Unapologetically BOLD: I'm not sorry for....
Boldy offering criticism to the charity and social-profit sector with Maryann Kerr
February 1, 2021
Non Profits have started a trend of being named Social Profit as the theory is to spread the resources to the social sector they care for.....but what if they aren't caring for it correctly? This may seem like a weird subject to explore but join our guest Maryann Kerr as she speaks about why she is not sorry for calling some people out for the toxic behaviors that have hurt the reputation of the people doing the good.
Non Profits have started a trend of being named Social Profit as the theory is to spread the resources to the social sector they care for.....but what if they aren't caring for it correctly?

This may seem like a weird subject to explore but join our guest Maryann Kerr as she speaks about why she is not sorry for calling some people out for the toxic behaviors that have hurt the reputation of the people doing the good. 

About the guest:
Maryann is a wife of 25 years, a mother to two amazing young women, and a leader in the social profit sector for 34 years. She has dedicated her work to doing what she can to mend the world as she is motivated by a deep sense of care for the people and her over active empathy gene

[00:00:02] spk_0: this is This show is brought to you by Safety FM. Welcome to unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If you are a person that is tired of apologizing for being you you know the human part of you that sometimes feels like it has to be different at home versus work versus play. The human side that just wants to be hot, humble, open and transparent about your wants, desires and uniqueness. If you answered yes, this is for you. Join me, Emily Elrod as I dive into conversations with Amazing Guest. About what? That you're not sorry for and creative and loving ways. Let's get started. Welcome, everybody. Welcome, Thio Unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for And I'm blessed today to have Mary Ann with me. Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a pleasure. You know, Just the opening of your show made me feel kind of tearful. This this idea you have of people being able to be authentically themselves and truly human. It's fantastic. Thank you. And I'm blessed to have the space to be able to do this, but also to meet amazing people like you. We have been connected through a few different people. I think Kevin Monroe is one of them. That has really connected us, and it is just that heart centered people that care for humanity. And it's not just in this fluffy thing, like, Oh, let's have world peace, which you know we're not gonna argue for. We would kind of like that, but it's It's designing environments and creating environments where people can thrive and be their best Selves at home work and play. And that's what I love about what you do and what this topic is about today. So before we go into it, I do want you just quickly introduce yourself. Just tell people about who you are and a little bit about your background. Sure. Well, my name is Mary Occur I. I currently have a small boutique consulting firm that looks at the workplace and does organizational, health and culture work. But I came to it after 34 years working in what I call the social profit sector. So that's charitable organization, nonprofit organizations doing primarily organizational leadership in fundraising. So I helped. I had amazing teams. I helped to raise 110 over $110 million for mostly small and mid sized organizations in all kinds of different areas. Andi, after all of those years of doing that, when I look back over my career, I thought about the places where I had the most success for places where people were really engaged in the work, loved their teens, were like happy. Um, you know. And at the beginning of my career, I can remember bosses saying to me What's not your job to make people happy? I thought, Well, okay, but why not e Yes, and that's so And that's what I love is why not? You have options. You could go either way. Why not? It's and it's not the easiest road it's not. And it's not being a people pleaser, because whenever you're kind and loving and honest with people, there's some difficult conversations, and I think that that beautifully flows into what this you're gonna be talking about today and what your unapologetically bold about. And so I just love to transition into that. Marianne, what are you no longer apologizing for? But I am no longer apologizing for providing criticism, really, to the to the sector that I love, you know, the charitable sector, the not for profit sector. I am. I'm tired of people getting upset when I have something to say. That is not all rainbow and sunshine. And you know Bluebeard's about the sector because there is a lot of work that needs to be done. So I'm I'm really I mean, I am a really tired, really, really tired of taking criticism for trying to shine a light on the things that need to be improved. So that's what I'm unapologetic for. Next. Thrilled to be able to say it out loud. Yeah, and that's what I love. I love that you are calling out people that you like that you said that is love and my listeners know this. My definition. Love is to be patient, kind, honest, understanding and not boasting of ill will. And that's the one that I find a lot of the times is that honesty is missing because it's like, Oh, I can't love them. If I actually tell them what they're doing wrong, let's reverse that. No, it is being caring and kind, and you've worked your tail off for a sector that mhm kind of has been getting a bad name by a few and and it's not a bunch, but it's just some of them just have been not doing some great things. And you're from Canada to. So, yeah, this year has really been a trick. You're really tough. Yeah, Yeah, we had a big I don't know how much folks in the US know about the we charity scandal, but I mean, it's an international organization that operates in the U. S. And Canada and other parts of the world. And, um, you know, I think what we learned from that is you know, if you are giving thio organizations, you really need to do a lot of due diligence. You need toe, you know, you need to ask really good questions on. But that was a concern for some organizations because they felt like, you know, talking negatively about this one organization will negatively impact the entire sector. Andi, I think the problem with that is that it undervalues the brilliance of the human mind to be at heart, to be able to make really good decisions. I mean, people are not painting us all with the same brush. I think they just start on. I think, Oh, there's my dogs. I think I think, you know, to say those kinds of things is really almost demeaning to donors into perspective donors. And that's what I think. We have a lot of work to do, and it's OK that we have work to do. But we can't pretend that we don't agree. Even the dog is given a name in this because it's so true. I see this in all sectors that I go into is that a lot of people have the theory. If we paint one with this brush, it will be all. And it really I love what you said about how it cuts out on the human ability to make decisions. 90% of people are amazing. There is a 10% headache population. I've always said that I've never not had um and in the work that I do, I typically can name them and we worked with thousands and thousands of people, so there's not that many, Yeah, but it still does not mean that you don't call things out whenever there, there or on the other aspect. You don't go from the land of Let's cover it up, because that's something I've also seen. So tell me more on whenever you're like, Okay, I'm just gonna I'm going to step out, and I'm gonna moldy, criticized on the people that grew me, the people that love me, you know, this is my sector, you know, But I'm gonna be honest with them. Yeah, well, you know, I have a very recent example there. There is an organization here in Canada called Kids Help Phone. It's an amazing organization is really, well loved. But there was our public broadcaster. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation did a story where they focused its ahead of phone line, right, and they do in tremendous work. But they had some counselors who came to the media and said, You know, there is some stuff happening, and we're finding this work environment toxic. And it was a very detailed article that provided a lot of a lot of kind of very credible data and information on why they were feeling this way. And and so I shared that story and I invited people from kids help phone. I shared Arlington. I invited them in and I said, You know what's happening? Talk to us tell us what's going on? Because when I love about social media is that it democratizes conversation, right? It does not like it calls for radical transparency, and it's an opportunity now to me. I am always and I have said this before. I'm always going to err on the side of supporting those with less power. Those who have less of a voice on dso eso I always start by believing because I think if somebody has gone to the media, they have very likely, uh, tried other things first, right? This going to the media always feels like a last ditch effort on Guy took a ton of abuse over over that because it's such a well loved organization here, right? People didn't want to hear about it. Um, and in fact, I had people that I was connected with from kids help phone line, who disconnected with me. I had one person from the organization reach out and say, Let's chat. But at the same time, I had so much negativity from others in the sector, I actually said to that person. Listen, I'm It's not about you and me talking right. This isn't about you telling me what's going on? This is about telling everybody. It's about giving voice on giving credibility really to the fact that people have spoken up. Whether it's whether you think it's true or not, that's a totally different story. It's about being democratic and open and transparent. That's beautiful. And it's different, too, because some listeners may be here in earlier. Like you said, it's not boasting of ill will. But there's a difference. It's not there. There is love with this. It's that honesty aspect. It's not that we're gossiping and saying, Hey, these people don't behind it up We don't want to give any money It's like transparent. It's the hotness, its humble, open and transparent that we nick now more than ever. And I love how you're in Canada. I'm in America, But even around this world, I know people from Austria well, almost every continent except Antarctica don't anybody from there yet. All that to say is people want to be hot, they want to be humble, open and transparent, and we're not taking anymore crap right. And I think it's interesting to talking about the social profit sector and that I've done some work with charities, and at first I'm like, Well, we're a nonprofit. We can't make any money then and like, Oh, Dan, you're making a lot of money. You're making a lot, a lot of money and not distributing it the way that you tell people that you are. You know, anytime you're thinking about making a gift to charity or not for profit, it starts with you and asking yourself and your family what's important to us, what matters to us, what are the causes that we want? Thio ensure continue. And there's lots of organizations of their honestly who for me, I go on. This organization cannot afford to fail. I don't We have to make sure that they're successful on Ben. I really recommend, you know, you do the basic things like look at the website and look at their financials, right, because I don't know the the laws in the US the same way. But here we have lots of mechanisms for you to look at the kind of you know Canada Revenue Canada reports that you can look at to see where money is being spent and how it's being spent, and the vast majority of organizations really are doing what they say. They're going to dio, right? The vast majority. Pick up the phone call them asked. Um, you know, speak to a human being and just do your homework. That's really what I would say. But but beyond all else, give even if it's you know, I mean, even if it's $10 whatever you can afford to do, I think that obviously this is a tough year for the sector. Um, tough year for everybody and it's got a ripple effect. So the demand on organizations is higher and the revenue is lower. So that's that's a big obviously a big problems. So so that that's what I would say on Do you know, for organizations that you know there is no perfect organization? So when I when I think about that example, I was just speaking Thio. I mean, everybody makes mistakes. Everybody, you know, that's how we learn. That's how we innovate. That's how we get better. Select, not. Let's not see those criticisms as being, you know. Oh, you know, that's not a good organization to give to because I don't feel that way. I don't not know part of me would say, Don't give two kids help phone. I think they do tremendous work, but that doesn't mean they don't have work to do. It just doesn't. And that's the thing is, if you think anybody or anything is perfect, you have a false mindset because if humans are doing it, we will fail you like I even tell my people, my people this all the time like I'm I'm technically your boss or leader by title. But they teach me more, so I don't know. I tell some of them they're my bosses in some areas, But I'm gonna fell them like that set out. I'm a human. I'm in perfect. I am going to screw up. I am probably gonna piss you off. I am going to do things were gonna come together with love, and we're gonna come with understanding. And when I do it, call me out. Offer that criticism because it's needed it. And the thing is, is when you're securing yourself and whenever you're working on it, instead of perfection, you go to progression. You don't mind those criticisms. I love that. I love that. And feedback, right? It is that people say it's a gift, but it really is a gift. I really and I think the more senior you become in the workplace, the less often you receive it. And the more you need it, right, Because the mistakes you make have a much bigger impact and ripple effect. Someone asked me today, you know what was the best advice I ever got? And and for me, it was to be really conscious of what I say, Um, as a leader, because people are looking to you, right? And everything you say really matters on DSO that's again. What brings me back to this whole concept of transparency in the sector when somebody stands up and says, you know yes, there was a story in the paper. Yes, we're working on it. Yes, thank you for caring about us and caring about our work so much. That's it right on. That makes me think of to even the work that I do is we do something. My favorite favorite thing to do is frustration, eliminations. And so that's basically where you come in and you tell about a frustration because we're about stress to strategic stuff. But you have a frustration. You come and we we do some things where we create environment where people can talk and have conversations. But we do something about it, and it's just like this. When you do something about it, you actually get greater loyalty in the like the in return because you saw it, you commended it. You call it out and you changed it. Your you didn't sweep it under the rug. You didn't let it fester in brew and turn into its own little beast. That's an elephant in the room that nobody addresses. But we all know it's there. Exactly. Yeah, it's just It's so true. I mean, you have to shine a light on things, and, you know, I think the workplace especially, you know, as I say, younger people. But I guess it's not necessarily younger. But as newer generations air coming into the workforce, their expectations are so different. I think that my generation put up with stuff that today, like my own kids and some of the people that I have worked with, what just wouldn't they just would not put up with that kind of I would say mistreatment. I would say a lack of respect, right? That's what matters to folks. Is feeling valued and respected and heard on and that they're not a resource or they're not capital. They're just people, right? They're just human beings who want to be seen that way. And I think we have a long way to go in every sector. But I want our sector. I really want the charitable nonprofits, social profit sector. I want it to lead because we are about philanthropy, right? We're about caring about the world, mending the world, you know, I feel is that we could play a leadership role here that that we're currently not bond. It makes me think I did for a board retreat for a health care non profit. And we did theme, multi generational aspect of giving great. And it was it was one of my favorite classes and I guess courses or whatever teachings to give, because it was so interesting about my generation. Yeah, since we do have a lot of debt, do thio Ah, lot of schooling that a lot of us have our time and our talents. We're more readily to give than our capital that rehab. And so it's It's a very interesting concept to as you talk about the newer generations, we don't put up with things, but we'll give Bond. How we give is a little bit different than the traditional model. So if an adaptation is not being well received and if you're not gonna call out things and if you're not gonna be transparent, you might have a problem. So I think it's so important, Like you said, to boldly offer this criticism, and it's constructive. I don't wanna put that. I believe that it's a constructive criticism. Yeah, I call myself lovingly critical on that that those air that that is how I feel. I mean, I would not have spent 34 years in in the sector if I didn't love the work that we dio right. And every day I hear stories right about the impact of the work of the sector. But I also hear stories about the expense at which that impact has come to the people who are dedicating their work lives to it. So the two things it doesn't have to be that way, it just does not. And I think ultimately, you know, 80% of the Canadian workforce is disengaged, 70% of them blame their manager on. 14% of them are out there wreaking havoc, you know, like quite actively sabotaging your organization. So with that kind of knowledge with not with the knowledge of, you know, high use here in Canada, where, like, I think it's the third or fourth highest use of antidepressants of the O. E. C D countries. We have high rate of alcoholism. I mean, those things they're all weighing right. If it sucks to be a work, what do you do when you go home? Bond, that's so true. And that's what I love about what you do. And it is a lot of what we do to It's just that passion for people in creating environments where they're supposed to thrive and mhm. And I know we're right. At our time we're getting close, but this just I'm gonna take it a little off topic, OK? I think a lot of things on this, too is, um I call it the Linus effect. Like, you know, Charlie Brown and everybody has their blanket and like their safety net and their blanket, they gotta hold it. That's what's coming to my mind as I'm hearing you talk about that and how our ability to adapt and overcome when we're told that's something that when we were criticized or something, or we just want a blanket, we wanna hold it or there's a great he's a preacher But I love some of his talks that he he speaks on his name's Mike Todd and he talks about sitting in the chair of unfair and how many times that we sit in there and we stay in there and we don't do things that just because it's easy, then we surround ourselves with people just like that. So that may like it's unfair because I got all these expectations as a leader or it's all It's unfair because they bypassed me for the 50th time, you know, and you can't be doing your great work if you're sitting in the chair, you know, because you're not. And so that that's what comes to my mind on that. What do you think when I say that, what do you think? I'm gonna tell you the first thing here? Here's feedback. Don't apologize that Mike Todd's a preacher. Yeah, e. I mean one of the things I love about Kevin Monroe is that he's a really faith based person, and we talk a lot about faith, and I don't come from that same background. But he's taught me a lot about it, and I have grown as a human being because of that, right? Andi, I think the truth is, uh, you know, if you are wearing armor, right, which is what happens when you're in that chair, right? You put on armor in order to protect yourself, but against the next disappointment, that's gonna happen at work. And if you're wearing armor, the more armor you for hold on, the less authentic you're able to be, the the more you have to let it go as you walk out that door, although these days it's out of this door and into my hallway, right. But you're having a let off layers of armor that you've put on in order to survive the work day and oh, that is such a heavy weight to bear right, such a heavy weight to bear. And that's the reason why I think there's a lot of times there's a crux between people can't be humans at home work and play your human everywhere, but it's like we walk into our office. We have to be put on this one suit. Then we walk out. That's so shuffle. Why can't we just be humans like, Why can't we receive feedback and not get offended for it? Because we think that it's taking our identity and it's eating and like today example. My kids I love, love, love, love my Children and they teach me so many life lessons that but today my son, I said something to him about. He's dealing with ego issues and I could see it. He's nine. We have CEO meetings, and that is something that we had talked about. We do. Three Glows, which is three improvements are three things that you've been doing good in one grow. His growth for this week is don't defend yourself, even if we're right, or or even if they're wrong, don't defend yourself. It's okay. Not every time do you have to have a comment, and I think that's something, too. It's just these ego things that we self identify, and that's what called the Linus blanket, like we got to cover it up, cover ourselves not only were basking in that chair of unfair, we're also covering ourselves to get comfortable by things that that's our pacifiers or the ways that we can't receive information. So So we are depressed because we don't know. Do we feel stuck? So for people that it's a two part question. So for people that are staying in the chair, what would you tell them? And then what would you tell the leaders that are dealing with the people that are sitting in the chair and you don't know what to do? Yeah, well, for the person sitting in the chair first, I'd say, you know, try to remember, Try to think back to a time when you actually were able to get out of the chair because, you know, we we all have moments in our lives when we've we've successfully overcome right, we we have. I mean, it might not be a work situation and think about what you did in order to pull yourself up out of that. Andi. So much depends on your power relationship with those that are perhaps causing you to feel Aziz, though, right for me, You know, this is all wrong. Nobody recognizes me. Nobody respects me. No one values me. If that's actually true and it might be, then maybe you're not in the right place, right? And if you're the leader, um, you know, I think the biggest thing, and it's really become a parent with Cove in 19 because we're seeing into people's homes. We're seeing our kids. We're hearing our dogs were getting little glimpses of people's lives, and we've mistaken that with getting to know people because it's not. It's not really what's happening. I think the demands on people have been so high, and we're so we're getting to know you on a very surface level. Now I I know that, you know, right now you think my offices tidy. If I turned my camera to the right or the left, you would see that it is not right. I'm letting you see and people are letting you see some of who they are, but not who they are deep down inside. And I think that that superficial issue is part of is part of the issue because everything comes down to relationships so But I would say to that leader or those leaders is you really need to know. Your people really need to know that you need to. You need toe. Listen, right. You need to understand. You know why it is Marianne. Feel undervalued. Disrespect, Disrespected. Inauthentic, right? Why is she having this experience? And if I do actually value her work, what can I dio to change that? So it really all comes down to being human and humane with each other. It's all the relationships, right? It's so true. And I think that actually, when I talked about earlier the three gloves and one grow that has been so impactful not just with my kids, because I test everything out on them. And then I take it because receptive. I just say that sometimes I worked with grown Children and if it's easy to understand, and it fills fosters a sense of security, especially when kids are going through these awkward phases in life and covitz one of them on top of already things that are happening. But that's one that I found that allows that sense of getting to know each other. If I and it goes back to this boldly offering criticism giving agro, how can you improve my kids last week they told me this maybe more than once is I'm hard on myself. I know I'm bored of myself and so finding ways that I can I can see it. I can come aware of it. It's like, Okay, they have my best interest because you want me to succeed. They want works for you to succeed. They want the podcast. They want all these things they want my best. And I love that. They tell me that they don't just tell me, Amazing mother, which I love to hear. But I love that they tell me Hey, Mom, you went a little bit off your rocker whenever your computer died. You zaman sq, we see a little bit more like Why don't you know? And then it's funny, like last week, one of their glows was, Hey, Mama, you haven't been getting so mad at your computer now because it's died for the fourth time. I'm like it was like, Hey, but it's It's how that criticism is sometimes seen as an attack. But if you put it in the correct environment, it actually helps foster a sense of what I call serotonin. The safety cop of the body that you can come up, you can come together. And it also Fox sisters oxytocin, which is love the loving, bonding connecting side because you're being truthful. So I love that. Sorry. But you know they love you, right? You know, they love you. And I think that's the thing at work. And again, you know, I've talked about this with other people, but the idea that there can be love at work right there can be and there should be, and we should bring that in. And it's not some airy fairy kind of it's not. It's really about. And as you you talk about the chemical reaction when I have a friend at work, someone who really cares about who I am and how I am right, that makes such a difference. And when we when we talked a little bit before and you told me about thes thes chemical things, I've never thought about before, but it really spoke to some of my past poor experiences in the workplace. But yeah, that's that's bang on. That's exactly how I was feeling s Oh, I love the work that you're doing. I think it's really important. Well, thank you. And it's a reciprocate like, I am so blessed that you're doing the work that you're doing in the social profit area. And so I guess I got a two part final question. First part. Somebody's apologizing for boldly offering criticism. It could be the social profit it could be to wherever it may be. What would you say to them? I would say, you know, thank you. And don't feel sorry. I'm grateful to you for caring so much that you're taking the time to provide that feedback because feedback is a gift on it makes us better. So thank you so good. And then the second part people to reach out and find you. How can they get hold of you? Best way to find me is on LinkedIn on. I'm currently writing a book about these kinds of issues in the workplace, in the special private sector. So I'm a little slower to respond that I used to be, but I love to hear from folks. So, Mary, anchor on LinkedIn s so excited for that and we'll put a link whenever it's ready to drop out. So thank you. So much Thank you. All that have listened in and we'll listen later. You'll have an amazing and blessed day. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for if this test shoot anyway, please like and subscribe and share with your friends as we continue the message of being unapologetically bold, Bobby and hot humans who are humble, open and transparent. See you next time.