Left Brain Right Leadership 2018-06-18T12:55:40+00:00

The question we wanted to answer

Having touched over 700 centers across the globe, we’ve had the privilege of being exposed to many operating environments to include contact centers, retail, account management, field, back office, technical, claims, collections, and fulfillment. Some of these companies include Google, General Motors, Royal Caribbean, Jet Blue, and others. Through these engagements we have been able to observe what companies do really well and where they have opportunities to improve.

When we interact with executives, they often ask us  “what makes the best different”.

What a great question and one that makes us pause for a moment as we process those in similar industries or operating environments. Although, over time we have identified a number of themes that are independent of industries and operating environments. At the top of these themes is consistently the quality of the frontline management at multiple levels.

Recognizing this was a consistent theme, we embarked on a journey to understand what is different about high performing supervisors and managers. Not just the opinion of executives and our staff but to answer this question through quantified research. We did this because we knew that if we could quantify what makes high performers different we could replicate it across other companies.  

To date, we have analyzed over 300 supervisors and managers.

So what makes break out performers different?

How we collect the information

We know “time” in contact centers and other operational departments is a valuable asset so we designed an approach that balances collecting the information we want within an efficient timeframe. This approach also allows us to collect the information we need even when there are many concurrent initiatives happening in your center like implementing new technologies, launching new products, focusing on poor performing metrics, etc.

All frontline leaders (Supervisors, Team Leaders, Managers, etc) and their direct managers across target departments.

The participants receive a web link via email invitation active for 1-week, completion time is about 15 minutes.

Individual scorecards for the frontline leaders provide the best analytical outcomes while often being readily available.

We collect 94 data points to gather three dimensions: 1) personality styles, 2) technical skills assessment, and 3) self skills evaluation.

Additional insights…

Wanting to understand the link between time in the role, experience, prior exposure and effectiveness of current development programs, the following analysis verified what we know while others surprised us.

What is different about the “best” supervisors?

We analyzed the skills assessment data to better understand what makes the “best” different. Here are our findings:

Concentrated research on frontline management

Frontline leaders have a significant impact
Our viewpoint, these leadership roles are the most influential positions in Human Operations and have the greatest ability to impact organization performance. With all this influence, we are stunned by the massive under development of these roles.

Massive Organization Impact

Massive Under Development


FIRST TIMERS – When frontline leaders are hired/promoted, 76% report coming from the agent pool and have never been in a management role.

ZERO TRAINING – When asked about management training for the last year, 47% report receiving nearly zero hours/classes.

HR TRAINING – Of the 53% who received training in the last year, 92% was HR training, the topics included: effective interviewing, diversity, harassment, employee relations, people first and coaching.

NO DEGREE – When looking at management training through higher education, 49% of respondents report not having a degree.

Our methodology isolates those top performing frontline leaders across their scorecard. As we analyzed the data, we found that the top performers not only deliver against a single metric they are consistently higher across multiple metrics.


If you would like to learn more about our complimentary supervisor evaluation where you will learn your supervisor’s strengths, weakness, and personas or how we can help close competency gaps through a targeted training approach, give us a call or email us today.