137: Leaders with Heart Lead with Integrity

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In this episode, Heather speaks with Tara Healy, VP of Compliance at Cherry Creek Mortgage about her leadership style, a time when she was not an empathetic and responsive leader, and some great tips for recognition and getting through this pandemic with our teams.

Key takeaways:

  • As leaders, we must be people of integrity.
  • Ask yourself whether you are congruent with who you say you are.
  • Are you creating safe environments for others to be themselves at work?
  • Do you recognize your people in the ways they receive it as such?

Hope you don’t miss this pearl of an episode. Listen and learn!
Tara Healy’s Full Bio

Tara Healy currently is Vice President of Compliance for Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc. She is a well-respected mortgage professional with 20 years of experience and with specialized skills in the areas of Origination, Operations Management, and Compliance.

A true advocate for the mortgage banking industry, Tara serves as the youngest President of Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association (CMLA), a member of the CMLA Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee, past Chair of the CMLA Education and Events Committee, and a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Committee. 

Tara was awarded the prestigious Certified Mortgage Banker designation in 2018. She is only one of 11 women in Colorado to have this designation.

Leadership and Styles

It truly is a journey and it’s a fun one. Honestly, I talk about retiring just on the hard days, but I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

I don’t think there’s actually one leadership style. My style varies depending on what we’re trying to accomplish, who the person is if it’s a one on one, and if there’s a certain goal we’re trying to kick off and implement. Over the years, I’ve come to learn that there’s not a one size fits all. I’ve learned that watching how it went well and how it didn’t go so well with other leaders.

Helping people is what drives me the most. - Tara Healy #leadershipwithheart Share on X

Leading with Integrity

Integrity is doing something when no one’s watching—doing the right thing when no one is watching you. That sounds really silly, but it’s true. 

When I lead, I would say one of my leadership styles is I’m very honest. If I’ve messed up, you’re going to hear it from me. I’m going to own it and I’m going to apologize for it. I’m going to try to make amends. Leading with integrity—hearing people, understanding people, expressing empathy and just doing the right thing—is not easy, in all honesty.

It also means having difficult conversations oftentimes, which is saying what needs to be said. It doesn’t mean you have to be nasty or mean, but it’s having difficult conversations because they need to be had.

This is where it gets a little bit interesting from an executive perspective, because you’re trying to tell your executives, the people that you report to, something very difficult to say like telling them they’re wrong.

It doesn’t always go down well. So, over the years, you learn how to craft that message and get to the same result. That’s been something I’ve struggled with in the beginning, and I’m still here.

You're always a work in progress. It's never done. - Tara Healy #leadershipwithheart Share on X Business is personal. - Tara Healy #leadershipwithheart Share on X

Water Cooler Meetings

We have 30-minute water cooler meetings even before COVID. We don’t talk about work. We just talk about what’s going on. It’d be the one of the things you would do on a Friday in the office, where you’d walk around and talk to people. But you can’t do that right now, so that’s our Friday water core message during Zoom calls.

I have a stack of thank you notes by my desk. When I see something, I write them in and I just send them out. It’s a small little touch because it’s personal. Over the years, I was told to keep business and personal separate.

But I’ll be honest with you, I think business is personal. You’re dealing with people and it becomes personal. Recognizing people for their talents, their time, or their treasures, is a great thing.

Give yourself some grace. - Tara Healy #leadershipwithheart Share on X Be patient with yourself. - Tara Healy #leadershipwithheart Share on X


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Leadership With Heart With Heather R Younger

“Heather’s courage and vulnerability to share her authentic self are truly inspiring. She shares the most cutting-edge leadership strategies on topics like emotional intelligence and employee experience. If you’re looking to sharpen your leadership skills, this podcast is for you.”

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