In this episode of CS Connect, Microsoft’s Customer Success Strategist, Vish Walia, digs into the magnetic topic of leadership in customer success. He’s joined by leadership expert and CS enthusiast, Nils Vinje.

Today, strong leadership skills are more important than ever, particularly as more businesses are adopting a wider ethos of transparency and accountability, meaning striving for good leadership is crucial for everyone. In this conversation, Vish and Nils discuss:

  • The psychology of leadership
  • Setting expectations
  • What accountability means
  • The impact strong leadership has on your customers

Shall we get stuck in?

Key takeaway #1

Set expectations. Good customer success demands that the whole team moves along together in sync, But you have the unifying umbrella of agreed expectations. If you don’t have a unifying, overarching goal, it’s very difficult for everyone to stay in sync.

Key takeaway #2

Despite the way it sounds, driving accountability isn’t micromanaging.

The truth is, you shouldn’t have to micromanage if you’ve mastered step one – setting expectations. It goes without saying that you can’t hold others to account if they’re not aware of what’s expected of them. You won't have to chase people and lecture them if the expectations are set and agreed upon in advance.

Key takeaway #3

Be humble. The best kind of leaders are those that are able to learn and grow, take feedback and suggestions from their team, and evolve their practices so that we can actually function as a team.

This mentality is only possible when you accept that you’re not a leader because you know everything. You’re a leader because you’ve proven that you can bring out the best in others.

A bit about our guest

Nils’ career has been pretty impressive and varied to date, having held several senior executive roles at various companies. In 2015, Nils decided to start his own gig. He's now a leadership coach who helps growing companies build world-class customer success strategies.

Be on the series

Do you have a thing or two to say about leadership in customer success? Then get involved and share your thoughts on the industry, your own career journey, and the tips and tactics that have brought you success.