Matt talks to Wendy Carpenter, CEO of Penny Lane, a nonprofit that helps empower children, youth and families by providing essential services to help them reach their highest potential.
Wendy talks about how challenges in her childhood helped prepare her for the work she does today, and the importance and power of empathy. Matt shares the importance of not firing someone with the door closed, unless you’re the closest to the door or an open window from which you can escape.
This episode is full of both heart and humor. Don’t miss it!
Is there a lesson that you learned that you can go back and be like, "Holy crap. How do I get past this?"
Yeah. I alluded to that situation that happened at the workplace for me about two and a half, three years ago. I, and again, this goes back to being an only child and it goes back to my childhood of taking care of my mom. I perfected how to be perfect. I did such a damn good job of compliance. [An] auditor controller would come through or department of children and family services--I don't care who came through. We had glowing audits, and I became pretty high on my hype on that, in that as long as the audits looked good, that was demonstrating that I was good. Right? That I was perfect.
And what I missed was the heart. And so, what resulted in that was a really bad situation at one of our group homes where a kid became very, very sick. It was one of these kids who would often say she was sick because she didn't want to go to school or say she was sick because she needed attention and love. And so, after a while, the staff just started ignoring the behavior. Well, one time she's really sick and she's got meningitis and almost dies. And you go back and you look at the situation of what we were doing. Head checks every 15 minutes. We were doing everything on paper the way we were, but we missed the heart. We missed the soul of seeing a kid, for whatever reason, needing something from the adults that were there to take care of her.
And it's really easy for a CEO to sit around and blame the staff that did that, but it started with me. That's what I was championing, was, "Do your paperwork. Make sure all your audits look good," and I missed the heart and the soul. So, for me, what's been the biggest lesson is, gosh, if you are loving and caring and doing the very best you can, that is a hell of a lot more important whether you get your notes in on time.
And so now that's really what I preach is you know what? Maybe you screwed up, but where was your intention and where was your heart? And let's focus on that.