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7 Questions with Mindy Honcoop
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Mindy Honcoop
Name: Mindy Honcoop
Current title: Chief People Officer
Current organisation: TCP (TimeClock Plus LLC)
Chief People Officer at TCP, as an executive HR leader, Mindy has built and led the overall vision, designed and implemented change and transition strategies to enable global business growth, and coached and influenced senior executives. Mindy also is a co-founder of the Austin Women in Agile meetup and is passionate about helping others realize their full potential while achieving their desired goals. Mindy is passionate about creating trusted workplaces in which companies and employees can thrive.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
I have found it difficult during 2020 to ensure trusted teams are remaining healthy. It takes a while to build trust, but only moments to erode it. Being able to ensure healthy conflict was occurring, there was space for the diversity of viewpoints to be heard and shared, space for us to connect on a human level, and balance with self and mental care.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My career journey experiences led me to build the muscle and capability to get to the point in my career where I could be considered for executive roles. I have always been goal-oriented and curious to learn new things and grow. I leaned into challenges and was open to taking risks to build new muscle. I built an ecosystem of mentors and coaches to surround me. Through each career experience, I needed to be open to the possibilities and try things on. With each growth opportunity, doors in new areas would open. I have often worked myself out of roles through automation or process efficiencies and taken on additional challenges. I have never just done one thing; I have always worn many hats. I think my curiosity and growth mindset prepared me to be ready for the role I am in now. I realized my value and what type of organization and CEO could best align with the value I could add.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I use a life journal planner as a structure to hold my 5 years, 1 year, monthly, and weekly plans. Every Sunday, I spend time reflecting on the week, the month, and year to inform the next week ahead. The focused journal and planning session really provides me with renewed focus and clarity jumping into the week. Each day I wake up, enjoy a snuggle moment with one of my three pups, wish Alexa good morning for my morning news update and routine, then get ready for the day ahead with a cup of coffee and breakfast. Most work days are spent in a mix of tactical and strategic meetings. I get an opportunity to coach and lead in different areas within the organization. Being a people leader means you get a chance to dive into a bit of all part of the business. At lunch, I take an afternoon walk with my dogs and enjoy lunch. I get a chance to reset and breathe through any built-up tension before jumping into the second half of the day. At the end of the day, I try not to lose track of time by blocking my calendar with either a workout, mentor/mentee call, book club, or community gathering. Each evening I also close out the day with another walk with my furry babies. I also will close out the day thinking through what I was grateful for, what I am mentally letting go of, what is a focus for tomorrow, or something I want to try on. I also enjoy a relaxing dinner with my husband (thankfully, I married a stellar cook). Maybe an evening book read or Netflix show.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I recently learned that as leaders, we are not immune to the need to ask for help. With COVID, there were a lot of extra stressors that we were all managing through. I also lost a friend unexpectedly during a busy work time. You cannot muscle through Grief or put processing Grief on a schedule. I tried to muscle through it. I realized that I needed to ask for help. I reached out to our newly launched First Stop Health Mental Health 24/7 hotline. Just speaking with someone and getting outside of my head was incredibly healing. Being open with my peers and direct reports about my journey also helped build greater trust and deeper conversation about how not being OK is OK and how to walk through that healthily.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Anything by Brene Brown, Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, Growth Mindset by Carol Dwek, and Built to Last or Good to Great. These are the books that have impacted me the most. If I could only choose two books, it would be Growth Mindset and Five Dysfunctions of a Team. These books have helped me create a basis for my leadership coaching and facilitation in building healthy teams. I have found these books to the basis for all the other necessary work for effective team leadership.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
The key to building capacity is to ensure you have created a trusted workplace environment as a foundation. Then created transparency of your company's values, mission, vision, and yearly focus areas and created alignment throughout all levels of the organization around these, holding real-time conversations between peers, teams, and leadership to direct reports to hold each other accountable to the aligned narrative. Boiled down. If everyone understands the value, they add to the flow of revenue. How the company makes money and the part they play in that. You have created a purpose-driven organization where everyone shows up each day knowing how they add value.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
The CPO role was newly created at my current company. The People Team was newly founded when I started; the team was used to being directed to what tasks to execute. When I came in and started to clarify team norms, vision, and mission and how the people team was tied to the business initiatives and asked for input from others. When I started to seek their opinions, I saw lightbulbs go on. It was amazing to see team members start to grow and push back and ultimately build on each other's ideas and create a better, more effective team. To be able to step back and see them run with things and implement their ideas. I could see people start enjoying coming to work and operate at the next level.