169: Leaders with Heart Pay Attention to the Lessons

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In this episode, Heather interviews Kizzy Parks, Ph.D., CEO of KPC, GovCon Winners, AmPar, AdultFluent, and Host of the AdultFluent℠ podcast. Her newest company GovCon Winners works to help small businesses win profitable government contracts. 

She is charismatic, honest, and compassionate in this episode, where she shared the times in her career when she wasn’t the best leader. She states that at times she was leading from a space of scarcity and less than – which was not productive for her or her company. Now she leads from a place of compassion and has implemented new strategies to ensure that her employees get treated the most fairly. 

Kizzy shares that her entrepreneur journey began when she was just a kid when she would resell golf balls she found to fund her love for FUNYUNs and Nutty Bars. In other words, she knew from a young age that she would be an entrepreneur. Today, her companies have over $50 million in government contract rewards. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Paying attention to the lessons will take you to the next level.
  • You have to take accountability for your mistakes and learn from them. 
  • Do your research before hiring someone. 
  • Make sure you can trust everyone on your team. 
  • Make the time to connect with your employees. 
  • Be available to your team and encourage an open-door policy. 
At the end of the day, you are running a business, and everyone needs to do their part. - Kizzy Parks #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Kizzy Parks’ Bio

Kizzy Parks is a serial entrepreneur currently working on her fifth company, GovCon Winners, a company helping small businesses win profitable government contracts. She is also the CEO of KPC, AmPar, & AdultFluent. Her companies provide a lot of training and development, staffing, and other professional services to the federal government.

Kizzy attended Alfred University, where she got her BA in Psychology. She then went on to earn her Master’s and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Her first job out of college was to be a government contractor, and the rest of her career has followed in the same field.

From a young age, she knew that she would be an entrepreneur, and today she runs multiple businesses with over $50 million in government contract rewards.

A Truly Open-Door Policy

Many companies say they have an “open-door policy,” but I mean it when I saw we do. When I first began my career, this wasn’t the case. Back then, I didn’t actually put in the work to make my employees feel that the door was ever “open.” But after a couple of mistakes and lessons, I implemented a truly open-door policy. It made a big difference right away. As a result, my employees trust me and come to me with their concerns. One of my employees felt comfortable enough to discuss their concerns regarding some of our clients at the time. It actually resulted in a couple of terminations on the client’s side, but my employee trusted me, and I took care of it. 

Kizzy Parks

As a leader, there is a value in making sure I'm always available. - Kizzy Parks #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

It’s Just Business

One of the biggest lessons I learned is that you have to take the personality away from it. When looking at “Can this person do their job?”, it’s sometimes hard to take the personality and personal bias away from it. That’s why we have quality reviews. It’s easy to say, “Oh, that person was there for me” or “but they’re so nice,” but you’ve gotta take that out – it’s business. In conclusion, what you are running is a business, and everyone needs to be doing their part. Evaluations can’t be based just on how nice or charismatic they are.

As things happen, it's important to pay attention to the lessons and truly learn from your mistakes. - Kizzy Parks #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet


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Leadership With Heart With Heather R Younger

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