Leading with Empathy and Humility w/ Jessica Matlock
Guest: Jessica Matlock is LaPlata Electric Association’s (LPEA) first female CEO in the co-op’s 80-year history. Before this role, Matlock served as a member of the executive leadership team for 13 years at the nation’s 11th largest public utility (Snohomish Public Utility District). In her last role – Assistant General Manager of Customer, Energy Services, and External Relations – she directed customer engagement, legislative and policy strategy, and the development and implementation of the utility’s solar, electric vehicle, and demand response programs.
Prior to this, Jessica worked as an energy expert for the U.S. Senate and held numerous positions with the Bonneville Power Administration. She has served in various board and leadership positions with the Large Public Power Council, National Hydropower Association, American Public Power Association, the Alliance to Save Energy, Washington State Clean Technology Alliance, and GridForward.
Episode in a Tweet: Leadership is about being empathetic and knowing that you’re not always right, and you must have the courage to admit you are wrong and then course correct.
Quick Background: Jessica is a dear friend of mine and one of the most respected leaders in the power generation industry. Jessica recently founded and is the co-Chair of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Women in Power professional network. This group convenes women working in public power throughout the country to share ideas, develop professional connections, and support female advancement in a predominantly male industry. Let’s just put it this way; she’s a total rockstar.
During our conversation, Jessica keeps it real. She shares how she gets herself back on track when she loses her way. Jessica talks about juggling what’s fair with the reality of constraints and tradeoffs in both the industry and the workplace. She is candid about how her team gives her feedback and how she’s learning how to respond to it with gratitude and action.
Jessica also gives us an inside look at the innovative ways she looks at bringing traditional and renewable power to rural Colorado. She’s truly a remarkable leader, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy this interview.
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