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I hope reading
7 Questions with Chris Mackintosh
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Chris Mackintosh
Name: Chris Mackintosh
Current title: Chief Operating Officer
Current organization: CCU Global
A trusted industry expert, advisor and global reference point within BPO, Multi-Channel, Omni-Channel Call, Contact and
Customer Support Center Operations. Specialist in all facts of operational leadership and project execution. Expert in
service efficiency turnaround including customer satisfaction (C-G-O SAT, NPS, VOC) and developing world-class multi-
site, multi-country center operational performance. Deeply conversant with international industry and legislation
dynamics synonymous within the Philippines, India, South Africa, GCC, UAE, South America, Kenya, USA, Australia and
UK markets. Repeated success exceeding pre-agreed KPI’s and Metrics whilst adhering closely to quality and compliance.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Balancing keeping both clients happy and staff equally happy 100% that perfect balance
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have been performing in the industry for 30 years and was introduced to the board by a client we shared the same vision and aggression to succeed and everything gelled
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
It consists of between 16-18 hour days it also consists of trying to spread myself over 3 time zones for clients in the UK, USA and Australia I also have to spread myself across our call centers based in the Philippines, South America, Africa and India picking up on all campaigns performance the days fly by I also have to fit in some video conferencing time in the mornings when I first wake and then before sleeping with my wife who is in the Philippines and my 2 year old little boy unless I am physically back in that country which during covid I got stuck in the UK then Africa
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Stop being the smartest person in the room! Being a leader does not mean knowing more than anyone else. Recognize, encourage and promote others as experts. Give them the trust and autonomy to be creative. Provide direction only when needed
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen R Covey
As the title implies the book focuses on people’s habits good and bad and which of those do / could imply in your daily life
Most people are unaware of their own habits or if they are don’t know how to change them for the positive
The book focuses on helping you recognize your habits and sharpening up and developing the good ones and getting rid of bad habits
For me it was obviously a need to focus on the former haha as I don’t have bad habits
No seriously it made me take a good look at myself and try to continually improve also seeing how many of the identified 7 I hold currently
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
It’s about building the right culture then you can build and promote from within or look to bring in outsiders who can bring and add value that you do not already have. In 30 years I have always remained “hands on” without undermining and that way it’s enabled me to know the issues and allow me to lead from the front also it’s important to build the balance between working hard and enjoying what you do and listening to your management, people and clients
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I have several meaningful stories so I picked one that takes a light hearted view
Always be prepared to do and show you can do what you ask others (your managers and staff to do)
Some time back in 2000 I was sent out to Sydney Australia and was heading up a large team that was mixed with mainly Aussie Nationals and Brits on short term work visas the floor was always buzzy competitive with a lot of superstars the chairman was one of Australia’s greatest businessmen known in the media, publishing, gambling and the sporting arena he also was an inspiration to know and work for / with
The floor went from strength to strength out performing KPI’s month on month from when I landed when after month 6 the chairman decided to take the top 25-30 performers and managers on a yacht cruise around Sydney harbour……
Needless to say also attributed was great food and a few beers and the constant re run of Land Down Under at high volume
We moored up around 200 meters from one of the beeches the chairman then offered $5000 to the first one who could swim to the shore with that 10 guys mostly Brits stripped down to their under shorts and dived off the boat we both then looked and said to the Aussies what about you they were not interested such a shock as all the best swimmers are either Aussie or US!!!
He then turned to me and said could I beat the ones in the water to which I said of course
He then said go on then
so I said double the money and I will so he agreed
All this happened in split seconds since the guys had dived in so I followed suit and hit the water and sprinted past all the swimmers and hit the shore a good 30 meters ahead of the next swimmer
I remember thinking I must be crazy the harbour is full of sharks and that was the reason the Aussie lads didn’t do it!!!
As they all got out the water tired I called to the boat to move closer to the shore as there were some very tired swimmers I ended up head towing 6 back to the boat
Once everyone was back on the boat safe the chairman presented me with what was now $10,000 to which I gave it all to the people that entered the water to divide equally amongst themselves
Needless to say there were some change of emotions
Happiness to all those that took part with at least a reward for their efforts
They couldn’t believe their Guvnor 1/ would do it 2/ could thrash them all 3/ give them the money instead of taking it.