For Love of Team™ | Winston Faircloth

074: Shared Mission (Matthew Purkey)

March 22, 2021 Winston Faircloth Season 2 Episode 74
For Love of Team™ | Winston Faircloth
074: Shared Mission (Matthew Purkey)
Chapters
For Love of Team™ | Winston Faircloth
074: Shared Mission (Matthew Purkey)
Mar 22, 2021 Season 2 Episode 74
Winston Faircloth

When your organization is tasked with taking care of the community’s needs, it seems obvious where your focus should be.

But listen to my conversation with Matthew Purkey, CEO of United Way of Allen County, and his For Love of Team story and you’ll hear some surprising things.

“Instead of focusing on all the community needs, I focused on the team and the team took care of the community needs.”

That sounds like For Love of Team to me!

Tune into this episode and you’ll get:

  • The 2 surprising leadership options a teacher gave Matthew 
  • The lessons from serving in the Marine Corps that easily translated to civilian life
  • The cliche business word that actually drives leadership excellence 
  • How overcomplicating our work can lead to crisis
  • What you need to focus on for long-term success
  • How serving our team internally led to massive outward results
  • Why measuring success might be the wrong measure in your business
  • Listening to the community and telling the community are 2 different things
  • Why you never want to say, “I wasn’t here when that decision was made”
  • How to clearly communicate the organization’s priorities to the team
  • Having a big “why” is critical for mission success
  • Moving beyond transactions to relationships

And you’ll hear the For Love of Team retreat options and why making the investment today will serve you for years to come.

****

When you’re ready to Multiply your Impact, your Income, your Margin and your Freedom in business, join hand-selected business owners just like you in an upcoming...

For Love of Team™ Intensive:

Coming Virtually & In-Person beginning April 2021

Our intimate, immersive and interactive 2.5 day experience:

1) Sharpens your focus by doing more of the work you love

2) Simplifies your business processes. 

3) Surrounding yourself with others doing the work that they love


For Love of Team™ Intensive is an invitation-only event.  To connect with Winston to see if this is a fit, book a 35 minute exploratory session using this link.   

Show Notes Transcript

When your organization is tasked with taking care of the community’s needs, it seems obvious where your focus should be.

But listen to my conversation with Matthew Purkey, CEO of United Way of Allen County, and his For Love of Team story and you’ll hear some surprising things.

“Instead of focusing on all the community needs, I focused on the team and the team took care of the community needs.”

That sounds like For Love of Team to me!

Tune into this episode and you’ll get:

  • The 2 surprising leadership options a teacher gave Matthew 
  • The lessons from serving in the Marine Corps that easily translated to civilian life
  • The cliche business word that actually drives leadership excellence 
  • How overcomplicating our work can lead to crisis
  • What you need to focus on for long-term success
  • How serving our team internally led to massive outward results
  • Why measuring success might be the wrong measure in your business
  • Listening to the community and telling the community are 2 different things
  • Why you never want to say, “I wasn’t here when that decision was made”
  • How to clearly communicate the organization’s priorities to the team
  • Having a big “why” is critical for mission success
  • Moving beyond transactions to relationships

And you’ll hear the For Love of Team retreat options and why making the investment today will serve you for years to come.

****

When you’re ready to Multiply your Impact, your Income, your Margin and your Freedom in business, join hand-selected business owners just like you in an upcoming...

For Love of Team™ Intensive:

Coming Virtually & In-Person beginning April 2021

Our intimate, immersive and interactive 2.5 day experience:

1) Sharpens your focus by doing more of the work you love

2) Simplifies your business processes. 

3) Surrounding yourself with others doing the work that they love


For Love of Team™ Intensive is an invitation-only event.  To connect with Winston to see if this is a fit, book a 35 minute exploratory session using this link.   

Unknown:

To create a culture that attracts and retains the right talent that drives big results. If I focus on the results immediately I'm going to forget the culture and talent. If I focus on the culture and talent, the results are going to take care of themselves.

Winston Faircloth:

multipliers it's Winston Faircloth, and welcome back to Episode 74. For love of team. This is the podcast where leaders simplify teamwork, helping you surround yourself with teammates doing work they love simplifying your business processes, so that you can serve more focused on the work you love. And before we begin today's a special guest episode, I'm thrilled to share with you that for love team retreats begins starting next month. This invitation only intimate and immersive experience covers our for love team method, helping you start and build your team that you love. You leave with clarity, confidence and commitment and building a team to fit you, your clients and your desired impact. And we have two different retreat styles available in May, we're hosting our first in person event, one of three this year for up to seven business founders. The first one's at our beach cottage and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A second one will be in the mountains and the third one will be in an urban setting. These are all inclusive with lodging, food, community and content provided you just have to meet us in the private location. And then later this summer we'll be introducing virtual retreats. If you want to save time and money per loved team comes to you with our remote retreat, you get the same great content and community also with some special surprises for about 1/3 off the in person investment. We pass our savings on to you both offer lots of space for reflection and connections so you can craft the team of your dreams. And if you're curious, text me right now 1-754-800-9461 that's 1-754-800-9461. And now for today's special guest Matthew perky is the President and CEO of United Way of Allen county in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And prior to that he's had an extensive career both in and outside the Department of Defense. He was finance manager and a financial manager at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He served as the vice president for Resources Development at the United Way of greater Dayton, Ohio. And he was also president and CEO of the anatomy of Northwest Georgia, Athens, Georgia. You're going to love this interview with Matthew. He has such a heart for teamwork and team building. And I came upon him through a LinkedIn relationship where I got to see a post about how he really prioritized his team and the amazing results that he got. So let's jump into our interview with Matthew perky right now. Matthew Welcome to for love of team podcast. So we're so thankful you are the CEO of United wave Allen County. And and why don't you tell us a little bit about your backstory, and then we'll talk about how you got here on the podcast.

Unknown:

Listen, thank you so much for having me today. My first leadership moment that I can recall was my sixth grade English teacher telling me Matthew, you are either going to lead a fortune 500 or cellblock, D,

Winston Faircloth:

oh my goodness,

Unknown:

that was a that was her way of telling me Matthew, you have something going for you. You better funnel it positively. I didn't always do that through high school and beginning of college, I did not necessarily utilize the tools that the good Lord had gave me to drive people in positive directions. I had to learn the hard way. So Winston, what happened was is you know, went into the Marine Corps finally found my calling of leading people and leadership gives impressions both positively and negatively on every person you encounter. So I learned right away to absorb what was positive from the leaders I want to emulate and then also learn from the pitfalls in the the the negative results that came out of leadership that I did not want to so I adopted that very quickly and became a lifelong learner of leadership. After the Marine Corps, you know, served served honorably. One of the best decisions I ever made was to join the Marine Corps I learned so much about not only myself but how to lead others. You know Marine Corps the number one element of Marine Corps leadership is mission accomplishment followed quickly by number two of troop welfare. When I transitioned into the nonprofit sector, though, we are still fighting our community's battles. Winston, I found very quickly that in order to accomplish that mission, you better take care of your troops. And so thus far in my career, it has served me well. You know, the term of servant leadership, however, cliche or misused it is, I believe it is the way of the future, especially in the nonprofit sector is that the more I serve my team, the more I serve my family, the more I serve my community, I'm actually leading to positive results. So my nonprofit career started off in Dayton, Ohio, where I'm originally from United Way of the greater Dayton area started off at a manager of resource development and Winston coming out of the Marine Corps and fresh back from Haiti after the earthquake, I didn't even know what that was, I just knew I had my foot in the door. And so quickly, I rose to the ranks not because of my I would say technical skills, but because of my people competency. So leading people differently, I went from a manager to director to associate vice president, vice president, executive vice president in a very quick time. And you know, you being very familiar with the United Way network, when you are able to grow United Way, in today's economy, you're doing something right. And you're not doing it by telling people what they need to believe you're empowering them to do what they're already passionate about. So at that time, I accepted a position at United Way of Northeast Georgia. And if you have never been to the beautiful community of Athens, I highly recommend it, the food, the people, the environment, the love. And you know, I learned so much more about myself and my leadership and that Winston because we were a nine county United Way, and we had everything from very urban to very rural and everything in between. So when people like to say that you have to be consistent in your leadership, that is true, but leadership is also very personal. And I found out very quickly that you don't and you can't lead everybody the same. And so once again, the the positive results continue to stack up and stack up and United Way is my outlet, Winston to waking up and putting on a uniform and going to battle daily, but my uniform looks very differently now. And so to my enemies, you know, my enemies are hunger, or veteran suicide, or homelessness, or the decline of third grade proficiency reading, things of that nature, like these are the things that I have in my crosshairs now, and I bring the same intensity that I did in the Marine Corps to our community issues. You know, being a man of faith, Winston, I believe that I wake up and I step into a life that was designed for me, I mean it growing up, Winston, we were told one thing about the American dream, and right now I get paid to do something I would do for free. And that is my American dream. And selfishly, I'm helping build better communities in which my kids are going to grow up in. And you know, I think that the, the purest test of leadership is Parenthood, because it's easy to come and fake it eight hours a day in an office building, but you can't fake it around the people that see you day in and day out at your best and your worst, and your highs and your lows. And so when you see positive results of your leadership within your family, I think that is the greatest compliment to a leader.

Winston Faircloth:

It's a beautiful arc of a story and a beautiful testimony to that teacher who spoke into your life so long ago gave you a challenge. And you rose to that challenge. Yeah, it's fun listening to the story, because it reminds me so much of my early career with United Way I spent 18 years some of the folks on the podcast know that I've spent I spent 18 years in the in the anatomy trenches, and a very similar kind of progression, maybe too early into a leadership role. And then, at a time where I actually got fired from United Way because ego got in the way of that servant leadership. And, and yet, it was God's great plan, that that would happen, because then I took a second season of my United Way career where I provided technology services that I wish that I had, when I was in the anatomy way and did that for 15 years. So I've been in and around United Way for 35 years now. And it's a joy of my life. And I think for folks who are not aware of the not for profit sector, Matthew said it really well, in terms of not only leaving the people that you are responsible for from a personnel perspective, but you're also drawing out those qualities and giftings of people in the community who are giving of their time of their interest of their passion and their finances voluntarily. I think that's actually a little bit harder team to lead and to motivate because there's not a direct payback necessarily to them. I don't know how you feel about this. I'm curious about your take on this. I think Leading those volunteers and those community members and drawing out the best of them is actually a higher, more difficult challenge, perhaps of leadership than maybe just leading an internal team. What do you think about that?

Unknown:

Absolutely. When you are asked to lead efforts that are leading people towards their passion with no financial benefit, like you are stewarding their time, which is the most valuable resource, and so making sure that you're creating a win win situation between the community and people's interest. When I speak to volunteers, especially those that high net value their time is extremely valuable to both us and the community, their families, my goal is to find the intersection of what breaks their heart, and what are their attributes. So if I can have them sit in that intersection, not only do they benefit personally, but the community benefits as a whole, and making sure that that is true for everybody from my wife and children to my team here at United Way of Allen county to two donors that come to us and say, Matthew, we don't see the value of the current state of United Way. I have something to offer them. What if I could bring you to the intersection of the talents that you were born with? And have them meet exactly where what breaks your heart? I feel like I'm blessed to be on this one, especially Winston with your background. United Way's we have a habit of over complicating our work. And then brother, I mean, you you go to some United Way's and you when I took over this United Way, a little over a year ago, I would ask I don't know 10 to 15. Team members that walk by my door every day, why do we exist? And I would get 10 to 15 different answers. We overcomplicated our work therefore creating an identity crisis internally. And now we United Way exists in Fort Wayne, Indiana to answer two questions, what are our community's most pressing needs?

Winston Faircloth:

And what can we do about it. And if we are bringing people to that intersection of what they bring to the table and what breaks their heart, it's going to be a pressing need. And we have found that out by bringing them to be part of the solution. folks in the audience. One of the reasons that I asked Matthew to pop on this podcast is because he had a very intriguing post a couple months ago, I've scrolled through LinkedIn, I love LinkedIn, it's one of my favorite go to places for leadership and leaders. And one day I saw Matthews post, and it stopped me in my tracks because of COVID. Last year, very challenging economic environment. And how most nonprofits responded to that was very different from how you responded to that. And so, we'd love for you to share a little bit about the post maybe what inspired it for you. And more importantly, the results that are brought to you was that

Unknown:

I think it is natural for people in our positions to when times get hard to kind of take a step back to retreat a little bit, and maybe the environmental change if we just give it time. You know, I think that United Way's go astray a lot of the time when we start looking at our bottom line as the only answer. And the results that this team and Allen County are able to provide to this community are based on how much they feel appreciated internally. So my goal, my leadership goal for any organization I work for is to create a culture that attracts and retains the right talent that drives big results. If I focus on the results, immediately, I'm going to forget the culture and talent. If I focus on the culture and talent, the results are going to take care of themselves. So when coming to United Way of Allen County, and all well meaning board will say the same thing. Matthew, we need you to turn this organization outward facing Well, that is impossible to do if you don't know who you are internally. So I sought out to figure out who do we want to be. If we had to put a personality to our organization, what is one of those personality traits, we're talking about core values, we're talking about culture, my goal was to provide the best environment benefits and package possible in order to attract and retain the right talent that are going to drive those big results. That's everything from questioning our parental leave policy, you know, the nonprofit sector, we attract a certain type of person who is is naturally talented, naturally passionate things of this nature. So if we are unable to provide them financial benefits, how can we surround them in other ways, and that's everything from you know, working virtually, even before COVID hit working. You know, we don't want to be a building in which people work, we want to be a movement in which people join. And when you can turn your team members into your biggest raving fans. The results are exponentially larger. If then if we were focusing on turning the community into raving fans of ours, because the word of mouth that this team takes to the community has more weight Winston Did any marketing campaign or scheme we can produce, because if we were challenging our community to do things that we were refusing to do internally, we are not leading ourselves correctly. And so when I turned my focus into, I don't necessarily want to be or need to be the biggest organization in town. But what I do want to do is be an employer of choice. I want people to say, what is going on at United Way of Allen County, the only time people are leaving that place is when they're getting promoted out to greater roles in the community. They are turning out leaders, they're taking care of their people. And because of that, the people are taking care of the organization.

Winston Faircloth:

Yeah. And it's a lesson that is so lost in the corporate space. But I think nonprofits notoriously are so resource constrained that they tend to Well, I had an example in my first United Way where my campaign chair said to me one time he said, Why do we have so many people here, the entry level people that you want to add more people and you want to pay them minimal dollars, you'd be better off having half the number of people, but really good people, really high caliber, high quality people that want to stay, and not just looking for that ladder out the door. And he was absolutely right that our team was better off with higher quality, higher committed people than just a bunch of hands around the building.

Unknown:

And I think we create that stigma ourselves. Also, I'm sure you've experienced this too. And you know, me being a male, I, I still don't see it half as much as what our female counterparts do. But when you're out in the community, and you're around business leaders, they will sometimes talk to you differently, they will, it's almost like you get a hypothetical pat on the head. All you nice little nonprofit people, when they forget that we're PhDs to like we, our definition of success looks very different than what theirs is. And because our organizations are held to greater scrutiny are asked to do more with less, I think that shows more about our leadership than if we were able to pay more to bring in anybody we wanted.

Winston Faircloth:

Yeah, that's so true. So in that post that you shared online a couple months ago, what I noted was is that you talked about the year and achievements, which were vast and significant, especially given the environment that all of us experienced in 2020. And yet you tied it directly to the fact that you had invested in this team. Did you get any comments about that from folks? Did people kind of react to that post I wasn't received?

Unknown:

Well, I think I first need to warn your listeners once then about the desire to do a reorg strategic planning a shift in philosophical business practices all during a pandemic. It's

Winston Faircloth:

always a good choice. I was gonna say that looks like juggling with an axe, a sword, and a flame. Right?

Unknown:

Yeah. But what we realized is, if we were going to set out to answer the two questions we spoke of previously, of what are our community's most pressing needs, and what can we do about it, there is no time better than during civil and social unrest, a crashing economy and a worldwide pandemic, we had to take a very strong look at ourselves to say, if we're going to be the organization we this community needs us to be then now is the time and you know, I forget who said it, maybe it was Drucker, someone said, uncertainty is fertile ground for good leadership. And instead of focusing on all the community needs, I focused on the team and the team took care of the community needs. I mean, year over year, especially during COVID, and things of this nature, our revenue, you know, we grew 50% over my first year, we were willing to be transparent and vulnerable in our practices. We stepped in front of microphones Winston, and we said we haven't always got this right. We were involved in the politics of it. And we were involved in the backdoor deal, whatever that looked like that if United Way was going to be relevant. In Allen County, Fort Wayne, Indiana, we had to stop focusing on the thermometer because you can raise all the money in the world and everybody has seen the United Way thermometers. But if we are measuring our success, according to dollars, our intent, our heart is going to be focused on dollars, you can raise all the money in the world. And if you're not measurably improving the lives of those in your community, you are still failing. And so we stopped measuring our success. Of course, revenue is needed no margin, no mission. We've all heard it. But the minute we stopped focusing on that and focusing on the lives of those in our community, everything else changed,

Winston Faircloth:

never waste a great crisis. And I will say that as an observer of United Way's and alumni, but as you know now in my current role as an observer of United Way I I saw more innovation more relevance more hard in the last nine months, 12 months, then in probably the last nine or 12 years. And because people rose to the challenge, one of the things we used to say when I first got involved in United Way, 1982, almost 40 years ago now, United Way is the one place in the community, a community table, that it doesn't matter, your politics, or your faith, or your economic status, or your title. It's the one place that everyone can come. And I thought how your United Way and so many others really embrace that concept. And it proves to be in this in this kind of a climate. It's more needed than ever a place that people can rally come together,

Unknown:

we as a network, we were victims of our own success, in many ways, the workplace campaign model, the community test model was successful for so long, we forgot to look around and see that our community needs our technology innovation in our communities, we're outpacing us. And when we let go of that, well, we're united way we have a market on, we have a corner on the market of workplace campaigns. Well, now anybody can pick up a cell phone and give to any nonprofit they want at the click of a button. But yeah, we were still putting pledge forums in front of millennials that are saying you're not going to tell me where to give my money. But instead, we we needed to create an environment that we were a movement to join, whatever that may be whether that's going back to grassroot efforts, whether that is getting back on the front lines of our community needs because for so long, we were considered the Better Business Bureau of the nonprofit sector. Yes, you know, one, one, I have a heart for minority minority owned small businesses. And when I got to Fort Wayne Winston, I met with the gentleman and I said, Why don't you invest in United Way? Do you not see the value of us? And this gentleman looked at me Wednesday, he said, aren't you the Country Club nonprofit, Mike drop, right. And it's I reached out to my mentor, and we had the conversation and he said, Matthew, it is impossible to have your ear to the street from a high horse. And if you are not listening to what the community is saying you can ride off into the sunset, because that's exactly where you're going to end up.

Winston Faircloth:

Talk about that change. You know, in terms of the perception of this being your father's nonprofit, or you know, somebody his father's nonprofit, not mine, this kind of corporate mantle that United Way's can feel like in many markets, how do we get back to that grassroots feel that many United Way's started out with,

Unknown:

I would say here in Allen County, Winston my one year SWOT analysis of the organization as strength as we've been here for 100 years, 100 years we have existed in this community, but a weaknesses that nobody knows what we do. So when you look at United Way's United Way's are constantly talking about growth, right? We got to get bigger, we got to get bigger, we got to get bigger Winston, United Way's are in the nonprofit sector as a whole is probably the only industry where we should be actively trying to work ourselves out of a job now, will that ever happen? Probably not. But the best United Way is one that doesn't have to exist in the first place because the community needs are met and thinking about it to that level, I'll ask my VPS weekly, what are we doing to work ourselves out of a job because if we exist to boldly impact our communities, critical issues for us working ourselves out of a job, meaning that will mean that those issues are met. And I think that for so long, and I'm very guilty of it, I wanted to be in the suit. I wanted to be seen as a business and community leader. But if I set out to be seen as a business and community leader, then I was taking away my god given talent of being a community problem solver. And at the same time, there are times I need to be in a suit and there are times I need to be in a boardroom I would rather be spending my time on Main Street for so long Winston United Way's we had a habit of telling our communities what their priorities are, instead of listening to the community and allowed them to tell us what the priorities are. Because when we go to communities, and we tell them our priority, and your priority now is early childhood education. There is no buy in at that point. You're a salesman, you're trying to sell a mission, instead of creating one and allowing people to join. And I think that that is a very distinct philosophical shift that many United Way's are currently undergoing.

Winston Faircloth:

Because the the top down approach, it may have worked in prior generations. It doesn't work in the current generations, and that's a good thing. It's a very good thing. Talk to me a little bit about your team, what is it that you love most about your team?

Unknown:

So being from out of town, Winston, I didn't know anybody right? which in many ways is the strength because you don't have the weight of past relationships, you don't have the baggage of past failures, like you are a clean slate. And you see things differently. And you know this to be true, especially, you know, always wins to when you take over everything that is wrong with that organization is going to be blamed on the person that was there prior. And that can't be said for Chase. On a daily basis, I probably have the right to say, I don't know, I wasn't here when it was made. It's not my fault. But the minute I took this seat, and the minute I accept that paycheck, I have also accepted our past, and the responsibility of changing it for the future. And so when I got here, you know, there were several things that were that were obviously off balance, capacity wise. So you know this to be true, there's usually three different departments within the United Way You have resource development, you have community impact, you have finance administration, and somehow some way you are placed in one of those three departments. One was that there was pay disparities among departments, there was capacity issues, we were, we were a three legged table when one leg was obviously longer than the other three. And when the ground was getting shaky, that table wasn't able to stand. So when we did a reorg, we looked at passions, we looked at strengths, we looked at capacity, we even the the the pay disparities, we had to make sure all this was right, because if we weren't right, then how could we possibly positively impact our community. And so several, several discussions, very difficult discussions had to be made, there is nothing worse. There's no worse part of my job once then letting people go. Especially when you know, their backstory, you know, their families, you know that they're going to be successful in another role, just not this one. And so having those difficult conversations and the trust of my board of directors, we built a team Winston, I mean, it is there. When I was a vice president of resource development, my goal every day was to look at my CEO and say, Boss, I got this, like, I got the resource development part, you go do CEO stuff. And to be able to trust the team that you have built changes the game, you know, it, my my position was very competitive. The person who scored a close number two to me, Winston, I recruited, I sought out and I begged her to join me in this mission. So my chief development officer, in many ways, is much better at my job than I am. And many leaders and we all see the memes online. But the job of a leader is to surround yourself with people that are better than you. Like I want the best CFO got him, I want the best chief development officer got her my vice president of community impact, who is the tenured employee here, got her. My job is to empower them at what they are good at. If I have to micromanage it, and you know, I hate to hate to take it back to Jim Collins. But if when you have the right people in the right seats, going the right direction, having the right conversations, the need to discipline and motivate disappears. In our line of work, you know this very well, Winston times are going to get hard. And if you are not empowered, if you are not enabled, if you are not resourced, it the door starts to look very good when times get hard. But if my direct reports feel all those things, that's going to be a trickle down relationship to their people. Are we having the difficult conversations? Are we confronting these issues head on? are we celebrating when we need to? You know, I had the pleasure of working with so many good and bad leaders throughout my life. I feel like they had I have been able, that cartoon Captain Planet that when we when we watched when we were younger, like I have all these skill sets coming together at any given time. And just this wealth of knowledge and arsenal of leadership tools available. My job is to not make sure that they're always successful their job, my job is to stretch them to their potential and empower them as human beings and leaders, especially in the United Way the 10 year in the resource development departments two to three years it is a difficult job. But if I give you reasons to fall in love with the mission. If I give you ways to grow in your career, the biggest compliment anybody can ever give me is when I promote someone out of the organization to leadership elsewhere. Because turnover is inevitable, but the type of churn within your employees, you can still have turnover in a positive way. If I am constantly turning out community leaders, Winston, that's only going to attract more leaders. And that the thing that benefits the most is the community and the results that we originally set out to accomplish.

Winston Faircloth:

You said it so well, I think so many leaders are mired in the howl and micromanaging from the hell. But you know, PS, if you were really gifted at the how it would be your job, you know, one of the things I share with my leaders is your if you have one question yet maybe two questions that you're responsible for the why in the what your team, if they're equipped with those two things, or run through the wall with the how I never have to think about it. And that's what I hear you saying?

Unknown:

And you know, because they'll run through a wall. I don't want to over ask them to do so. Right. So right. Last night, we had an all staff meeting today, we had a PowerPoint that we had to bring together the four moving parts right now in our strategic planning process, whether that be strategy and operational well, being the strategic Task Force, it's my job to orchestrate and evaluate everything. I'm finishing on my PowerPoint at 11 o'clock, I get online, and I've see five or six of my teammates still online, the question of why are you still online? Are you taking care of yourself? Like if I make the person priority, the work is going to get done. But if I make the work the priority, the person is gonna burn out? And just asking them, what do you what are you doing right now? cantus. Wait till tomorrow, like as long as they know that I have their back and their best and tensions in mind when that wall needs ran through is going to get ran through?

Winston Faircloth:

I've got two questions. What piece of advice would you give a young person coming out of out of school? And they were considering a career in United Way? What piece of advice would you give them to equip them to be part of your team?

Unknown:

remember why you fell in love with it? I fell in love with United Way Winston when I was in Haiti post earthquake 2011. And I saw these civilians on the front line with the Marine Corps. dig into this rubble in a white live united t shirt. Once I had no I had no idea what do you not await Did I just knew that it was someone who was on the front line of their community needs. And something clicked inside me at that moment. That said, that's what I want to do with the rest of my life. And when United Way is done correctly, it is a catalyst to the nth degree for positive change. So my advice would be the tough times are going to come the shiny, the glimmer, the glamour is going to wear off and you are you're eventually going to have to remind yourself why you started. And that's true for anything, right? It's true. And in school, you know, finishing a PhD, I have to constantly be reminding myself, okay, why did you start this because right now, it just feels like additional work, working out training for a marathon, it is very easy to quit. If you're not reminded of why you started. That would be my advice, not only to people joining the United Way, but for any mission driven organization. Remember why you started?

Winston Faircloth:

And then the follow up question I have is around mentorship. One of the joys of working at United Way from my perspective was the access to amazing thought leaders and people with heart people with great experience wisdom beyond anything that you could be exposed to. So from a mentorship perspective, what pieces of advice Have you gotten from mentors that you most have taken to heart and appreciate?

Unknown:

I have been blessed beyond measure by mentors in the United Way network. Whether that be Milton lindo in Atlanta, Rob Schneider in Cincinnati, and recently a gentleman named by the neck by the name of Rodney Cretney from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am constantly leaning on them to walk me through situations I've never been through, but they have been through similar the there is no dollar value I could put on Rodney in my life. He asked me about my family. He asked me about my workouts he asked me about what I'm reading. He does this all before he asked me about United Way and his leadership and mentorship. I I will be extremely proud if I am half the mentor to somebody someday. And you know I'm a I'm a firm believer mentorship. I have been my whole life. I, at any given time, I have a United Way, mentor, I have a business community mentor. And then I have a spiritual or personal mentor, that when our seven, six and four year old are acting up at home, I have someone who has walked this path before Matthew, here's what I did that might not work for you. But the principles are the same. Are you loving? are you leading for the relationship? Or the result? Are you parenting towards the behavior or parenting towards the future? The best mentors I've ever had? Winston are the ones that didn't give me answers, but ask the right questions and allowed me to walk into my own answers. Because especially me being a knuckle dragging marine and in a hard headed person anyway. If people tell me constantly what to do and how to handle it, I'm probably going to subconsciously push back. But if I'm asked the right questions of exactly why I need to handle it that way. Totally different answer.

Winston Faircloth:

Yeah, it's it's so important. I mean, I think that's, by the way, I think that same philosophy extends to our community outreach, you know, I think people in the community, don't want someone to come on their horses, use your metaphor from before and tell them how they're supposed to feel, how they're supposed to react, how they're supposed to live, but inviting them to share, and inviting them to craft, that solution is way more powerful than anything we could have ever imagined, in our offices.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And once this is true, and you know, the old model of United Way with the standards committee and things of this nature, if you take a step back and you think about that Winston, we are sending people who do nonprofit as a hobby, in to tell people who do nonprofit as a live for a living, how to better do their job. And then you wonder why the definition of partnership is so diluted with so many United Way's like, that's not a partnership, a partnership is not me saying I'll give you money if you give me the right report. That's higher argue, and that is why these relationships are failing. We're transactional by nature. If we move into relational, I don't need to ask those questions. Because we're both on the same team. We're thriving for the striving for the same things that his partnership partnership is not transactional partnership is relational. And that is the transition we are currently undergoing.

Winston Faircloth:

Yeah, it reminds me of something I heard actually this morning on my walk. And it was that the the ideal partnership, the ideal team is really a comprised of people who are in their gifting with the right kind of processes. But here's the kicker with a shared assignment of a shared mission. And it takes all three of those things to really bring about the kind of change and transformation that we need. And a lot of times we typically don't. We don't tie back to that why we don't tie back to that larger purpose and mission. And that's what has been such a joy and listening to you today. You've come back to that time and time and time again. So I feel that's really grounded. By the way, I'll share one piece of mentorship that I got like on the second week on the job. It served me really well in your seat especially. So this was a person had been a United Way. 30 something years, I'm going out to Beaver Valley, Pennsylvania, in a tiny office there. And Jerry was his name. I said, What's the key to success in United Way leadership? And he said, always keep a volunteer between you and trouble. And I thought that's the oddest piece of advice I think I've ever heard. What does that mean? He says, This is not your organization. This is the community's organization you're here to steward. You're here to support you here to coach you're here to inspire but never think that you are it. And it was the most valuable piece of advice that I ever got in the 30 something years, I've been part of United Way. And the times that I did well, in my career, it was because that was center. And the top that didn't do so well in my career is because I've forgotten that

Unknown:

I was told something similar wisdom that there's nothing more dangerous for the CEO of United Way than savior complex. If you come to a community thinking you're going to solve everything, you're not being anything and it's very true. I've seen leaders fantastic leaders forget that and think that they are the reason for success. And the downfall is quickly thereafter.

Winston Faircloth:

It was the reason I was fired. My ego and my self centeredness and not keeping volunteers really engaged. I acted as if I was a business CEO instead of a steward of community asset and wasn't malfeasance Anything else that was just an attitude, and it was the single best thing that happened in my career for the organization and for me, so I don't regret it at all. In fact, I love those guys, the people that let me go, I'm still friends with and thank them all the time for that. And so it's, it's a beautiful journey that you've been on Matthew, it's one that I know that you're well equipped to serve. You're leading Well, with heart, you're leading Well, with integrity, you're leading well with values. And you're leading well with why. And that is what honestly attracted me to bring you on to the podcast because I wanted to get people a mirror to see themselves in what you had to share. So thank you for that. So appreciate you being on here. How can people connect with your organization and with you?

Unknown:

Yep. Organization, United Way, Allen county.org. in Fort Wayne, Indiana, doing amazing work, not because of me, but because of this amazing team. Transitioning from a nonprofit funder to a community problem solver. We are welcoming in all partners and partnerships are very different. So if there's ever anything I can do to to assist in anybody else's journey, they can find me at that organization or they could find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, Matthew perky,

Winston Faircloth:

we'll make sure we put those links in the show notes. So you'll make sure you can connect with Matthew and, and learn more about his organization and more importantly, learn about him as a man and as a father and as a leader. So thank you for being part of our podcast today.

Unknown:

Thank you for having me, Winston, it was an honor.

Winston Faircloth:

So friends, I'm curious about where you are on your journey of building a team that you love. I believe this is the path to multiply your impact your income, your margin and your freedom in business. imagining the world where you are surrounding yourself with teammates doing the work they love. You're simplifying your business processes so that you can serve more focused on the work that you love. This world is absolutely available to us, the founder as the owner and the leader. It just takes focus and intentionality. Text me right now, at 1-754-800-9461. There's no bots or autoresponders it's just me. On the other end of that phone number, share your name and story. I'd love to hear from you. If you have feedback about the podcast or questions about building a team, this us text number is again 1-754-800-9461. And if you prefer you can also leave a voice message at 1-754-800-9461. And as I say at the end of each podcast remember, leaders simplify teamwork, multiplying your impact your income, your margin and freedom and business. I'll catch you on the next episode.