Groundwork Podcast – Episode 4

Pattie Money (Twilio, SendGrid, TubeMogul)

In this episode, Pattie talks about what it means to be a rules-light HR practitioner and why it’s been her philosophy from the start.

A show about Chief People Officers from the world’s fastest-growing companies.

An HR Podcast about how these leaders guide organizations through the turbulent times of hypergrowth by investing in human beings.

They lay the groundwork that makes the impossible, inevitable. Join Lingo Live CEO Tyler Muse for conversations on how they became the leaders they are today, how they’ve navigated their toughest challenges, and how they envision the future of work.

EPISODE 4

Pattie Money (Twilio, SendGrid, TubeMogul)

For the past 30 years, Pattie has devoted her career to creating strong, healthy cultures that drive individual and organizational success. She’s served as a Chief People Officer at some of the most successful tech companies of our time, like TubeMogul, SendGrid, and Twilio. Her experience is deep when it comes to scaling startups and has included multiple M&A and IPOs. Suffice it to say Pattie is somebody you’d want on speed dial whenever you’re navigating change.

In this episode, Pattie talks about what it means to be a rules-light HR practitioner and why it’s been her philosophy from the start. We’ll hear her thoughts on how to build a team that thrives in a high-growth environment, how to ground people in times of turmoil, and the motto she keeps on her desk to encourage her to keep trying new things.

What We Cover:

[0:57] An intro to Pattie

[1:58] Growing up and working in the family business

[6:30] Starting out in HR and growing into the branch manager at Kelly Services

[8:40] Why it’s not enough for HR people to be good on the people side

[11:10] What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

[14:54] The first Head of HR role

[18:08] What Pattie means when she says she’s a “rules-light HR person”

[22:36] How to set people up for success in a hyper-growth environment

[27:25] Why Pattie is not a believer in throwing people at problems and letting them figure it out

[32:02] What SendGrid got right when it comes to manager development

[36:07] If you don’t believe in this, you shouldn’t be leading people

[37:24] Why the people function’s day is here

[40:02] Taking advantage of this moment

[41:30] Pattie’s work at Pinnacle Leadership, her consulting business

Tyler  0:00  

Welcome back to Groundwork, brought to you by Lingo Live. I’m Tyler Muse.

 

Tyler  0:06  

At Groundwork, we talk to Chief People Officers from the world’s fastest-growing companies. We get to know them on a human level and explore how they became the leaders they are today, how they’ve navigated their toughest challenges, and how they envision the future of work.

Today we’re featuring my conversation with Pattie Money.

 

Pattie  0:35  

I think a lot of times especially in high-growth where we throw people in and say, go figure it out. And I’m not a believer in that. Ground people really, really well in the business, make certain they’re grounded in relationships as well that they understand and have the opportunity to build relationships that are going to help them be successful.

 

Tyler  0:57  

For the past 30 years, Pattie has devoted her career to creating strong, healthy cultures that drive individual and organizational success. She’s served as a Chief People Officer at some of the most successful tech companies of our time, like TubeMogul, SendGrid, and Twilio. Her experience is deep when it comes to scaling startups and has included multiple M&A and IPOs. Suffice it to say Pattie is somebody you’d want on speed dial whenever you’re navigating change.

In this episode, Pattie talks about what it means to be a rules-light HR practitioner and why it’s been her philosophy from the start. We’ll hear her thoughts on how to build a team that thrives in a high-growth environment, how to ground people in times of turmoil, and the motto she keeps on her desk to encourage her to keep trying new things.

 

Tyler  1:50  

Pattie, thank you so much for being here today. We’re super excited to chat.

 

Pattie  1:55  

I’m glad to be here as well. Thanks for inviting me.

 

Tyler  1:58  

So obviously we want to spend a good chunk of time today talking about your career in HR, and in particularly at hyper-growth technology companies. But as I mentioned to you before, I always feel like to get a sense of the person behind the professional, you really have to start with, you know, their personal journey. And so I’d love to learn a little bit more about kind of where you grew up and what your childhood was like. And then we can use that to kind of transition into getting into the HR field. So could you share a little bit more about your childhood and where you grew up?

 

Pattie  2:38  

Sure. I’m actually thrilled to talk about that, because I found that for all of us, we are a product of our families and there’s a lot to that. And I grew up a southern girl, grew up in the South, which has influenced many things about me. I’m the ultimate hostess, I love cooking for people, that kind of stuff, which is a very, you know, not necessarily truly southern thing, but part of who I am. I’m from a family of seven kids next to the oldest to seven, big clan, very close knit family. My parents were… are—my mother’s still living—amazing. One of those love story families that you always want to make certain that your marriage lives up to it, etc. My dad was a serial entrepreneur and he was a person that, you know, when he had five kids kind of said, I don’t know how I’m gonna support these people, if I’m just working, he was an engineer and working in a company. And so he started his own business, and ended up starting several businesses over time, all of them very interconnected. And all of us grew up working in the family business and helping out. And I mean, in those days, we actually walked around a table and put catalogs together for him. But it was, it was part of our growing-up years to be part of building something. And part of making his business successful. I think each one of the seven of us worked there at one point in time. And all of us have our tales to tell about it. Some of them good, some of them bad, but it was a great learning experience for the entire group. And we’re still a very close family. So my sister’s my best friend. I talk with her a lot. My husband’s like, “are y’all talking again?” [laughs] So that’s a real part of me and my roots and like, how I operate from a relational perspective.

 

Tyler  4:39  

Sure, and I’m sure informed your, you know, future role in people just being immersed in a kind of workplace working with people where you have a very close relationship, if not very complicated relationship. I’m sure that was very formative for you. And there are some similarities with me. I actually… I grew up in Texas, I’m the second oldest child of five, so not quite as big of a family as yours. And my dad was also an entrepreneur, although didn’t engage the kids as much in it. And we had a lot of hyperactive energy that was channeled into other things that maybe would have been best suited if he had gotten us engaged like your dad did. That’s so cool that he did that.

 

Tyler  4:47  

Well, we didn’t really have a choice and I don’t think he could afford anybody else. So we were fairly cheap labor. [laughs]

 

Tyler  5:27  

Did he like figure out who’s gonna do what based on what they’re strong at? Or did everyone just kind of chip in and do various things as was needed?

 

Pattie  5:35  

You know, it was different at different times. In the early days, I mean, he used us just as labor to walk around and put together catalogs that he was bringing—he was a manufacturer’s rep—that he would bring out to customers and talk things through with them. And that was something any of us could do. Now, as we grew up, all of us kind of did different jobs. And we weren’t all there at the same time. Most of us did some work with him, while we were in college, I worked my way as a full charge bookkeeper with him. So none of the rest of my siblings did that. I had a sister that worked in sales for him, three of my brothers actually now own those businesses and are, are still keeping them alive and thriving today. So they did different things, and then ended up wanting to make a career out of it. None of the girls did on the own. There’s, there’s four girls, and three of them were teachers. I was the only person that ended up on the business side of the house.

 

Tyler  6:30  

Yeah. And I heard I read this somewhere that you thought you were going to end up going into sales and be an account executive. Why is that?

 

Pattie  6:38  

Well, my, my undergrad was in marketing, and specifically in advertising. And I, I really had this vision of myself, you know, being on you know, in New York, and the ad industry and an ad exec that was doing all those cool things. I mean, picture Mad Men, although I was a little bit, you know, too young for that era, thank goodness. But, but anyway, that was kind of my vision of what I would be doing. But, you know, I met my husband, and we ended up moving to an area of the country where advertising really was kind of non-existent. And I realized that that was not going to be what I could do it at least within that market. And so I started looking around and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life then. And I started working for Kelly Services, first of all, as a temp. And then they called me one day and said, “Hey, are you interested in, you know, coming on board and potentially being a recruiter?” And I was like, “Hmm, I don’t know, what do they do?” Right? So because I had, I had no clue at all. But I started there. And actually, it was an amazing career move for me, because not only did I learn a lot about HR, I ended up being the branch manager, and I learned how to actually run a business, you know, everything full P&L responsibilities, how do you hire people? How do you actually build a business? How do you get accounts? How do you actually grow a business? So because each one of the branches operated within, they have their own budget, they had to build their own, you know, business base, etc. So it was a huge learning experience for me, and balanced out not only my people skills, but also business skills, which most HR people, we really need to be strong on the business side, not just on the people side.

 

Tyler  8:35  

Yeah, yeah. Why do you say that? I’ve heard you say this before. Why do you feel so strongly about that?

 

Pattie  8:40  

Well, you know, when when we talk about the people team having a seat at the table, the executive team is a set of business people. All of us have functional expertise but we have to look at what we do through the lens of the business. And so if HR is going to be an active participant in partner, we have to understand that business deeply. We need to understand the levers that are available within that business, we need to understand the risks that are inherent in that business. And we have to marry our people strategy to the business strategy. And if you don’t understand business strategy, it’s really hard to do that. So I just think we have to be business junkies. I know I feel that way deeply about the profession, and that the more we bring from a business acumen perspective, the more impactful we can be to the business.

 

Tyler  9:37  

Yeah. Yeah, I talked to a Chief People Officer at a hyper-growth company the other day, and I do this every day, we’re talking to, you know, people in HR leaders at hyper-growth companies. And I asked him just to talk a little bit more about some of the challenges they were having. And he started with talking about the top-line growth of the company and they were about to be acquired, but they pivoted because they realized they had the wrong go to market strategy. And, uh, my jaw was on the floor, because I’m like, I never, I almost never talk to HR leaders that start with these type of business metrics, they’re often going right into, you know, employee engagement and things that are really critical. But I definitely see that connection to the business strategy. And he started with the high-level business strategy and then kind of married that into the people function and where they were and headcount and leadership development and talent management, all these different items, which was really cool to hear. So I love that you say that. But I would imagine that I’m curious if you think that you would have had that opportunity at the What started as a temp, and then grew into a full-time role. If they would have nominated you or asked you for that, had you not had that experience working with your father and your siblings, you know, building a business growing up, do you feel that that type of versatility and resilience was kind of cultivated in you at a young age? And that they saw that in you? Or was this just kind of a fortuitous thing where you happen, it happened to land in your lap?

 

Pattie  11:10  

You know, that’s, you know, I’ve never made that connection, quite frankly. But what I will say is, my dad created, and I’ll say, my dad and my mother, a group of people that were willing to experiment and take risk that we had definitely had sort of that entrepreneurial bug, the willingness to try new things, and to see where they lead. I keep a little plaque on my desk that says, What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? That idea of, of just kind of, okay, like there multiple times, I’ve gone into situations where I was like, I don’t really know what this is going to be. And I sure as heck don’t know how to do it. But I can figure it out. And what’s the worst thing that can happen? Right, I might get it wrong, and then you have to rethink it. But, but I do think that my parents instilled that in us. And I also think they, they created that desire to build, I mean, they built a family that was super strong, they built businesses that were super strong. So I think we’ve seen that and seeing that modeled, and, and seeing the benefit of that in our lives. So I, you know, I do I do think there’s a connection, that’s kind of cool. I hadn’t, I hadn’t put that together before.

 

Tyler  12:26  

And I love that I love that quote, and heard that in a while, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? I feel like so many entrepreneurs that are successful, not all of them, but many of them have this just almost insane fearlessness about failure. And just belief that whatever they’re going to do is going to be successful and are willing to embrace, you know, an incredible amount of risk. I mean, you look at like, we work as the classic like poster child obviously didn’t end up working out super well. But you got to give them credit. The founders were in particularly that, you know, the CEO founder, was almost relentlessly indoctrinated in this belief that he was not going to fail, and that it was going to be successful. And so sometimes I wish I had a little bit more of that, but that I feel like it might serve me better in my personal life and my family that I’m not quite so naive or almost, you know, relentless in the pursuit of success, because I just know that I’m not going to fail. But there have been times over the course of the company’s history, where I’ve had to tell myself like you are going to succeed, you are not going to fail at this. And it’s it served us really well, so.

 

Pattie  13:39  

As you talk about that, it’s funny because it’s not that I don’t think I could fail, or that that failure isn’t an option. Like I actually think sometimes when you, when you think nothing’s gonna get in my way, then then you stop being realistic about what’s in front of you. But it’s like you don’t let fear of failure hold you back from trying, you know, from taking some risk. But you know, I think smart people understand some of the guardrails around that and if you look at WeWork, he didn’t understand the guardrails, right? And so I think there’s a healthy amount of understanding that failure can happen, and that with it, you’ll learn and you’ll grow. I tell everybody, you know, my quote about myself is like, “my zone of genius is hindsight” because I’ve learned so much from the things that I didn’t do well, and the things that I’ve done well, I mean, my learning comes from both things, but but I have learned a lot because I’ve tried things that didn’t work. So so I don’t know that it’s about being fearless in that regard. But I do think it’s about not letting fear of failure hold you back from trying.

 

Tyler  14:54  

Yeah, that’s a great point. It’s a great clarification. Are there any—I’m curious—any failures? or successes that were so formative for you both either personally or professionally, as you kind of grew up in your career that you feel like made you really respect and acknowledge the power of failure?

 

Pattie  15:14  

Oh, so many.

 

Tyler  15:16  

I know, right?

 

Pattie  15:19  

Yeah, there have been, there have been a few, I think, that were super impactful. I think the first time I took on a head of HR role, I was unqualified. I mean, I’ll just be really blunt about that. I had come from Kelly Services to a startup organization that was actually manufacturing. And it had all kinds of stuff that I had no clue about. Now, I learned a lot in the process. And I’m a quick study. So you know, dug in and realized, I wasn’t quite as smart as I thought I was. I had a lot to learn. But there were things along the line where knowing what I know now, I would have spent a lot more time on understanding the business. I mean, I understood it, it was manufacturing, we were making escalators. So it wasn’t a hard thing to sort of get your arms around. But really, the relationships that were critical back with our parent company, which was in Germany, things like that, making those connections, I would have done a better job, not only for the organization, but for all of the people that were part of that organization. And I stayed there for five years, had a good run, but I look back on that and think, boy, if I’d only known this. For example, we had a union organizing attempt. And during that time period, we did really good work, and the Union was not voted in. But the ability to really follow up and move into some of the things that I thought we should be doing post that event, we weren’t able to execute on as well as I thought we should have. And it felt like a personal failure on my part. So I learned a lot from that, like, underpromise, overdeliver, right?

 

Tyler  17:07  

Love that. It’s one of our core values at Lingo Live, actually.

 

Pattie  17:10  

Oh, is it? Underpromise and overdeliver?

 

Tyler  17:12  

It is. Exactly, yeah. Underpromise, overdeliver.

 

Pattie  17:15  

Now you still need to promise enough that, you know, you’re gonna people are gonna want to do business with you. But you know, making certain that you can live into your promises and, and even your own values, is super important. So that’s, that’s one, you know, I’ve had times where, you know, I hired the wrong person. And that’s tough from an HR leadership perspective, we’re supposed to be experts at this. And, you know, I look back on my, all the things you coach other people to do, some of those I didn’t do myself, you know, I tried to coach too long, I tried to make a fit work that didn’t, wasn’t a fit. And it ended up damaging the relationship between the person and myself which, you know, I look back on, I’m like, “dang, why did I let that happen? I know better.” Right? So those are the human aspects that come into play for all of us.

 

Tyler  18:08  

Sure. And I know through this story that you’ve crafted here, you’re embracing failure, understanding the power of what you can learn from failure and taking risks. And, you know, cultivating new ideas. And some of that, again, is from your childhood and that experience you had working with your family and your, your dad, who’s a serial entrepreneur. So now you’ve started your career in HR, what leads you into hyper-growth companies, because a lot of people think hyper-growth companies are one thing, and they’re exciting, and they’re fresh, and they’re innovative. And people you know, have you play video games on beanbags. And there’s free kombucha, and they like look at all the glory of it. But then they get in and they realize, whoa, this is a totally different animal. So what led you into the kind of hyper-growth company world?

 

Pattie  18:59  

Well, I fell into that, too. You know, it’s kind of embarrassing that I haven’t been more intentional about my career. Because most of the moves I made, were opportunistic. Something happened. Somebody said, “hey, Pattie, what do you think about this?” And I’m like, “oh, that sounds kind of interesting.” So I’m not one of those people that had like a map of where I wanted to go and what my next step would be. I’m actually very admiring of people that are that intentional about their careers. But I was not one of those people. So I ended up… we’d moved to Boston, and there was a company there at the time, they were Agfa Monotype. And they had just spun out as a wholly owned subsidiary from their parent, and they were a tech company. And they wanted to create a tech vibe. They wanted to create a tech culture. They wanted to really build the software part of the organization. And so I’d landed that role and so the first thing I will say is that I fell into tech and fell in love with tech. It was the right environment for me as an HR practitioner. I’m a person that’s kind of a rules light, HR person, like I believe, treat people with respect, give them a lot of rope, if they don’t want to operate as a grown up within your environment, well, then they’re the wrong person for your environment. So, deal with that problem. But don’t put a lot of rules and regs in it as a barrier for people to be able to do great work. And tech allowed me to do that, you know, versus prior to that I’d worked in manufacturing, which, you know, there’s a lot of reasons for rules and things that have to happen there. I’ve worked in healthcare, and you know, there’s a lot of reasons for all the regulations and the things that go into leading a workforce in that type of environment. But tech gave me a ton of freedom. So that was kind of exciting. And I just said, well, I’ve found my home, this is awesome. And, and I was working with a CEO who gave me a ton of freedom. And we were great partners together. His name is Bob Givens. He’s an amazing man. Shout out to Bob if he ever hears this. But we together with the rest of that executive team really built a special company and then we went through a ton of change. Like this company went through a leveraged buyout with a private equity firm, that was an amazing partner for us that was really helping fuel growth. We then did a ton of acquisitions and global expansion. And every time I turned around, there was something else new for me to learn. Like, I didn’t know anything about Germany and a works council and how do you work with that? And then we bought this company in Germany, and I’m like, well, I guess I have to learn this pretty fast. I’d never taken a public company public before. We actually went through the whole IPO and took the company public in 2007. Right before the crash, that’s always super fun. So again, that environment where it was just constant change, and constant building, just fueled me, so…

 

Tyler  22:05  

You had found your home.

 

Pattie  22:06  

I did. And I, you know, I love the fact that there was always a new challenge. There was always something new on the horizon that we were, we were looking forward, we weren’t looking backwards. And that’s a, that’s a… the mindset that I love. Like, I can’t do anything about the past at all, it’s kind of done. So I have to be looking forward and saying, “okay, what are we doing next? What does that look like?” And, and, and that’s where I find a ton of inspiration and joy in work.

 

Tyler  22:36  

Yeah. And some, it’s interesting to hear you talk about that, like not having rules, it’s not necessarily something that you were shaped by being in that environment, you found a home there, that was just core to who you were you liked having freedom and flexibility, you liked giving people a lot of rope. But what about times, and maybe this is speaking to when you said some of your biggest failures, maybe wrong fit, you know, hiring people that weren’t a good fit. But again, that type of environment, it can be jarring to a lot of people. And so I’m curious, how do you leading a people org get individuals comfortable with the amount of ambiguity that’s in place, the amount of risk that’s in place? And the amount of like autonomy and leeway that’s in place? It’s, it’s got to be a challenge.

 

Pattie  23:24  

Yeah, so I totally agree with you on that there are, I always think about people as being fit for purpose. There are some environments where you look at the resume, between two people. They’re very similar in terms of skills and competencies and things like that. But you put a person in one environment and they shine like a star, you put them in another environment, and they crash and burn. So how do you determine the environment where someone’s really going to light up, right? And for me, that’s like, my happy place if you hire somebody, and they’re just lit up by what they’re doing, and the environment that they’re actually doing that in, that’s awesome. And there are some people that in a high-growth, constant change environment will not thrive. And I think, first of all, being clear about what this means is important, you know, when you’re going through the hiring process to be very articulate about the amount of change that the company is going through, how that creates pain points, that are also opportunities for you to have an impact on the organization. Some people when a problem comes up, they’re like, oh, my gosh, there’s a problem and others are like, wow, look at that. That’s kind of cool. What are we going to do about that? So you want to be able to find people that can embrace that mindset. And again, don’t mind the constant change. So I think part of it is hiring people that know themselves, you know, that are very clear about the types of environments that that they thrive in. And I think having the right interviewing techniques and ways of really delving into people’s stories about when they were shining, you know, when when do you do your best work? Give me an example of a time where you were like, in the middle of it, and you loved every minute of it. What did that look like for you? Tell me about the environment, tell me about the culture, tell me about the team that you were working with. That gives you a lot of insights into where people are going to thrive and where they won’t.

 

Tyler  25:38  

Right. That’s such a great question, actually, I’m gonna, I’m gonna borrow that one for me, if you don’t mind. But you feel like that, you know, the whole nature versus nurture debate around that, embracing a challenge or a problem as an opportunity. And it’s something that’s actually kind of delightful to figure out how to solve this puzzle, versus individuals who would look at that, and it would have caused them stress and they’d like more security, you feel like that that’s really something that’s more embedded in the person, it’s not something they can learn to embrace?

 

Pattie  26:10  

Oh, no, I think everybody can change. So I’m not a believer that we’re necessarily hardwired. The opportunity for change is about people being or wanting to learn, grow, shift, etc. So there are some people that grew up in a very non, in a very traditional environment where things don’t change much, and they’d like that environment, but they get exposed to this. And they’re like, wow, this is kind of cool, I’ve got a lot of freedom, I have the ability to actually have greater impact, etc. So I don’t think that it’s necessarily something that people can’t embrace. But they have to understand what it looks like and make a conscious choice about whether they are going to embrace that or not.

 

Tyler  27:01  

Mm hmm. And you’ve seen that that’s, that’s a great clarification. It’s that conscious choice of you have all the expectations are set appropriately, you have all the information about what you’re walking into here. Do you choose to accept this mission for lack of a better term? And you’ve seen folks thrive when they’ve made that conscious choice to embrace it?

 

Pattie  27:22  

Absolutely. Without a doubt.

 

Tyler  27:25  

Yeah. That’s great. So the biggest thing you can do to support folks in that type of environment is make set expectations really clearly, and be very transparent with them about what it’s going to be like working here. And the types of change that you’re going to experience and the expectations for rapid innovation, all that stuff, you find that that’s the most important thing. Is there anything else that you feel like you need to do to support people in a hyper-growth organization, really understanding what those expectations are and what success looks like?

 

Pattie  27:54  

Yeah, I think, really, really, solid onboarding program is critical for people success. When you throw people into a high-growth environment, there’s a lot of navigating that you have to do. You have to figure out who do I go to for this? How do I actually connect the dots between this and this? And so helping people really understand the business, when they first start, understand how the business works and which groups do what and how do you get stuff done? I think is super important. I think a lot of times we’re especially in high-growth, where we throw people in and say go figure it out. And I’m not a believer in that I think ground people really, really well in the business, make certain they’re grounded in relationships as well that they understand and have the opportunity to build relationships that are going to help them be successful as they go through this. That’s why I love onboarding with like a cohort of people so you’re all kind of in it together. I think those are things that really set people up for success or done poorly, leave them floundering and confused and struggling. So I think onboarding is a really, really important part of that, especially in a high-growth organization.

 

Tyler  29:13  

Such a great point. And we we made that mistake early on. You know, when Mike and I first started out, we had less than five people. And as we raised our Series A and grew to kind of 10 to 20 people, the strategy we had was, “figure it out like, here’s your desk, here’s your laptop, like there’s a lot going on, you know, let us know if you have any questions.” And it definitely was a challenge that plus some of the, you know, growing pains and learning around, you know, setting those expectations in the hiring process and making sure that this is actually the type of environment they want to step into. But yeah, onboarding is, is still a challenge, I think to do that really effectively and have people really understand the extent to which there is ambiguity here and the speed at which we want to operate and how comfortable we are making mistakes or pushing things out that really aren’t that, maybe we’re not super proud of, but we feel like we can learn a ton from. That is a… that’s a steep learning curve for folks who haven’t been in that environment.

 

Pattie  30:14  

Yeah. And again, that’s why I think the onboarding is critical, because when we do throw them out there, especially if they’re not wired for this, like, there are some people that are wired for it, you throw them into the pool, and they learn how to swim, right? There are other people that aren’t wired for that. So if we want them to be able to navigate and be able to be successful in that environment, that’s where that onboarding and teaching them how to do that is so critical. The other thing I’ll add to that, in terms of success, is invest heavily in management training, making certain your managers know how to set someone up for success, how to give them appropriate feedback, how to help them navigate tough situations, how do they live with the ambiguity that is part of a high-growth organization. Because HR, the people team can’t do that for every employee, especially as you’re getting larger and larger scales. So the managers have to be really good at that, in order for people to do their best work and love doing it.

 

Tyler  31:18  

Yeah.

 

Pattie  31:18  

So I think investing in your onboarding and investing in your management training… Well, actually three prongs, investing in your recruiting process and make certain certain that your interview is going to yield the right level of results based on your environment and what’s really needed for the organization, then investing in the onboarding, and then in the managers being able to help those people be successful. I mean, that’s our commitment. Because when people join our organizations, they’re putting their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations in our hands. And they’re saying, “we believe you’re the right place for me to come and grow my career and support my family and all that kind of great stuff.” And so I feel like we’ve got an obligation to do that well.

 

Tyler  32:02  

I love to hear you say that, particularly on the manager training thing, I find that that kind of third leg of the stool is something that folks are more reactive instead of proactive around and you’re obviously preaching to the choir. This is what we do at Lingo Live, we work with hyper-growth companies to empower their managers. And we really bang the gavel about why that’s so important. But we see, you know, a lot of different… you think all these hyper-growth companies are the same, but the way they’re addressing that manager development is very different and very different levels of success when we talk to them about kind of what have you done? And what are some of the challenges you see showing up? I’m curious, Patrick, can you share any of the companies that you’ve been at? Because you’ve been in a lot of hyper-growth companies that did this? Well, that had managers that actually were pretty well equipped to develop their teams and coach their teams and kind of execute on what the organization needed?

 

Pattie  32:55  

Hmm. Well, you know, I’m, I’m a tough critic. So I’m always thinking that we didn’t get it. as right as we should have, quite frankly.

 

Tyler  33:06  

I hear this all the time, yeah. That’s why I asked the question.

 

Pattie  33:10  

What I will say is that I think, first of all being grounded. So I think SendGrid did this really well. Not perfectly by a longshot. But I think the first key is being grounded in the values of the organization and making certain that everyone understands, how are we going to work together? What culture are we building? And what are the behaviors and expectations that are associated with those values, and with this culture that we believe is critical to our success. So think getting grounded in that and making certain that the manager behaviors that you’re training to the programs that you put in place, the processes that that you give the managers to deal with, like performance issues, or coaching or hiring or any of the career development, that they’re really aligned with the organizational values, so that everything is interconnected. And it doesn’t feel like there’s this program and this program, and this program, everything kind of points to the organizational TrueNorth. And managers know how to support that well. And then the second piece of that, I would say is if you have a manager that’s not supporting that, you have to be absolutely courageous in making certain that that person either gets on board, or you get them off the organizational bus, because that’s where things start breaking down if your managers are not supporting the organization on the values and modeling those things and creating teams that live into that as well. And again, I I get a little preachy on this subject, quite frankly, so apologies to you. But I just think that that connectedness between your values and the behaviors and the processes that you put in place is critical for a cohesive people strategy.

 

Tyler  35:07  

Absolutely. And I’m glad, I’m glad you are getting preachy, particularly about the notion of the managers who just, you know, aren’t on board, and they’re not willing to do the work. This is something we hear often, sometimes we’ll talk to a customer and they’ll, they’ll walk us through a learner that we’re going to be coaching and explain someone who just isn’t willing to coach their team and doesn’t feel like it’s important or doesn’t feel like they have made any mistakes and isn’t willing to be vulnerable. And sometimes we have to look at them and say, “Are you setting us up for success here? Like, are you sure that coaching is the right model here? Have you explored other paths? Are you sure that this person actually wants to be on the bus as you said?” Because sometimes we’re you know, you’re setting us up for failure, you’re connecting our coach to someone who doesn’t have that growth mindset doesn’t have the doesn’t have and doesn’t want to have the level of self awareness that they need as a leader to be more effective to develop in areas that they can and should develop in.

 

Pattie  36:07  

It always goes back to the fact that people are putting their careers in your hands and you as a leader, if you’re not willing to take that seriously, and, and support at that level, if you don’t think that’s your job to help them live into their potential within this organization, you shouldn’t be leading people.

 

Tyler  36:28  

Full stop. I love it. Let’s talk a little bit about the future of work. I know this is something that you’re passionate about. And there’s a lot of discussion, particularly based on the kind of tsunami that we’ve all ridden in the past 18 months. We went from, you know, January 2020, everything’s gonna be great, just like the past few years, and then obviously, pandemic hits everybody’s home. remote work is here to stay. And then, you know, social justice initiatives and corporates role in this, you know, social responsibility and social justice. And then we have the vaccines and now we’re going back to work oh, no, wait, we’re not, we’re distributed. So it makes my head spin sometimes, especially talking to people leaders around kind of what is the future hold? And it’s, the answer seems to change from time to time. I’m curious, what excites you and what scares you, I guess, about the future of work?

 

Pattie  37:24  

Yeah, so what excites me is that the people function’s day is here. I mean, there is a huge recognition across organizations that we have to invest, and we have to see people as whole human beings, and we’ve got to create environments where people can thrive, no matter what their backgrounds or experiences might be, if we’re going to be an inclusive place. So I’m excited, because I’ve always believed that the biggest lever that any organization has, is its people. But we don’t always make the investments at that level that we should. It’s always like, well, we’re gonna invest in product development over, you know, this people program or whatever. So I do think that there’s a recognition and kind of a reckoning that, you know, we have, we have to invest heavily in this area, if we’re going to have the workforce of the future that we want. So I think that’s an exciting time, I think the opportunity to achieve equity in our organizations with a real spotlight on some of the, the inherent problems that are part of our processes. So again, I always I talk a lot people talk about pay equity, and I’m always like, pay equity is an outcome. You know, it’s all the other things that go into how we hire, how we promote, how we, how we actually assess talent, etc, that leads to pay inequity. So how do we really address all of these things at the root cause, and, and really solve it. And again, I know it’s a, it’s a huge problem. And there’s a lot of, of reasons for some of these things to be just really, really hard. But I think the moment is here, that we have an opportunity to make real progress there. So that’s exciting. I also think the idea that we really can embrace a hybrid workforce, that people can work in different ways and managers have had to learn over the past year and a half that I don’t have to have my eyeballs on you to know that you’re working because people have delivered great work under some pretty crazy conditions. So I think there’s that realization that we have more flexibility than maybe we ever thought we did.

 

Tyler  39:48  

Yeah, that’s great. And what is the role you see yourself playing in shaping this future? I’d love to hear kind of what excites you and if it’s about kind of your, your business or or anything else, I’d love to hear kind of the role you see yourself playing?

 

Pattie  40:02  

Yeah. Before I say that, can I just say what worries me?

 

Tyler  40:05  

Yeah, absolutely.

 

Pattie  40:06  

I’m worried we won’t take advantage of this moment.

 

Tyler  40:09  

Yeah? How so?

 

Pattie  40:11  

I just think this opportunity is right in front of us. And we are we’re so crazy busy as people, practitioners, and we’ve got whiplash, and we’re exhausted. I mean, the burden that’s been on people teams over the past year and a half is extraordinary. I always think about who cares for the caregiver. And our people teams have been in in the frontline, we talk about frontline workers. And I’m always like the people team are also frontline workers. And so I’m worried that we’re too exhausted or have been going through so much that we may not be able to take advantage of this moment that’s at hand for us. So I want everybody to love up on their people team. [laughs]

 

Tyler  41:00  

That’s interesting. Yeah, I was interested to hear when you said, we aren’t going to take advantage of this moment, is it that companies will forget, right? The powers that be outside of the people team will kind of forget as the trauma for lack of a better word over the past 18 months passes. But it seems like it’s actually more that the people team, the people, leaders themselves will have the energy, the enthusiasm, given how burnt out they’ve been over the past 18 months to actually take advantage of the moment, I guess you’re saying a little bit of both.

 

Pattie  41:30  

I would say it is a little bit of both because everybody doesn’t always think about it’s not top of mind, for every leader in the organization. I would argue that it should be but it’s not. So the people team has to make certain that this stays front and center. And that we don’t forget, and that we continue to invest in at the right level. So it’s a tough job. I mean, anybody that thinks, you know, the people that go into HR, they’re like, “I love people, I just, you know, that’s why I want to be an HR.” I’m like, “it’s a lot of work.” And high-growth companies are not for the faint of heart. So anyway, I believe people, the people, teams have an extraordinary opportunity in front of them. And I just am hoping that we’ll all be able to take advantage of it. And in terms of my role, you know, I started my own business about a year ago, I mean, I was in the pandemic, I actually semi retired during the pandemic, but I have my own business. And I’m consulting with a number of different companies that are going through a ton of growth, that are trying to build strong HR strategies and trying to build the right people teams to be able to support the organization as it goes through growth. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve I have made throughout my career is hiring behind the curve versus hiring ahead of the curve. So I’m hoping that through my coaching and my business, I can help people teams get ahead of that curve, so that they’re prepared for what the business has in store for them, and they’re not struggling to keep up.

 

Tyler  43:03  

That’s fantastic. Patti, thank you so much for chatting with us today. It was such a pleasure to learn more, not just about your professional journey, but your personal journey as well, and how that influenced where you ended up.

 

Pattie  43:15  

Well, it’s been my joy to spend some time with you as well. So thanks for having me. Absolutely. Take care.

 

Tyler  43:21  

Take care.

 

Tyler  43:25  

That was Pattie Money.

 

Tyler  43:30  

You know, one of the takeaways from that conversation is I love that story that she told about her experience as a young child growing up in her household, being involved in her dad’s business. And her and her siblings kind of walking around the kitchen table, putting together catalogs for the business and how formative that must have been for her both in terms of kind of learning how to build something from nothing. But then also how you collaborate with other people and you problem solve and work together. And how you take risks and understand you know that you can take risks and you can fail and that’s okay, that’s actually part of building a business and building a company. So seeing her take that formative experience and apply it into how she thinks about navigating change as a people leader is really cool.

 

Tyler  40:56  

You can find us online at Groundwork.show. Groundwork is produced by Mike Giordani at Flowship. Audio engineering by Alex Roses, production assistance by Casey Miller, music by Aaron Sprinkle, Adrian Walther, and Corolina Combo. Special thanks to Pedro Matriciano and Natalya Krimgold.

 

Tyler  43:00  

Until next time. Thanks for listening.

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