Leading With Noble Purpose w/ Lisa McLeod

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Leadership plays a vital part in any company. A leader's most important role is to steward the organization's purpose. And that purpose needs to be communicated and understood across the whole organization.  

On this episode, we’ve invited the expert on leadership and noble purpose to join the podcast. We welcomed Lisa McLeod, author of Selling with Noble Purpose and Leading with Noble Purpose. Lisa and guest host Annie Weckesser, Uniphore CMO + Chief People Officer, talked about:   

  • Who Lisa is and how she came to write  Leading with Noble Purpose  
  • What noble purpose is and why it can't rescue a lousy strategy 
  • Common characteristics of great collaborators 
  • Advice about adopting a noble purpose for contact center leaders 

So one of the roles that the leader canplay- that is crucial, is belief, builder, and I cannot emphasize theimportance of this enoug. Welcome to the conversations thatmatter, podcast from uniform the podcast that dives into realconversations that are happening in contact centers around the world. Your yol experience, ciding interviewswith well known, Otleaders or compelling stories from industryexperts, Gan, Fesh, insits on context in or best practice in more to grab agoverage and tune in ASE. We get real with conversations that matter. Welcome everyone to ther episode ofconversations that matter, I'm a host Ranic SAR, and today we have a greatpodcast around leadership and I'm joined by Anny Wecaser from uniformshe's the CMO and chief people officer. Andhe. Welcome. Thank you, Randy forhaving man. The show really excited to be a part of conversations that matter:Yeah Excite that you're here and excited for our guest. So the topic oftoday is all about leadership and about leading with a noble purpose, which Ithink is so key in today's world and so love to hear who you've invited to thepodcast for today. Yeah. Thank you randy, as you mention leadership, playssuch an important part of any company and as leaders we have to take theimportant role to these stewards of the organization's purpose and specifically,when you're, leading with a purpose that is communicated and understoodacross the whole organization. Today, we've invited the expert on leadershipand noble purpose, and I'm excited to welcome lesome a cloud the podcasttoday lisso welcome thanks. It's a pleasure to have this conversation withyou yeah we're so happy to have you here.If you don't mind Le Suf, for those that don't know you can you share withour community who you are and a bit about your background, so I'm happy to,as you said, probably the thing I'm best known for is the books, I'vewritten about noble purpose, leading...

...with noble purpose and selling withnoble purpose. My background is in sales and leadership. Development wasan Xproctor, an gamble person, VPS sales for a sales training companyfor a number of years and then went out on my own, and so probably the thingsthat I'm best known for are helping companies improve competitivedifferentiation in the market and emotional engagement with their peopleand their customers. That's so needed, especially right nowand Oh yeah. You know, I think you know you've written the book about leadingwith Noble Purpose, and I would have to elaborate more on that. Can you definefor our audience what noble purpose is sure? It's actually very simple: It isclarity about how you make a difference to customers and a lot of times. If you ask anorganization. What's your purpose, they'll tell you it's to make money,but we actually know that organizations whose noble Purposeis to improve thelives of their customers out beforen the market by over three hundred andfifty percent and the the challenge that we see in so many organizations isthey start with an intent to do something valuable for customers, butas they scale and get bigger and bigger. That seems to be lost. As you go downinto the organization, and so what we do is help them bring that noblepurpose to life got it. I imagine that must be hard,especially right now you know with everybody being remote, do do you seethat I mean? Do you see a kind of a renewed ask from organizations to tellbuild that out a bit absolutely because one of the things that happened wheneveryone went home is all the peripheries of work got stripped away.If you, you know, I know a lot of your folks work in big call centers. So likethe free lunches, the Comroderie, the music, all gone, it's just you and yourwork, and so what happens to people is,...

...if you don't have any other purposeother than hitting your metrics a couple. Things are going to occur. Oneyou're going to burn out to your the way you speak to customers is going toget worse and, worse N. worse, you know just Lok it the way you speak to yourkids now versus I six months ago, and so what we're seeing is companies thathave this clarity about our work makes the difference and they're not allhealth care companies they're, not all saving the planet. Sometimes it'sdelivering. You know software to your customers. Sometimes it's you knowdelivering food. Sometimes it's you know just making sure that theiraccounting works whatever way, you're helping customers, if you're, not usingthat to knit together your team and create a culture around that you're atrisk. Right now for losing your people and what we say is during a pandemic, a lot of peoplewon't quit they'll, do worse, they'll quit and stay right, I'll check out.Yeah, yeah they'll still be sitting there but ther mind. An art will beelswhere, yeah, yeah, that's so true, and in your Vook you also know whatnoble purpose cannot do, and I thought this was really interesting. You said:Noble purpose will not rescue a lousy strategy, but it will ignite a goodstrategy and for me and my role, I really resonated with this, because yousaid it is a performance multiplier because it engages your most importantasset and powerful resource, which is your people would love for you toelaborate more on that for us. So if your strategy is weak, if youdon't have differentiation- and you don't have to have the most amazingwigit ever, but if you don't have some way, even if it's through your service,your customer interactions, you don't...

...have some way of differentiatingyourself with customers. If you don't have clarity about who your bestcustomers are and how you're going to reach them all the noble purpose in theworld won't save you. We all see noble purpose charities that are completelyunsuccessful, but what we specialize in is takingthose organizations that have clarity about who your customer is and how toreach them and taking them and amping it up. As you said, a for Smultiplier,because what we often see is a lot of times, organizations will have clarityabout their value. Proposition, but it's very sanitized, it's not excitingand it doesn't make people's heart beat faster and that's what you need is youneed people in your organization who, on their best day, their heart, startsto beat faster when they talk about what you're doing and that's the FOURCmultiplier. It's almost like, if you hear, if you've ever watched, one ofthose movies about them, making music or something or you'll be in a bandspot when we used to you know, go do things that you and you hear someoneplay something, and someone says one more time with feeling. That's US wherethe Orme more time with feedlike people. I love that. I love that and an that'shard I mean especially now, and you know the state of the Union of twothousand and twenty. It's been wow, it's been a really tough year and I'mcurious to see if you have any data in terms ofcompanies that are adopting a noble purpose, you know, is it more thanprevious hears? Is it less? You know what are you Seeng? So we are seeing more people trying toignite purpose down through an organization, so more companies areadopting it, but we're also seeing that it has become more challenging, becauseone of the things that you have to recognize is your employees, even ifyour business is growing,...

...the ecosystem around your employees hasput them under stress. So, even if you're not worried about your business,which some businesses aren't, your employees are under stress by theirfamily, their parents, their spect- I mean we. I could list all the reasons.So the attention span is lower the fear the Amigolas gone up, so it is becomeeven more crucial to engage your employees because there's a secondthing, that's happening. Your customers are also in a heightened state ofanxiety. So the way that you interact with them, but nine will not cut itanymore. You have got to engage with them in a really compelling way and fora lot of brands. The the way that you did it in person isn't happeninganymore. So all the things that you could depend on about the you know thelobby you created or the way that they were going to interact with you rightall that's gone. Your brand has now become a voice on the phone yeah. Ithink or hat tough right. That's that's really tough and what I also see is,you know with so many video calls. While collatoration is critical andyou've written about this for high poponing teams, it's been increasinglychallenging to claver working remotely yeah. I'd have to hear our o. What whatpoem Characteris with do? You see in great collabrators, so one of the things that we know is thatthere's the reason a lot of good people struggle with collaborating is becausethey have different in games, and by that I mean people. You know,leaders will tell Ye Ol, my team doesn't collaborate, they don'tcollaborate and we tend to attribute ill and tent, and very few people showup at a meeting going. You know I've got this meeting with Annie. Well. Thelast thing I want to do is collaborate with her. I'm going to just guardeverything. You know most people don't...

...think that, but what happens inorganizations when you don't have a shared sense of purpose and the purposealways has to be about improving life for customers. You want to be a good,Corpora citizen. You want to do all those other things, but that sitelineright to how are we improving life for customers is crucial and if you and Ihave that, then it's going to we're going to be talking about the same ingame. If you come to it for operations, I come to it from marketing. I've gotmy metric. You've got your matrexs. We're going to be like this, even ifwe're well intended people, but one of the things that we do that has beenreally high impact is once you have clarity, a purpose. Then, when you'reworking on a project there's a single question, it will change everything ifyou ask it when you're collaborating and it's how will the customer bedifferent as a result of this work? When you ask that question at thebeginning of a project and if you're facing a challenge whatever it is, thenall of a sudden everyone steps out of their obfs marketing this and we're allfocused on. How are we going to improve life for customers? And it's it'sreally important to ask it that way, because a lot of people wholl focus onbeing customer centric, and they want to please customers, but what we knowis the top tar cus companies do more than that. They don't just pleasecustomers, they improve customers, and those are two seemingly nuance, butactually dramatically different things. Yeah really really interesting point. Ithink it's something that so important at this point: ton not for a short break. Let's learn moreabout euticor uniform is a global leader in conversational serviceautomation, company's vision is to disrupt an outdated customer servicemodel. I oiginally gap between human and machines. An Voice Ai, amautomation that every voice on every call is truly hurt or more informationabout youwwwfordocomo email, podcast...

...that you com for tweep at you now backto the Cotrenceso, our community that listens to this podcast. Our contectcenter leaders and there Ar Oly focused on the future ofwork now, but they're focused on how to keep their agents, many of which arenow remote, compliant engaged and motivated yeah. I'm sure that theywould love one piece of advice from you. Is there anything that you can imparton them? So we've worked with a lot of callcenters, and I think one of the things that I'm going to actually do twothings. One thing is, and I'm going to give you a plug because we have thisconversation earlier is, if you look at how is what we're doing affectingcustomers? One of the frustrations is a lot of times. The reason you lose goodleaders of contact- centers hic is all they do all day is deal with. pissedoff customers have to repeat themselves six times, and so so one of the thingsthat you can do, which is not my area of Expertis but yours, is make sureyour systems are setting your people up for success so that customers aren'thaving to repeat themselves so that you've got the right customerintelligence in terms of our area of success, which is the conversationspeople have with customers and the emotional engagement. One of the thingsthat you have to understand is your people's attitude is determined bytheir beliefs. So your belief drives your attitude with drives your behaviorwith strice ure Engagen with customers, and so when you are in a call center,you have some positive inputs coming to you just the fact that you're withother people wore all focused on the same thing. You Go home and you gotyour kids and they tried to get on zoom. It was down, I mean we all know. So oneof the roles that the leader can play,...

...that is crucial, is belief, builder,and I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. Imagine I have a groupof employees or I'm just talking to one employee. Let's say it's. You ANMI andI say to you today: it's crucial that you hit yourtargets. You've got to turn around x number of calls its been five minuteson the phone gather, great information you're. Just this earnest well intendedemployee and you go sure, but I haven't seen it any belief in you in anythingbigger than just goting through the day. So one of the things we know is thatthe best leaders build belief by telling stories, and so what I want tocome to you instead and say one of our customers called in yesterday. She wasat her wits end her wife, I was down her kids were losing it. Her husbandwas trying to get on a work call. She was trying to get on her work call, andwhile we couldn't change everything for her, we could fix one part of herproblem and that made her day better. That's what we do Annie so every daywhen those people are calling in. I want you to know that these are reallife human beings and that our work- and they know about my story, becauseI'm O zoon go all day with people o pet, real oesn't it an what I've got to doas a leader and the way to do it is through story. Is I've got a seed in mypeople, a belief that our work matters, and this isn't about being disingenuousor coming up with some crazy thing? That's not true, and it is true. It'sjust like being a parent. I can say your jobs get three meals on the table.Supervisor Zoom Calls Bah Blah Blah Bah or I can say these are real life humanbeings that we're going to remember this forever. We need toseed in themcompassion and leadership. Let's do it that way like it's kind of the same day,but it's lifting up your best highest, most noble purpose and that's the roleof the leader and the one of the ways...

...you do it is through story yeah. I love that because for unifor you know,when I first came on board, we really went back to fun. Andento fundamentallyoure roots and and talking about our mission as a company, and it's verysimple, and it's about it's all- around voice, right voices that Eugalizer sowe say and it's written on our wells. We give each customer voice. No oneelse hears them, but we do right and it's such a powerful igniter at leasthr for for us and our team, and to tell that story, and so, if you think aboutanyone listening to this N in a contect center again, you don't have. Itdoesn't have to be worldpieace. If it is, God love you and we really want tohelp you. But if what if customers are buying from you you're doing something, that's helpful, you know I got a smoothy company thatdelivers these frozen smoothies to me, and I can tell you in a pandemic- isreally helpful. Look forward to those, so whatever you're doing is helpingcustomers and I think about like when you talk about giving each customervoice. One story that folks can tell is take what you're doing that helpscustomers and then flip it and imagine what happens if you weren't doing it.So in your company I would say: Have you ever had one of those moments whenyou're so frustrated, a bunch of things have going wrong and then you can'teven get your cable company on the phone. Youcan't even get the people that made your software on the phone and you justwant to put your head down the desk and cry because you feel like no one caresabout you, but the moment you get someone to help you. It can change yourwhole day and that's what you do right an I mean. I had a great example ofthat. I had an eight hour phone call, W th with a service provider for a verysimple issue where I just kept getting rerouted andrerouted and by the time the agent came on the phone I was. I was so happy totalk to this person so frustrated with the brand, but so happy to talk to thisperson. Pleasego Aaddon't athe phone...

...don't get ti because wo can solve myproblem right, yeah, it's insoi o using that that noble purpose is aboutgetting and- and it can't just come from the top. Like you said you have iton your wall. A lot of these companies maybe do have it on their wall, butit's about that front line leader. So if you are managing ten people, TwelvePa Howr, many people you manage, and you tell how do we make like better fora customer story? We call them customer impact stories. If you tell one in yourfive minute huddle every morning, what you will do, the brain science showsthis. You will igmike the front of Lobes of your team, which is wherecreativity, n problem solving empathy and compassion set. All those arepretty important for somebody that works answer the phones, so you willignite the front of loss of your team. You will quiet, ther, a migdala andtheir stress hormones, and you will start to get them to produce more Seratona, andthis is really important because in a lot of high pressure environments wework on dopomine and over over reliance on dopomine makes people frantic. Butwhen you can start to tell these stories about making a difference, youstart to produce more seratone and you build belief that makes people focusedand that's what you want yeah speaking of belief, I can think of so many companies with a noble purpose and a few that come to mind for mepersonally in the consumer space ar brands like Warby, Parker or Patagoniasale, southwest airlines and then on the be to B side sales force, and I'mjust curious is this lead. Is this noble purpose, something that isreserved for the larger rands and does it need to happen early in acompany, or can it be learned and applied later in life? Say it a companyso I'll take is. Is it just for the big...

...sexy companies? No, we have a client who is embraced,Nogle purpose, who is a concrete company in Olmaha Nebraska so and they embraced it about ten yearsinto their journey, and so what your noble purpose is in a lot of companies,it's kind of implicit. What we do is make it explicis and there arecompanies like sales force that were founded on a noble purpose likesouthwest. We democratize this guys. There are companies founded on that,but we always say: There's a Chinese proverb. I think the best tring to plante trees twenty years ago. Second best time is today so yeah. If you're today,that's awesome and so, for example, I'll use this concrete company out ofOmaha it's a company called foundation. Support Works. You can see them on ourwebsite, there's the CEO talking about it and what they decided. They work in the contracting space andif you've ever you know, you were on the phone to a service provider, foryou know eight hours if you've ever called a contractor. You know all aboutwaiting, and you know not showing up in that, so they decided that their noblepurpose was we're going to redefine our industry, we're going to set a newstandard for contractors and they have a whole list of what that means, and sowhat your noble purpose does. Is it answers? How do we make a difference toour customers and how do we do it differently than the competition and itmay simply be in their case that were on time. We stick to our estimates. Weleave our job. Sihe claim we're friendly. We make eye contact, we makepeople feel supported and cared for so their concretes not really anydifferent than most other concrete, but what they're doing is theyre, creatinga differentiated experience and that's part of their noble purpose. Not justagain, we want to please customers, but we want customers to walk away from usgoing Bes's it. I've never had a...

...contractor like that, and it workedover the course of two years. They had exponential revenue growth. They werevoted at t best place to work. They are a you know: they go and muck outpeople's basements and put up concrete and they were voted a best place towork because of the W, because once you helpyour people understand, there's a lot of talk about how to treat your people, but one of the things people want themost is they want to feel like their work matters and all the smoothies andprelunches and cool brands will not do that for you, unless you feel like yourwork, is making a difference and that's the thing people want most t more thananything yeah I so agree. I mean that the noblepurpose and the values re are critical s. So we like to play names on thispodcast and I hope that's okay with you, but yeah bee sitting home for weeks,iplay game. We play a game called what's behind that post and what we dois we bring up a recent social post that you've done and ask you what itwas all about and for me this one very much resonatedbecause I'm a mother of three and the home- and it said something like ifyou're trying to juggle work, kids, housework, everything else, it's easyto feel defeated when things go wry without long fermvision, port termsetbacks carrying mor week and you talke a lot about resilience would lovefor you to elaborate for our guests about that. Okay, I'LL! Do that in twoplaces? First I'll, do it about work and then I'll do it about personal andby the way the tools are the same. So I want to say Tho study for you out ofMichigan State University that Dr Valleri good did, and it was for salespeople replies to all of us. It was when people felt like they werecontributing to a cause bigger than themselves. They had more resilienceand they could overcome setbacks. They...

...could put forth more sustained effortover time and so now I'll go to the personal. The reason that's true is ifwe are just trying to work through our own list at a certain point, we'regoing to get exhausted yeah one of the things that we did for the new aditionof selling with noble purpose. Is We interviewed a number of combat Vetrans,because I wanted to know about resilience and they all say the same thing? Is it the thing thatkeeps you going is belief in a cause bigger than yourself and yourcommitment to your team, and so we did this before the pandemicstarted, and it's and- and I don't want to compare- Having to sit at home andwork with being in combat, but I often think if they could do that, thensurely I can do this, and so, when you think about being resilient, one of thethings that helps people do. That is you've, got to. Let go of this ideathat I am that success is being is being graded, that I'm being graded onmy ability to do all of these things, and particularly with children, you aregoing to be grated. All our kids are going to end up in therapy one day andthey are going to talk about you, but they are not going to talk aboutwhether you got the meal on time every night. What they're going to talk aboutis how you managed yourself and them during a crisis, and- and that doesn't mean you servingand doing everything perfectly what it means is saying: Wow I've got a tenyear old, whatever you have and they're going to face crisisis duringtheir life they're going to face challenges during their life guaranteed. What do I want to teach them about that,and it also, it doesn't mean always...

...having to be tough, because one of thethings that we know is, and particularly for women when you take inall this emotion and you just stuff it down and act like it's, not there,that's worse, so to be resilient. One of the things you've got to do is giveyourself permission to feel your emotions and let them out and know thatthey will pass through you and you' got to be able to do that, and you've got amodel for your that for your team and for your children, I'm confident we canget through this right. Now. I'm really upset Ang inm.The process that has soonas I'm done, processing out we'll come oer. The planjust be honest about it, yeah so its you Isin, the medle East, at howresillien kids an you know my kids other peoples, se and through this, sowould love to end with you on a fun Nowe. Oh good, ynoh. No, we talkedabout Braziliance and Lt Thetugh, the tough part of Resilian, but let's get to know you a bit betterand the way that we do. This is something called conversations thatmatter: Rapid Fire, okay, and so the idea behind it is that I get to ask youa series of questions and you give me a rapid fire response. Okay, are youready, I'm ready? Okay, one thing that you wish you had knownwhen you started your career. Emotions are an advantage, not adisadvantage. One sit of your country to spend moretime exploring or vacationing astate maine o sounds dreaming right now it does. If you had the opportunity to customize the voice on the other lineof contaxt center, that you're calling into this could be. You know a personliving or dead, celebrity or not whowould. You want to answer that calland who would do the best job solving your issue, Oprah. That would be really fun. She one calld her and she would solveeverything...

...you hear that contaxt centers o Prituyeah it. She would her calm, her wisdom. She also, if I calle and had a techproblem, I'm sure she's, not Goin NA solve that she's gonna. Just one moment,while I get the best tech person in the world pe here, he is there you go get Imean she could do it all. I love that Your Best Dad. What does itlook like my best day is a day when I get to dothree things I get to exercise. I get to spend time with the people Icare most about, and I get to do something that makes a difference tosomeone. I love that that's that's very similarto mine too last one. What do you love about yourjob? So it's interesting. You ask this question because one of the questionsthat we ask people is on your best day. What do you love about your job?Probably the best thing about my job, I'm going to be full disclosure. Wehave helped a lot of companies make a lot more money. We have helped a lot ofcompanies become leaders in their space, but the best thing is when someone saysI love my job now. I did't like it before this, but I really love it rightnow that just lights me up, because I know that person has had their wholelife change. Their kids lives have been changed, their spouses lives have beenchanged, their parents lives have been changed because someone that is excitedabout their job, it just imfuses into every single part. So for meme in myheart, that's the kind of moment that I live for is for people to say that yeahyou're still right. It gives you like a spring in your step and and it trascesto add to every element of your lifes S. I I mean part of my backstory: is youknow how you don't realize these things? Until later, I had one parent who lovedtheir job, who was always excited about it and one parent who hated it,...

...and I could see the difference in ourlives yeah that that made and so for me you know I can draw a direct linebetween the people ar excited. They love their job. They make a difference.Customers, you have more competitive differentiation. You Win The market,you make more money, but it's that first thing that I is so excited so true. So true. Well, thank you somuch Lisa for your time today. I so appreciate the valuable insights thatyou've shared with our community for those that want to reach out to you.What's the best way for them to do that, but you can follow me on Linkedin andwe do have a new book called selling with Noble Purpose, okaygople that- andI do want to say something to the folks that are leading people at you knowcontect centers. I know that this is a really hard job, but your people are a real lifelineright now, like the customer service, the people that help right now on thephone they're making the world work so that in Iself is really a noble calling. Thank you Lisai. Thank you for being apart of this today. Bus, so great did all with Meu Yeah. You, too, you have been listening to theconversations that matter podcast by uniform, make sure you subscribe to ourpodcast on your favorite podcast player and raise review to enable us to createreletant and valuable content for your business. If you' like to learn moreabout conversational, surface automation, isuniforscom Hava, Grat,Tam,.

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