that want to be. So, for us we have leaders across the business that are eager to find out how do we better fine tune our voice of the customer? How do we go truly end-to-end and look at every single point along that journey? And so we’ve acknowledged that over the last couple of years that if we’re going to continue to grow we are going to focus on this and call it out specifically but so much of the work Jim we have already been doing. And so we have an incredible foundation I’m lucky because I’m involved in an organization that doesn’t have a lot of—there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit but that’s also makes it kind of challenging but we have an amazing foundation. For us it was about just acknowledging to everybody that there’s work to be done that we could get even better than we are today if we look at it holistically and every single thing that a customer goes through from the very beginning. From pre-acquisition to acquisition to service to even off-boarding and I think that’s where we are today.
Jim Rembach: One of the things when you start talking about the legacy of the organization and being able to refer back to many of the things that you’ve always have done is you start thinking about, okay, how are we getting creative and doing things new and not using some of that past history to drive some of our decisions? In other words, hey, we take what was good and what got us here and we continue to amplify that however we know we need to pivot and shift so that we don’t get disrupted. And so how are you bringing that into the business?
Matt Beckwith: Well for one I consider myself a professional customer more so than I consider myself a professional customer service leader because I’ve been a professional customer since I was about nine years old I’ve always been that that person. My wife will sometimes look at me when I say something to her, she’ll notice I’ll take a quick note about something. I don’t have to go to contact centers I don’t have to go to pest control companies to learn about delivering amazing service there’s experiences in hospitals, there’s experienced in schools, there’s experience in restaurants, there’s experience at the deli that’s down the street from our corporate office they treat us amazingly well. The owner of that deli has taught me things about customer experience and it’s about taking those inputs from the outside and synthesizing them to say, what does that mean for our customer base? And socializing them amongst the rest of our leaders getting some buy-in and how does that translate into a project or something that we can try.
One of the things I think is customer service leaders do to a fault is we think about our self as the customer, how would I view this? That’s a trap. Because I am literally one tiny, I’m not even a persona I’m a fraction of a persona, I care about what happens to much wider swaths of customers. Going to our local deli near the corporate office that has fed us very well and there’s lots of big catering jobs they’ve done some things and we think how do we apply that? How do we apply what they’ve done? And so we talk about those things all the time. We don’t say that we’re chasing the standard of the best pest control company because quite frankly we believe we’re one of them. But how do we chase USAA as it comes to customer facing technology? How do we match Chick-fil-a when it comes to service at the drive-thru? How do we match this deli when it comes to pricing options? And things like that. And that’s where I think we start learning and creating real innovation by looking outside of our business.
Jim Rembach: I think that’s a great point. Too many times I see where organizations stay within their own four walls and try to ideate and do that and it just doesn’t work you end up being a little bit better than you already are and you can’t afford that these days. Okay, so what we’ve been talking about here when you start talking about career when you start talking about finding right candidates when you start talking about change and all it’s just loaded with a whole lot of anxiety and emotion. One of the things that we do on the show is we look at quotes to help us stay pointed in the right direction, is there a quote or two that you’d like that you can share?
Matt Beckwith: I’ve got two, two that rule my life. The first one by the great American writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear a word that you’re saying. Jim that’s been my favorite quote my entire life and I’m not exaggerating I still get chills when I say it. That drives who I am as a leader that drives who I am as a contact center professional. Who you are speak so loudly I can’t hear a word that you’re saying, don’t tell me who you are show me who you are. The second one that has been a lot of fun throughout my life is from the tennis great, Martina Navratilova, the moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else. Talk about journey that’s what that quote means and I think about that all the time just because I wanted something or we had a success the journey matters just as much.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing those. It’s kind of really interesting that you said that Emerson quote that it gave you a chill because when you said it did it to me too. I wonder if any of our listeners the same thing happen? Because that has so much depth to it, thanks for sharing them I appreciate that and I matter of fact when we get done here that quote is going to go up on the wall for my kids to see, I appreciate that.
Matt Beckwith: Thanks.
Jim Rembach: So when we start talking about you know that career path when we start talking about having kids, grandkids all of that stuff you mentioned that you’re too young to have grandkids and for me I think I’m on the opposite end of that if I ever have grandkids that come shoot man I hope I’m still being able to move around and interact with them. When we start talking about all of those paths that we end up taking and where they take us there’s a lot of homes that we have to get over, is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share with us?
Matt Beckwith: Yeah, I’ll tell you, I’ve managed contact centers for so many years but there’s one moment where I almost took a detour and left if not for the sage wisdom of one of my best bosses of all time. My story’s not that dissimilar from anybody else that’s done this line of work. I was managing a large contact center in the banking industry and I just found myself bogged down by the things that I didn’t sign up for. Managing, leaves of absence a law changes or personnel issues even though they weren’t any more or less than any other contact center my size it just felt like that had the lion’s share of my mental space rather than the exciting innovative things that we wanted to do. And an opportunity came up for me to move into a completely different side of the business supporting our operational accounting group they wanted somebody that was not an accountant they wanted somebody with operations experience that could translate some of the financial stuff between operations and finance.
The business partner I had worked with for many years created this new position for me and we had been talking to my manager at the time and my managers said I will support you a thousand percent if you want to move into this role but then he taught, his name is John Green, he taught me what we now called the John Green lesson the John Green diaper rule actually. He said, “Matt you love your children”, my children were much younger than they are today they were actually children not adults, and he said, “you always talk about your children you love raising your kids” and said, “You love every part of it?” And I said, “of course I love every part of it my daughters are my life.” He said, “You love those dirty diapers?” And I said, “No, not particularly.” He thought about the middle of the night dirty diapers, I said, “No, not particularly,” He said, “How does that change the overall love of your children?” I said, “Not one iota.” And then as wise as he is he just sat there and looked at me and I got it instantly. Sometimes you got to change dirty diapers and over that weekend after we talked about it I made the decision to not pursue that accounting role. And that was 13 years ago and I look back now, I still stay in contact with that former manager in fact the group of his direct reports he had a group of VPs that we’ve all stayed together very close we’re called the Green Team and we talked pretty regularly and get together when we can and we always talk about that John Green diaper rule amongst the other things we learned from him, and I think I would not be talking to you right now Jim I wouldn’t have the fun that I’ve had I wouldn’t have met the people I’ve had I wouldn’t have made the impact that I’ve made if he put me in an office and put me on spreadsheets in an adding machine 13 years ago. I lived that lesson every day and I’ve had employees they’re frustrated in a moment they want to they want a big drastic change, I support change, I tell them about the John Green diaper rule.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that Matt that was an excellent story and thanks to having more John Green’s into our life that can help us really provide some clarity we would definitely need that. Okay, everybody we’re talking with Matt Beckwith of Clark Pest Control and we’re going to break for a little bit of an announcement from one of our sponsors and we’ll be right back to do the hump day hoedown.
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Jim Rembach: Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time to do the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Matt, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. We’ll ask you several questions but your job is to give us robust and rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Matt Beckwith, are you ready to hoedown?
Matt Beckwith: Heck, yes.
Jim Rembach: Alright so here we go. What do you think it’s holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Matt Beckwith: We’ll Jim, although it’s less than it was yesterday and less than the day before that it still is doubt and fear doubt and fear and I tell myself every day less than it was yesterday but it’s doubt and fear.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Matt Beckwith: It has always been and always will be about your people. Nothing matters before your people.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes your success?
Matt Beckwith: Something my mother and my father taught me, life is too much fun and too short to leave to chance plan it out. I plan my week I plan my month I plan my year and I spend a lot of time after those reviewing what I just did to help me plan the next week, month, or year.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Matt Beckwith: Absolutely without a doubt nearly 15 years ago I stumbled across manager tools the free podcast to help you be a better leader and still to this day how I learned how to do coaching one-on-one and feedback that helps me be a better leader every single day and I still rely on manager tools every day in my life.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book that you’d recommend to our legion, it can be from any genre?
Matt Beckwith: Well we’ve all read the same contact center books we’ve all read the same customer service books but I’ve been saying for many years the single greatest book that every contact center leader should read is the great Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner that groundbreaking book is just a bunch of their case studies but the reason it’s the best book for contact center professionals is it helps you separate the difference between causal and correlation and in our business every time we make a change in one place we think it caused a change in the other place and you spend time reading Freakonomics in the follow-up books you’ll understand causality and correlation much better.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/mattbeckwith. Okay, Matt, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you have been given a chance to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Matt Beckwith: This is your hardest question isn’t it? The only thing that I would take back is that skill to be able to let go, live in the moment let go the things that you think are the biggest issues today I promise you in another week or month or a year you’re not going to think that. Life is short let go and go home early every now and then.
Jim Rembach: Matt it was an honor to spent time with you today, can you please share the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?
Matt Beckwith: Absolutely, thanks Jim, I’m all over the place but probably the best way is go to my blog it’s Contactcentergeek.com there’s links to where you’ll find me on LinkedIn and Twitter. I spend more time on Twitter today @MattBeckwith than anywhere else. Start at contactcentergeek.com you’ll see my thoughts on leading contact centers and also links to find everywhere else where I’m at online.
Jim Rembach: Matt Beckwith, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thank you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!
Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links, from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
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