Wendy ran the HR team at Sick Kids Hospital after managing a hospice in Toronto and a volunteer program at a children’s mental health centre in Whitby. Wendy was then recruited by Walmart when they first started implementing HR in 2006. She held a field role first and was then asked to manage a portfolio containing the speciality groups and the merchandizers, which gave her full access to the senior leadership team that she eventually joined.
We talk about HR challenges, leadership change and a significant reorganization that Wendy and her team had to manage. We also talk about the regrets she has about the 24/7 nature of her job when she couldn’t be 100% present at her son’s volleyball games. She reclaimed her life and left Walmart to consult for local businesses, while allowing herself the flexibility that works best for her lifestyle. We get into the nitty gritty of overwork, wearing work hours as a badge of honour, navigating corporate politics, and the difficulty in saying no to leadership.
TOPICS EXPLORED IN THIS EPISODE:
Wendy’s career left turns [ 6:23 ]
Two things that Wendy learned working for Sick Kids Hospital [ 8:42 ]
The authenticity at Walmart that drew Wendy in [ 10:21 ]
What Wendy learned when working through a leadership change [ 15:54 ]
The challenges and mistakes made in a massive reorganization [ 17:36 ]
The worst decision that Wendy made about her position at Walmart [ 20:00 ]
The major regret Wendy had about the 24/7 nature of her job [ 20:39 ]
How Wendy networked locally to find her first consulting clients [ 25:10 ]
How Wendy pauses to find truly fulfilling work [ 28:20 ]
The mind game of work hours and corporate face time [ 34:50 ]
Billing guilt, hours as a badge of honour, and overwork [ 39:17 ]
Why more women weren’t store managers at Walmart [ 45:53 ]
The emotional toll of the reorganization and the fallout [ 54:18 ]
What it means to have employees’ backs [ 1:01:35 ]
Competence doesn’t have a lot to do with promotion and hiring [ 1:08:27 ]
People tend to be more productive when they have flexibility.
I was an otherwise intelligent woman, except for the fact that I forgot how smart I was.
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