Apr 17, 2024

Get to Know Hollie Delaney, POWER’S Chief People Officer

Culture Get to Know Hollie Delaney, POWER’S Chief People Officer

How the first woman on Power Home Remodeling’s C-Suite credits embracing the “weird” as a key driver behind her success.

Hollie Delaney, one of the many who helped to architect the culture at online footwear retailer, Zappos, is now four years into her role as Chief People Officer at POWER. While siding and windows are much different than sneakers and shoes, her approach to company culture remains the same: a fierce dedication to individuality.

We sat down with Hollie to learn more about the woman behind the title and why her people-first approach to POWER has been so effective.

Spoiler alert: A little weird and a whole lot of fun follow!

Fast Facts

Hometown: Lake Tahoe

Places lived: Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Boulder, and the Big Island of Hawaii

Secret obsession: Wordle

Bucket list: Seeing the Northern Lights, watching Liverpool play a Premier League soccer game in England, seeing the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany, and going to Switzerland to see the Matterhorn. 

Biggest fear: Bugs!

Favorite books: Made to Stick by Chip Dan Heath; Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, Halee Fischer-Wright, and John King; and Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh 

Favorite shows: Yellowstone, Succession, 1883, The White Lotus, Severance, Ted Lasso, Loot, and Manifest

Favorite sports teams: Hockey is the Vegas Golden Knights. Baseball is the Philadelphia Phillies. Football is the LA Rams. Basketball is the 1980s LA Lakers (with an emphasis on the ‘80s.)

Finding Her Professional Sole at Zappos

Delaney brings a little fun wherever she goes.

My team and I built such a renowned culture at Zappos by… defining our core values, and sticking to them in good times and in bad. We didn’t worry about the “best practices.” Instead, we looked at our approach through various lenses — mainly a customer, company, and employee lens. Is the customer satisfied? Is the company protected? Is the employee happy?

My most proud, defining career moment is… that I always stood up for what I thought was right, even early in my career, when I didn’t hold any authority at all. On the first day of my very first HR job, I got in trouble because I wasn’t wearing stockings. I told them verbatim that I thought their reasoning was stupid. I didn’t shy away from saying what was true. It defined within me what I didn’t want to do — which was work in an industry where you had to wear stockings to be successful. 

From the outside looking in, people would say my early days at Zappos were my most defining; where I didn’t conform to what people thought HR should be or do.

Powering Our Culture

Hollie Delaney
Delaney speaks at POWER’s CD&I Summit.

When I left Zappos, I was going to retire until… I found POWER. I wouldn’t have taken any other job. I had no plans to do anything else, but what POWER stood for was so closely tied to what I believed in and what I built my entire career around at Zappos. A lot of the time you don’t get an opportunity like that even once — who am I to say no when I was given the chance to do it twice.

A Chief People Officer has… many responsibilities. You have to understand risk and evaluate where it exists as a company moves through its growth process. At the same time, you have to evaluate what a company wants. You have to provide an environment people want to be a part of. One where they get up on Mondays and say, “I get to go to work today.” People spend the majority of their life working, and it’s my job to make work a place that isn’t a waste of their time.

I was surprised to learn that POWER wasn’t… bureaucratic. Zappos wasn’t either, but it was more so than POWER. You don’t need to be deeply bureaucratic to be successful.

A few exciting projects I’m working on at POWER are… building out two major buckets: Learning & Development and Employee Engagement. L&D will help employees across the company understand the opportunities available to them, how they can grow in different leadership capacities, and expose them to up-skill programs and continuing education to put careers on a fast-track. For Employee Engagement, it’s not just programs, awards or recognition. It’s really about helping employees engage in all the things the company is doing. I want to create an environment where even the most dull things are ones you don’t want to miss out on.

My proudest POWER accomplishment has been… our healthcare-related Travel & Lodging Reimbursement Policy that we launched in response to the repeal of Roe v. Wade. When it was apparent that Roe was going to be overturned, we started looking into policies for medical assistance. It started as something meant to get women the help they needed in wake of the decision, but it grew to be so much more. An employee recently told me how grateful he was for it, and that he was able to utilize the benefit and help his mom when she was very sick.

In five years, I hope POWER is… a place that continues to remove stigmas and stereotypes around anything and everything. Stigmas that say installing windows or knocking on doors are bad jobs. No, they are good jobs. They provide ways to grow, provide for your family, a space to be yourself, live a good life, and do a job you want to do.

Setting You up for Success

Delaney joins other leaders from POWER’s CD&I Initiative and Talent Acquisition departments at the company’s leadership summit.

The real recipe to success… doesn’t exist. Just be you. Know who you are, know what you know, and don’t back down. It’s harder for women because that’s not what we were trained to do, but it’s hard to argue facts. If you know the job, and you’re good at the job, and you show that every single day…no one can argue that. 

The best advice I ever received was… to stop playing the compare-myself-to-others game. No one ever wins. There will always be someone better suited for a job. You’re never going to be the best, but you can be the best person for the job right now. It doesn’t matter what salaries others make, their titles, or what they’re doing. To me, all that matters is that I’m happy.

Expert Insights

Delaney speaks on a panel at POWER’s veteran summit, supporting the company’s veterans and veteran spouses.

The pandemic’s effect on corporate America… has shown us all that current and future generations don’t live in excess. People can live happy lives with less money, and so money isn’t the sole driver anymore. It’s all the other things. They want experiences, they want to have purpose in what they do, and they want be associated with companies that believe in something bigger.

I think that “The Great Resignation,”“The Great Reconsideration,” and “The Great Breakup” are… cyclical. At all times throughout history, people have left bad workplaces. 

It happens. The companies that aren’t worried about these buzzwords are the ones that are already people-centric workplaces and have people-focused cultures.

In the current employee-market, companies should…compete by providing the best place to work, period. If you want the best talent, you need to be the best employer.

The secret sauce to company culture is… figuring out who you are, because no one is able to replicate someone else’s culture.

The Person Behind the Title

Delaney participates in a breakout session with other members of POWER’s People department.

I wake up at… 7:00, 7:30 a.m. on weekdays. On weekends… it’s 9 a.m., 10 a.m., or even 12 p.m. I’m always tired!

I absolutely love… experiences. I love to see different, creative things. So, I seek out street art and craft shows and things that you’d never expect to find.

The best sport to watch live is…hockey. Baseball is a close second. 

What I like as much as a sport is… the stadium or arena that they are played in. My top favorites, in no particular order, are Fenway Park, Lambeau Field, and Madison Square Garden.

The city of Philadelphia is… really old. I didn’t expect that when I moved here to work at POWER’s HQ. The streets are so narrow. And it’s a big sports town! 

The most influential people in my life are… both of my Tonys. My husband Tony is just a downright good person. He’s overly optimistic, and one who naturally does the right thing. He’s somebody that I am better for knowing. My other Tony — Tony Hsieh — was my previous CEO. He pushed me to think in a way that I never thought I could. He knew I could do the things that I didn’t even think were possible. 

If given the chance to go to space, I’d…absolutely go. Yep. Hands down. What better experience would you have than that? I might just move to Mars.

My favorite word is… “weird.” It can mean so many things, and it’s different. I look at weird as good, and I love everyone’s weirdness because that’s what makes life fun. The world would be a boring place if everyone was the same.

Sounds like a leader you want to work for? Check out POWER’s people-focused culture to embrace your own weird.   

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