Vicki Brackett 0:00
What am I doing to contribute to the challenge right or to the success of the organizations is how am I contributing as a leader because the buck stops with the leader My dad always used to say leadership is not for the faint of heart and it’s not.
Anne Bibb 0:13
Welcome to Unexpected Journey. The show where each week top professionals share work wisdom and life lessons about their careers and what they have learned about human experience in the workplace.
Anne Bibb 0:26
I’m your host, Anne Bibb and today I am joined by Vicki Brackett. Vicki Brackett as a recognized subject matter expert in virtual and work at home contact center operations. She is currently involved in cultivating successful partner relationships in the US for live Pro, a state of the art CX knowledge management system. Vicki is also the author of the leadership toolbox manage less achieved more in which she shares her experience leading contact center organizations ranging from 200 to more than 2000 people across diverse industries. Her book presents a systemic approach to leadership that empowers organizations to become top performers at an accelerated pace. So without further ado, let’s dive into this episode filled with valuable insights and actionable tips for optimizing contact center operations. Before we begin, don’t forget to subscribe and leave your comments below. Now, let’s get started. Welcome, Vicki. Thanks so much for having me on. Appreciate it.
Anne Bibb 1:31
Tell us you know writing a book, it’s not an easy thing. Talk to us about your journey towards becoming a leadership expert. Specifically in the virtual work at home environment.
Vicki Brackett 1:45
I got into contact centers, of course by accident, like most people, and then in work at home by accident. And I started back in work at home and in 2000. And really what I’ve been doing for most of my career in the contact center space, is doing turnarounds and rapid growth scenario. So it’s sort of like fixing a fast moving train. And I’m you I’m usually the only person from the outside that has come in to usually an organically grown organization, or relatively organically grown. And people are really struggling, they they don’t have the skill sets to get themselves to the next level, they might need someone to look at things a little differently. And what I found myself is like the one woman show trying to carry the entire organization forward. And I realized very quickly is that you have to get people on board fast. And if they don’t have the leadership school tools, you’ve got to teach them, but you teach them as you go. This isn’t about classes, or syllabus workbooks on all of that it’s specifically about teaching them as you’re doing it. And so through the years, I’ve been doing these rapid, rapid turnarounds in contact centers, I’ve been in almost 170 business units. And somebody has said for probably 10 years, I’ve heard it a million times as you need to write this stuff down. So I decided to write it down. I started the book in 2019 and published it and then public republished it in 2020. And it’s my playbook. So I have 72 leadership tools. This is the first 14 This is the foundation, they’re interchangeable, and they’re super cysts simple. And they’re built on human psychology. That’s really what leadership is about. understanding people’s behaviors.
Anne Bibb 3:21
Just almost laughed out loud, like snort laughed whenever you said that being in a contact center was like being on a fast moving train. That is such a great analogy. For those of you who have never worked in a contact center, and I think the majority of our audience has in some way fashion or form whether they’ve actually been in it or outsourced IT or some way they have. And it really is this wild roller coaster, like train in the speeds of up and down and then all of a sudden you’re going off the ledge, and you’re like, okay, am I going to be that person that holds on tight, or the person that puts their hands up and goes I’m just going for the foot on for the ride. Because that’s what it is like being in a contact center.
Vicki Brackett 4:15
It changes every day. It’s it’s constantly changing. It’s not like you set strategic plans and then sit back and they magically appear there’s constant challenges every single day that you have to improvise. And when you’re dealing in a virtual world you know, you just don’t walk across the room. So it’s how do you communicate those changes down because if you don’t communicate them then people’s brain start wandering right and it’s gonna go toward the negative and then pretty soon you’ve got hundreds or 1000s of people that are now negative and it’s very hard to turn that around because you can’t get them off and Lady and right. We’re having ice cream social because you’re not in the same room. So how do you do virtually so I mean, it’s using the right tools. It’s it’s revamping everything for the virtual world and you know that you’re a subject matter expert in remote
Anne Bibb 4:58
and I think it’s really important that People focus on that, right because and this is not just for contact centers, this is for any leader, when you are looking at how many people are in your direct and indirect reporting change, you really need to multiply that by five of the number of people that you’re impacting. So if you have, you know, five, say, 10 people reporting to you, the decisions that you make, don’t just directly impact 10 people. Those individuals have families, they have spouses, they have kids, they have parents that they’re potentially caregivers to. So you have to think that for every one person that you are, you’re making a decision about, you are indirectly impacting five lives. So I’ve always tried to think as a leader, when I make a decision. If I’m if I have 10, direct or indirect reports, that I am impacting 50 people’s lives. So it’s really leadership is not a small thing to think about it is it is huge. So this leadership toolbox is such a good thing. To for people to take on. So do you have any particular case studies from the book that really have a strong impact or that you can talk about for for people?
Vicki Brackett 6:30
Sure. Um, for example, I went into an organization and the senior vice president was very excited, and told me about everything that was going on, and some of the challenges they were having. And she told me that she had 175% annualized attrition. And so yeah, that’s a lot of people. I mean, that’s a lot. That’s expensive. Sherm just had a new study come out in January that says, it costs between 20 and 40% of a first year salary, or yearly salary for an employee to actually be able to source recruit, interview, hire onboard train Nast. Right, get on the operations floor. And then you’ve got, of course, that speedy competency that’s a lot of money plus has a ripple effect, because it puts pressure on all the department heads, right? The recruiters, the people that onboard the people that so it just back to your times five, it literally affects an entire organization, when you have high attrition like that. And she was pouring her heart out. And it does take its emotional toll on everybody. It really, really does. But then when I asked her will tell me about your culture, her face just lit up like a Christmas tree. And she was telling us how great tell me how great the culture was how people love to work there. And it just wasn’t connecting the dots, right? Some things don’t make sense. It didn’t make any sense. And really one of my tools is called the leadership merits, literally looking at yourself, those are those three o’clock in the morning, you know, moments where you don’t have all those doubts about yourself. And you’re rethinking everything. And it’s really about, you know, what am I doing to contribute to the challenge right, or to the success of the organizations, it’s, how am I contributing as a leader because the buck stops with the leader, my dad always used to say, leadership is not for the faint of heart, and it’s not. So I was able to go into that organization and through utilizing the leadership tools, of building the big picture, meeting people where they’re at understanding what people’s positions are, and how they could contribute at all levels to the success and building the big picture on where we were all gonna go. We were able to turn that down to less than industry standards for attrition in a very short while,
Anne Bibb 8:42
when you go out. And guys, I know that you’re looking at this now and there is a link to our Amazon storefront just to make sure that everybody has access to get the book because I highly recommend it myself. Not to mention, you should read some of the reviews about Vicki’s book, there are some some great takeaways from it. But reviews themselves suggest that the book is actually more like a manual. Was that your intention when you were writing the book? Yes, I
Vicki Brackett 9:11
wanted to articulate it through stories because people can relate to stories. So literally every chapter and there’s there’s 14 tools, it’s 14 chapters, it literally takes the first tool, it starts with a story, it explains the tool and gives two or three more stories. So you can not only see and understand how this how the tool works. But then it also gives you three or four examples on how it was used in different scenarios. So you can see the impact of the tool that it has. And then there’s a there’s a literally a thread throughout the whole book of literally using these as building blocks. So it’s like opening up your leadership toolbox and saying, Okay, I’ve got a challenge. I’m going to use this tool. I’m going to use this one I’m going to use the triage tool. I’m going to use the meet them where they’re at tool, and then you start massaging it to utilize those tools in your conversations and how you lead Your organization. And when one doesn’t fit anymore, you pull it out, put it back in the toolbox, and you pull out another one. So when you memorize the tools, you literally can interchange them. And they’re super simple. I use these with my kids were growing up. So I’ve had these tools for decades, and they were
Anne Bibb 10:17
leading children as well as leading employees is what I’m hearing. Right?
Vicki Brackett 10:21
That’s exactly right. When I think they’re there, they can be used by both, you know, for everybody, right? So for women that are really trying to move up in their career, really utilizing tools that can set them apart. Without ego getting in the way or stopping the feed or doing whatever you know, people do when they want to be heard, they literally can use these as building blocks to gain visibility and move up the ladder. And I think this is important for women.
Anne Bibb 10:49
And I think that that actually is a really good point, because there is and I’m pulling it up, what tool is tool number three. With engaging employees through honest dialogue, I think that this is a really good, it’s a it’s a tool that I didn’t realize I needed. But I had started to try and figure out how to use that honest dialogue, that is a difficult thing to do, to just have that open and honest, transparent conversation in certain situations. And I, you and I were talking, I’ve recently had to have some situations like that with some people that I’ve worked with, whether it is, you know, in whatever situation, but specifically as women, sometimes it’s hard to pull that out of your toolbox, and have that open and honest conversation. And so I love that this is one of the tools in the leadership toolbox.
Vicki Brackett 11:53
Yeah, it’s a great one. It also can be used with what I call the third party story tool. So sometimes when you’re trying to break down walls, and you’re talking with someone giving a story about something that happened to somebody else makes that person who you’re talking to actually say, Hmm, well, I’m not the only person that did that, or I feel like so pulls the walls down so that you can have that honest dialogue.
Anne Bibb 12:15
You used a term that I strangely had not heard before. It was called the psychology of work at home. At and I want to kind of dig into that a little bit, right? What did you mean by the psychology of work at home?
Vicki Brackett 12:34
Okay, well, I’m going to tell you a story then. So when I first started working virtually back in 2000, I was in sales management position at the time, and I went to the grocery store. And it was a Wednesday, and I walked out and with the one bag of groceries and it was dark. And I thought I thought I got here at 530 Maybe I’m maybe I’m losing it right? Maybe it didn’t happen that way. And so the next week, when I went back to the grocery store, I same thing I went in, it was light, I came out it was dark, because it was daylight savings time. The third week I went in, it literally looks like a movie. I’m in the produce aisle. And I’m holding a head of romaine lettuce, and it like the world stops. And I can see everything in slow motion. This is no joke. And I’m looking at the head of lettuce. And I look at this woman next to me who I don’t know. And I say to her, and I’m holding the head of lettuce. I was like, How long have we been standing here talking? And she’s like, Oh my gosh, it’s been 45 minutes. And I thought to myself, God, Vicki, you must be desperate. You’re standing in the produce while talking to someone when you don’t even know because you’re working at home, and you’re lonely. And so I started watching my behaviors and realize that I needed to get out of the House on Tuesday, go have coffee, go to the grocery store, talk to somebody, because I really was on this island.
Anne Bibb 13:52
Then I thought you were going to tell me that you were just like having this like a love affair with the head of romaine lettuce or something. So I’m so glad that the story went like in this really much better place.
Vicki Brackett 14:02
What what is even funnier is I went several aisles over and I couldn’t reach my tea. And I couldn’t reach and I was trying to step on the bottom shelf. And finally this girl tall guy came and I said Excuse me, could you help me, he’s happy to help he got down my tea. And I stood there for another 15 minutes talk to someone that I didn’t even know. And I thought to myself, you gotta get a life Vicki. And so if you fast forward that to 2010, I went to work for 100% virtual organization and it was a turnaround. And what was interesting is we started seeing changes in people see sets. They’d start out of the gate at 100%. And then they would start slowly but surely and attendance would start going down. So I said to my business analyst I said question, see if you can find out what’s going on. He says let me pull the data numbers don’t lie, right? They’re gonna tell the story. And he was the best analyst I’ve ever had. He literally put all the waves of people sort of on top of each other on the spreadsheet and what what we look That was at week eight to 12. They started going down. People that were great performers that showed up for work, suddenly were sliding. Then we started asking people questions, I started doing focus groups, we labeled it virtual shock. And what we figured out was that people were on this island, and their behaviors were changing. And that’s what I mean by the psychology of, of work at home or virtual. So what we did was we started teaching them about virtual shock during the recruiting process, all the way through training. We taught them how they could recognize it in their co workers, agent to agent. So someone could say, oh, my gosh, Ann’s going through virtual shock, because she’s not chatting as much. She’s quiet
Anne Bibb 15:41
do I do need to say virtual shock, we’re not talking about shock therapy, virtual shock here is the shock of being in a virtual environment, that’s for eight to 12 weeks. And it’s becoming numb to the whole situation and realizing like you need some social interaction, interaction, that’s that’s virtual shock.
Vicki Brackett 16:02
That is virtual. That is absolutely I don’t want to be holding the human resource. No, that’s exactly what it is. So we having activities to get them off the phone or do that. I know it’s non productive time. But in the long run, you’ll cut down on attrition. And it more than pays for itself, the return
Anne Bibb 16:19
on investment, there is much more than the like you said the attrition.
Vicki Brackett 16:28
Yeah, and showing up late the no call, no shows get lost in the virtual hallways, all the things that people do. And then the supervisors run around trying to chase people down on chat and text. And it really just becomes a vicious cycle. Leaders have to re engineer how they lead to work in a virtual environment. It happens all the time.
Anne Bibb 16:48
I love that you just said that. Because one of the things that I noted down was the word re engineering, leadership skills.
Anne Bibb 16:58
You know, what, what does that mean to re engineer leadership skills. I mean, when I hear re engineer, I’m not thinking about people, I’m thinking about mechanics, I’m thinking about machines, I’m thinking about technical items. I’m not thinking about people.
Vicki Brackett 17:15
That’s true. But we have to be conscious leaders. And we have to realize that what we do impacts people. So normally, we just explain to people what we wanted to do. Now we just send email, right? Because we’re virtual, and we expect everybody to do it, then all these all this starts all these emails start shooting around everybody’s inbox, asking questions, and the chain is this long, people are getting lost, they can’t find anything in a brick and mortar, you just go into the break room, and you’ll see a couple of people standing and you’d stand there and, and talk and you’d figure it out. And what people are trying to do is manage by email in the virtual environment, instead of just getting on a 15 minute call and saying, Hey, you’re taking number one in three, Mary, you do number two, who wants to do number eight, let’s regroup on Tuesday, or let’s regroup tomorrow for 10 minutes. And tell me where you’re at. People say, well, that’s just too many meetings. But when you don’t do that in a virtual environment, then there’s misunderstandings and people don’t get their job done. Because people don’t know what’s going on. And then everyone’s emailing back and forth.
Anne Bibb 18:13
What I’m what I’m interested to know from you is what you think makes a good work from home leader.
Vicki Brackett 18:20
I think you have to like people, I think you have to be able to connect through all the mediums on the phone, email, make those chats really personable, I think you have to love people to really be good. And I think you have to be able to give them good boundaries. In other words, this is what I expect. And and you have to be able to take the feedback, there has to be a two way communication with virtual, or employees will just click you off. It’s asking their opinion, it’s having their input on decisions. I never make decisions in a silo at all. It’s making them feel valid for who they are as a person and further ideas. And I think it’s that exchange of ideas. I really believe that’s that’s the key. And I think introspect is important in all leadership, to be able to look and say, How am I impacting somebody that works in my organization, and the onus is on the leader, I mean, it’s also on the employee. That’s true. But we have to take responsibility for our own organizations and be willing to make make decisions on how we’re going to change how we lead.
Anne Bibb 19:20
How do you do that, though? How do you analyze and when you can’t see them a lot, because a lot of these times a lot of situations people have? Well, let’s take a step back. At the beginning of the pandemic, everybody was on camera, like it was just like this thing. I was on camera more during the pandemic than I had been on camera for the prior 25 years of working from home. It was absolutely insane to me, but now I’ve seen so many people like revert back and just say no, I’m not going to be on camera unless it’s an absolute necessity. So now you’re back to that whole, I can’t see your body language. I don’t know, if you’re making a face at me, I have to go by your tone of voice. So how do you know? What are some strategies that you can utilize as a leader? To compensate for that?
Vicki Brackett 20:16
A great question. Well, remember, we were virtual before March of 2020. Right? So the conference calls, right? So most of my a lot, most of my career was just on the phone with people because I can
Anne Bibb 20:27
always tell somebody who says, you want to jump on my bridge?
Vicki Brackett 20:32
Remember that? Do you want to jump on my bridge? So I really think that in order to, you have to listen, you have to listen for pregnant pauses, you have to listen to the tones that are different. And I really believe that having one off conversations with folks, not one on ones that are formal, right, where you’re going through everything, but it’s picking up the phone and me saying, Hey, Andy, I have a couple minutes, you know, I’ve got this challenge, I’m not sure what to do, give me your take. And I get to know and on a personal level on the phone, so I’m listening. And then when I’m looking or listening into an in a meeting, I can tell if she’s reacting the same, it could mean she doesn’t want to be in crowd, she doesn’t want to speak up. I mean, there could be a wide variety of reasons why but it’s that personal touch, you’ve got to be able to understand the person and see the changes in the behaviors in the tones on how they speak. And then a high level of emotional intelligence, the best leaders in virtual have a high level of emotional intelligence, they can feel their way through things. They’re not psychic. It’s not like they know what the person is saying, but they know something may be wrong. Or they may know that the person wants to say something else. It’s listening and feeling. And I know that’s terribly, like old fashioned, and it’s not cutting edge, because it’s not technology. But at the end of the day, we’re not robots yet, right? We’re human beings.
Anne Bibb 21:54
We are and I see, you know, I want to dive into this a little bit deeper, because I see so many people out there that say, here are some free agendas for your one on one. So I’m here is this and like, there’s millions of them out there. And what
Anne Bibb 22:10
drives me nuts, is they have structured these agendas, to put in this get to know you, in every one on what have your personal conversation, then have your work conversation. And because these are so structured, and it’s like, okay, Vicki, let’s have our one on one. How was your day? How was your this did it it didn’t. Okay, now we’ve now I have checked off the box that I have talked to Vicki about her personal life. And it’s going to this. And there’s this system that a lot of startups use, and that is their weekly touch base with their employees, and they have this part where it is, okay, I’m going to talk to you about your non work stuff. And then we’re going to talk about this and then we’re gonna talk, it is so impersonal and personal, that it takes away from what you’re trying to accomplish. As much as it is well meaning it actually is a negative effect and impact. And I don’t think that it’s not doing what you think it’s doing.
Vicki Brackett 23:23
Yeah, and I think a lot of people sort of are not understanding that because everything is all about process. Right? So I’m this is something that’s happened with my whole career. When I do performance evaluations, every 100% across the board for 20 some odd years, they have said to me, every person has been disappointed, because they’re expecting this earth shattering, you know, verbiage to come out of my mouth, and I’m talking to them every day or every other day. So I do short, little, little spigots, I will pick up and say hey, I’m just passing through, they know I don’t have an hour, I’m passing through, I’ve got 10 minutes. I’ll do a lot with a headset on in the kitchen even you know and say, Hey, tell me what’s going on. That gives them permission to let their guard down. Right? And then we just start chit chatting. It always ends up going back to work. Because I’ll say gee, you sound a little strange stranger is everything. Okay? You sound a little hesitant. I’m sorry. I’m just so rushed. My mother’s in the hospital. Oh, really? Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that. How can I help you? That’s the thing is I don’t I’m not going to ask, you know, I don’t want to cross any lines, right with HIPAA. But I can say what can I do to support you today? You know, Vietnam, I don’t really know. And then I’ll make a note. And then I’ll call the next day and say, Hey, I’m passenger. I got three minutes, but what do you need? Tell me what you need. You know, actually, I need to move my shift or actually, I’m going to be late for this meeting. Who do you want me to call you want Joe to handle it? I’m all over it. Don’t worry about it. You take care of your mom pick up the phone or chat Joe and say she’s going to be gone. I need you to take this meeting. So it’s being that bridge by being human. You do that enough and now you get on those one on ones and now they free flow. And you don’t even have to have them a lot of times be because they’re already telling you those things, I carry a notebook or I’m on my iPad. And they every employee or every leader has a has a page. And I just put the notes down so I can remember to ask them about it right? I, I’m getting a little older, and I can ask them about that, but they know you care. And then it just becomes free flowing.
Anne Bibb 25:18
You know, what I find interesting about this and tell me if I heard you incorrectly, is that you are not having scheduled one on ones you’re having unscheduled. I’m just going to check in with you touch bases that are, hey, just want to know how you’re doing. Oh, it turned into a work thing. But it was not meant to be work. It was a human check in.
Anne Bibb 25:46
But they’re not scheduled. They’re not strategic. And they’re not procedural. It’s the procedural process based check ins that take away from the human experience. That is what’s getting through to your people.
Vicki Brackett 26:09
I agree with you. Now, a lot of times you have to you have to weave business. So a lot of times and I tend to go fast. I’m a fast mover and my folks know it. So pick up the phone and say listen, I called you about the meeting tomorrow. But before I do that, and remind me that I don’t get off topic, I always ask them to remind me, tell me what’s going on. And is there anything I can do for them was chitchat, and they’ll say, okay, Vic. Okay. Now let’s go back. I have an I have an idea about the meeting tomorrow. I’m like, Great, I’m ready, shoot, you know, and then I will type I’ll put on my notepad if I’m writing and write down what they said. And then I’ll repeat it back to them. Then I always follow it up with a phone call message. Even if they’re in a meeting. It’s a voicemail. Hey, it’s Vic. I’m just passing through love the conversation, love the idea about the meeting. I’m all over it. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, I can do the same thing in text, I can do the same thing and chat. And I do the text
Anne Bibb 26:56
is wonderful. i It’s my arch nemesis, mind you because it always like says things wrong. But they they understand it like they read voice to text errors. But it gets the job done. Like thanks for the call that it added to the done.
Vicki Brackett 27:11
And you’re done. But think about this. This is what I try to impact people with this ideas. Do what you do in brick and mortar only. You’re in virtual if you were getting out of your car, and I saw you in the parking lot I’d wave and and good morning, we shoot the breeze, you may say hey, listen, you know, can you handle the agenda and the media? Yeah, no problem, we walk in together, you go one way I go the other I go into the ladies room, you go to the break room, someone stops each of us. That’s how it’s done in brick and mortar. The feelings of brick and mortar are that we feel connected. So the real question is, how do we get the same feeling in a work at home environment that we do in brick and mortar and it’s all how it’s angled presented, and you need more time to make the human connection? You just need to
Anne Bibb 27:54
as we move forward? Where do you see the role of leadership moving in this post pandemic world?
Vicki Brackett 28:02
I think leadership skills, the interpersonal skills, the understanding human behavior, the psychology of what happens at work, and how people respond is going to be critical. I think those skills are going to be needed more than ever before because it was driving toward, you know, the non-personal, I think a leader can stand out by having those interpersonal skills. And there’s another piece that we haven’t talked about. It’s that it’s that filter in the middle. It’s why people respond the way they do and it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes way back in their childhood. They’re responding. I had a situation where someone told me they ended up hating me, because I reminded them of their mother, because I moved my head like this. And I just did like that had that. Yeah. And when we finally I said I’m not leaving the room, it took her like three meetings. And I’ve got to understand why you don’t like me. And she kept saying I was the best boss she ever had. And I was like, I don’t understand if I’m the best boss you ever had. Why are you snapping at me? And she’s like, I don’t know. I gave her a day off. I told her come back the next morning, we were gonna tackle it again. She came in she said I figured it out. So we went and got her the employee system line and everything after about a month, she came in in tears and said I just can’t help it. I said there’s gonna be another mom soon sudo Vicki out there, you’re young, it’s gonna happen. And she just said, I just I just can’t do it with you. And I said, we’re gonna find you a job. We helped her with the resume i i role played with her for the interview, and she got a job, we gave her a big going away party, and way better as she was leaving. So again, meeting them where they’re at. So I think we have to also understand that when people respond to us, it’s something in their past long before they got to our employment.
Anne Bibb 29:36
Absolutely. So giving the increase in this is kind of a tough question for me because like, I think that I see an increase in remote work. Now, when we are out here and we see the likes of certain larger organizations saying I’m not going to do it anymore. Okay, so you got two or three big organizations saying not that doesn’t mean that there’s a decrease in it. It just means there’s a couple of loud mouths saying that they’re not going to do it. Okay, that doesn’t impact the overall. So be careful what you’re reading, be careful what you’re seeing, and make sure you’re doing all of your research. But there is still an overall prevalence, that remote work. It’s not going away. So what trends or changes? Do you anticipate in the leadership practices of remote work in the near future?
Vicki Brackett 30:24
You mean, if people will continue to adopt it? And Correct? Absolutely. What I’m hearing from from our clients are basically that they’d like to have some people so those two things they’d like to have people come in the office, but you know, if they want to stay home, that’s fine, too, because they don’t want to lose the employees. You don’t want to lose a good employee. Oh, my gosh, are you kidding? And then we have other people say, you know, we’re just remaining 100% virtual, I don’t think it’s go. I know, it’s not going away. Because just like consumers, employees are stamping their feet. And if we want good employees, we meet them where they’re at. And I think I it’s not going away. It’s not going away. We’re 100% virtual organization at life Pro. I’ve been running 100% virtual organizations for most of the last since 2000. We have a just a few few places.
Anne Bibb 31:09
You and I, we are a couple of Oh, geez right here. I was in the 90s. You right at 2000. Like we’ve been doing it forever, forever. So what’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects, initiatives that you’re really excited about?
Vicki Brackett 31:25
Yeah, I went to work for a life pro back last year. And I moved out of the executive operations chair, which I never thought I would do. When they come in the CEO contacted me, I thought he wanted me to build up a context center, when he said he wanted to triple the footprint of the company. And they had already been over here for four and a half years or a 22 year old company. I said, well show me the software, when they show me the software, I thought I never seen anything like this before. It was unbelievable. And so I literally left my executive context in our chair operationally, and moved into building partnerships, business development, all kinds of things. And and I’m really enjoying it, because it’s something different. And it’s where I can, it’s where I can use my operational expertise. So I do two things that I love. I love talking shop on contact centers, just sign me up. And I’d love to identify operational gaps. And this current job allows me to do either, and I don’t have to worry if somebody shows up at eight o’clock, and I don’t have enough butts on the chair, right? Because that’s what we call it. So it’s very different. I love the space. I’ve been in it for a long time. It’s fast pace, and I just I just love what I’m doing now.
Anne Bibb 32:36
That’s great. Yeah. So what is your advice for somebody that is moving up in the leadership world? Maybe their supervisor moving into manager or manager moving into director in this virtual world that
Anne Bibb 32:52
we’re in now? What is your advice to them on as they grow in leadership? keep their eye on what what if you’re talking to this individual? What do they need to do as they continue to grow in their position?
Vicki Brackett 33:07
That’s, that’s, that’s a super question. I truly believe that being introspective as a leader is probably one of the most important things. Because we can hear we can feel we can see when people might bolt back or move a certain way. It’s about going inside and saying what could I do to make this better? What have I done to not make it as good as I want it to be? And what can I do? So the first thing is introspect and being a conscious leader, literally being conscious, and most people don’t they just run through their day. The second piece would be to say, I need some help. So a coach books, audible or audiobooks, I mean, go get some help, and then pick out one thing to work on. And then work on that for a number of weeks. And I always tell people, it’s like going on a diet, right? If you’re dieting, you’re not losing any weight and the diets not working, right. So if you’re using a tool, and it’s not working, and you don’t see a difference, maybe give it another few weeks, but then go get another one. It’s so I really think it’s nip and tucking, as we try to get better at our craft. I think the other thing is networking groups. I think, especially for women, I think it’s connecting with other people so that we can bounce ideas. I’ve got an employee, this is what they’re doing, like what you and I did before we got on today we chit chatted about something in your in your world. And I think it’s just finding people and putting those ideas in front of them and finding out what they say. And then technology it’s looking at the newest technology it’s opening up your vantage point I think as a leader you have to be looking at people processes and technology and though it starts with ourselves and being introspect have to be introspective in who we are.
Anne Bibb 34:53
So Vicki, why would anybody reach out to you and how would they reach out to you
Vicki Brackett 35:00
Well, if a contact center is trying to find, have their help their agents find answers at conversational speed with a huge ROI to reduce headcount and HT and new hire training days. Then it’s Viki dot bracket at live pro.com. And I do help other people do help other people. And if they have any other questions, you can reach out to me LinkedIn, that’s probably the best way to get a hold of me. I’m always happy to help anybody if they’ve got any kind of other questions about their career. And I have a big network, and I’m happy to share that with people.
Anne Bibb 35:35
So as usual, those links have been put below. And also, don’t forget, Vicki’s wonderful book. We’ll put a link to that as well. Highly recommend, Vicki, thank you so much for coming on.
Vicki Brackett 35:49
It’s been fun. You’re, you’re terrific. You really do a great job making people feel comfortable. I’ve watched a lot of your interviews you do a good job. Thank you for having me.
Anne Bibb 35:57
Thank you. And thank you, everybody, for joining us again this week, and we look forward to seeing you next week.
Anne Bibb 36:05
As we wrap the episode up, we would like to take this time to thank you for joining us this week on unexpected journey. Our guests information will be linked in the episode description along with a link to our company website, remote evolution.com, and our hosts website and bibb.com. Please don’t forget to like subscribe and share on your favorite podcast app and on our YouTube channel so that you never miss an episode and we can continue to bring them to you.
Anne Bibb 36:31
Let us know your thoughts on what we discussed in the comment section. And once again, thank you for joining us. We hope to see you again next week for another episode of Unexpected Journey.