Passing on my experience through leadership

Matt Wildman is an operations manager within Capita Experience. Here’s his take on why leadership matters and how he wants to be the best leader he can be for future generations.

There are two reasons I wanted to become a leader. To become a mentor and teacher, and to make things better for other people.
I’ve always valued being able to impart knowledge onto others. The older I get and the longer I spend in roles, the more knowledge and experience I accumulate – and as far as I’m concerned, there’s no point accumulating something only to hoard it for yourself. I want to help shape the next generation.

I also want to make sure that other people have the best support available and know where to turn when they need help with development and progression – by being the best leader I can be.

So what do you see your role being about?

There’s a fairly old-school view that a manager is a disciplinarian and I feel like it’s one of the biggest misconceptions, especially when people think that a leader and manager are interchangeable terms. The reality is that a leader could have zero managerial responsibilities and still inspire and engage with people. A skilled leader sees management as one part in a much wider whole.

So I’m challenging this misconception by being as approachable as I can. I’m here to support a team of agents and managers in delivering high quality service, while also creating a fun, positive work environment. I’m acting as a mentor and developing my people at every opportunity, and ensuring each member of my team knows that their voice is as important to the success of this business as mine.

What’s your team like?

We’ve worked as a team on a couple of contracts together now, notably starting with a Covid-19-driven temporary contract just as lockdown started, and that created a sense of camaraderie that continues to this day. We’re really supportive of one another within the team and then above me, my immediate manager and beyond are always celebrating my successes and checking in to support me too.

How did you get to where you are now?

It’s been a steady journey to get here as I’ve moved from one role to the next. When I first joined Capita, I was a brand and engagement manager. I’d come from a role that was client-side to help with set up. I then stepped into a team manager position at our client’s request, to head up a bespoke complaints handling team. That transitioned into becoming team manager for a Department for Work and Pensions contract, and that led to the chance to do a secondment into an operations manager position. This role transferred into a performance and engagement manager position on O2 for several months, before I secured a permanent operations manager role for our client, IQVIA. They’re the ones conducting the Covid-19 infection survey on behalf of the Office of National Statistics. We’ve partnered with them to deliver customer services for the survey. Together, we’re helping the government determine infection rates, antibody flows, vaccine success etc. So, we’re playing a part in ensuring that the UK is able to effectively manage the pandemic as much as possible on an ongoing basis. 

As you can see there’s a lot of opportunity to move into new roles here and to keep working your way up. Alongside this, I’ve had training through the Corndel-led apprenticeships, first in Leadership and Management (Level 5) and now in Strategic Leadership (Level 7). I’ve had the full backing of my line manager and previous line managers to be able to study, and it goes beyond just doing my coursework. The manager I had for my Level 5 course has continued to support my development and offer his expertise on matters. He often shares his knowledge of processes which I don’t get to experience day-to-day, but which are useful to learn. My own manager is highly supportive of my development and is often giving me additional responsibilities under her supervision, so that I can continue building my knowledge and experience.

And what’s the next step for you?

I would say I’m looking at my options. I could look at going into an operations director role, but part of me feels like that will take me further away from the action than I would like, and limit my chances of doing some of the things I love most about my work. Given the content I’ve created in my time on IQVIA, I could see a step into a communications or training role being a good move, continuing to use my creativity to create engaging, enjoyable initiatives that can be shared with the business.

I think as far, as the future is concerned, that as long as I’m able to use my talents I’ll be happy. For me that’s expressing my creativity and using my natural inclination for engagement. I think that’s why I enjoy doing what’s best for my team and ensuring they have a voice and enjoy coming into work.

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