Penny Pennington Bio

Penny Pennington is the managing partner of Edward Jones, a leading financial services company dedicated to helping its 8 million clients turn their life plans into financial plans. Under her leadership, the firm delivers on its purpose to partner for positive impact, to improve the lives of its clients and colleagues, and together, better its communities and society.

As Edward Jones begins its second century, Pennington, as the firm’s sixth managing partner, is guiding Edward Jones through a cultural renewal and strategic transformation that is purpose-driven, leader-led and team-based. The firm’s approximately 52,000 associates and nearly 19,000 financial advisors throughout the U.S. and Canada are committed to meeting clients’ growing desires and expectations for a trusted advisor who deeply understands their goals and guides them to meet those goals with professional advice that reflects their unique situations.

February 12, 2024

From the Frontlines to the G Suite, How Penny Pennington Found Her Purpose at Edward Jones

Few CEOs can claim that they started in entry-level positions at the companies they now lead. Penny Pennington is one of those few, rising from financial advisor to CEO and Managing Partner at Edward Jones. In this episode, Pennington reflects on how Edward Jones’ purpose – “to partner for positive impact” – motivated her personal and professional life and, nowadays, how she has been working to realize that sense of purpose for Edward Jones’ employees, clients, and the communities in which they live.

Transcript

Ranjay Gulati:

Hello once again, everybody, and welcome to Deep Purpose, a podcast about courage and commitment in turbulent times. I’m Ranjay Gulati. I’m an author and a professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School.

When I visit different communities across the United States, it seems like I see an Edward Jones office just about everywhere on downtown streets, in suburban shopping centers and in professional office buildings. Edward Jones has some 15,000 locations across the country. That’s nearly as many storefronts as Starbucks and more branch offices in the United States than any other brokerage firm. Edward Jones is a financial services firm based in St. Louis, Missouri. Its financial advisors guide some 8 million clients on investments, savings and retirement, the basics of a well-planned financial life. Edward Jones reports annual revenues of more than $12 billion and employs some 52,000 associates, including more than 19,000 financial advisors.

My guest this time is the firm’s managing partner, Penny Pennington. She started with Edward Jones in 2000 and took on the top job in 2019. Fortune Magazine has repeatedly named Penny to its list of most powerful women in business. To start our conversation, I asked Penny Pennington to tell me about the history of Edward Jones.

Penny Pennington:

Our company was founded as a more traditional brokerage company dealing 101 years ago in downtown St. Louis with people who already had resources, people who were already wealthy, and it was more of an institutional brokerage company. Well, in the late 1950s, here comes Ted Jones who was the son of our original founder, who we call Mr. Jones Senior. Ted Jones had a very different point of view about competitive differentiation, and he initiated a business model that began to open branches in rural locations. We started off in Mexico. Mexico, Missouri, was our first location outside of St. Louis.

Ted’s insight was that there were people with resources in smaller towns, but they didn’t have access to advice and they didn’t have access to good investment products, so we started opening these branches with financial advisors that then grew. The ripple effect of that then grew steadily over the decades to where, today, we have nearly 20,000 financial advisors in every nook and cranny, as I said, two-thirds of the counties.

The point of this competitive differentiation though is that we are relationship first. We are an advice company. We’re relationship first. We use technology to enable those relationships and to create a client experience that marries the human with great technology, but we are decidedly about building relationships. This is a very differentiated view in our industry. It’s one that we started building on decades ago. We’ve been relentless in evolving that platform and really using that differentiation to continue to evolve and, now, even to transform to improve the client experience, to grow the number of clients that we’re serving and, within just a few years, to be serving five generations of clients at one time.

Ranjay Gulati:

One of the business gurus who helped shape the Edward Jones approach to highly individualized customer service was management expert and consultant Peter Drucker. In 1973, Drucker published a book that may not have had the most scintillating title, but has become a business school classic nonetheless, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. When Penny Pennington walked into her new office as managing partner at Edward Jones, there was Peter Drucker’s book.

Penny Pennington:

Well, it’s a great story. That book that you reference is Peter’s book that was written in 1973, I believe. I have a first edition of that book. The reason that I have that is because, at about that time, our current managing partner then, John Bachmann, who was managing partner of our company for 23 years, and he and Ted Jones worked very closely together to really envision and then architect this platform that now we enjoy and work on today. John Bachmann read Peter’s book originally, and he saw in it the tenets of good management, good leadership, of the idea of the knowledge worker, this evolving set of business practices that would help a business grow and endure and make an impact. John very famously wrote a letter to Peter Drucker. He said it took him weeks to write the letter because he wanted it to be short enough that Peter would read it, but long enough that Peter recognized that he and Ted were reading this book and working to employ Drucker’s principles, and they invited Drucker to come visit the company.

Now, this was an audacious idea because Edward Jones was this tiny, little, inconsequential company at that time and they were inviting the preeminent management guru to come to St. Louis and learn about this little company. Well, it captured Peter’s imagination, and he did it, and so Peter for over 20 years was an informal consultant. He called himself an “insultant” to Edward Jones because he was always poking and prodding us. He was really the one that we credit with having reminded us that we should not only be in rural locations, we should also be in large metropolitan markets where Ted Jones thought we needed to stay out of those markets because there was competition.

Drucker said, “Go get the facts. Go find out if you are more successful when there are competitors in the market or less,” and what we found out is that, in the few metropolitan and suburban markets where we were located, we were actually more successful where there was competition. Peter is the one who poked and prodded us to recognize that, so we call ourselves a Drucker company. I still carry around the book. I call it our family Bible, and I still reference it on a weekly basis.

Ranjay Gulati:

Wow. I had no idea about this story. I mean, this is fascinating to hear. Penny, you came in as CEO and, right away, you have a pandemic, you have change, technology, digital transformation, a lot happening in your industry. Could you say a little bit about, when you arrived into this job, what were some of the challenges you saw yourself having to face, a successful organization, but with dark clouds in front of you?

Penny Pennington:

Well, Ranjay, you know you’re going to face the unexpected. We didn’t know what that cloud was when I became managing partner in 2019. It’s interesting. I went back very recently. Let’s call ourselves post pandemic now, shall we? I was reflecting on how much we’ve learned, how much we’ve accomplished, how much we’ve barreled through over the past several years. I went back and I looked at what I wrote during the succession process. We had a very thorough succession process. I looked at what I wrote in 2018, and what I reflected on is that what we’re doing today is what I was writing about in 2018 not knowing what the pandemic was going to put in front of us.

My point in sharing that is that the industry forces at work in 2019 are the same ones that are at work today. Maybe what we learned during the pandemic was a lot more about agility. We learned a lot about leading during a time when you have far less information than you think you want to have, courage during uncertainty and things like that, but the industry forces that we were facing in 2019 and a little bit before and that we face today are very similar. A few of them, clients, want more than just investment management from their financial advisor. They want what we know today is an experience of being able to say, “Gosh, my financial advisor gets me, and they’re guiding me and they’re making it easy, or at least they’re not making it any harder than it has to be.” That was true in 2019 and it’s even more true today.

Another thing that was true in the industry context is that we are undergoing today a transference of wealth that the world has never seen. $84 trillion in assets are in motion today from the generation who owns them to the next two generations. Those next two generations are far more diverse, and they’re more demanding in what they need and want from a financial advisor, a la the first point that I made about our industry. To become more relevant, to become more necessary for multiple generations of clients at one time is what our industry is facing, and then the third thing that we’re facing is what every industry is facing. It gets to that point of you make it easy, technology is a necessity for efficiency and effectiveness in every aspect of the work that we do. Technology can make us smarter, but, more than anything, technology can effectively help a financial advisor and a branch team be an even better human being.

With information, data and knowledge in the background, it makes a financial advisor or a branch team more productive and, therefore, able to spend more time in the relationship. The thing that I say, a machine will never be able to do is love, and so technology takes away all of those other things so that the financial advisor and branch team can be in deeper relationship, deeper discovery with our clients.

Ranjay Gulati:

Now, in this process, Penny, as you were leading Edward Jones into this major transformation, one of the things you decided you really wanted to lean into was purpose, and you said, if we’re going to really be a transformed digital-first enterprise, customer-centric, we really need to,” I don’t want to say reconnect, but reengage with what is our purpose. Tell us a little bit about that journey and how you came to that realization and what you did with that.

Penny Pennington:

Well, I think the way that I would start with this, Ranjay, is to say that in re-exploring or re-founding our purpose as a company, basically what we did was to make what was implicit explicit. We didn’t come up with a brand new purpose. We didn’t create a statement that was not true about our company for decades before. However, we did articulate something that has always been part of our DNA and part of why we do what we do.

In 2020 and 2021, during a time when we really were reflecting on re-exploring what financial advisors do and what an advice firm is all about and what our clients even more need from us during a time of great anxiety, we did slow down to articulate our purpose. Our purpose is to partner for positive impact, to improve the lives of our clients and our colleagues and, together, better our communities and society. What we were articulating was something that we’ve always believed in, that by virtue of the work that we do and the work that we do together, we leave people in places better than we found them.

Now, we do it because we help people explore possibilities in their lives that by good investment management and financial planning and staying on the path with that good financial plan, people can have possibilities for themselves and their families that they didn’t even know about, they didn’t even know were possible. We’ve seen this happen through the work that we do for generations. We know that we help our clients do this, but we also have a very deep culture at Edward Jones, and that culture can best be articulated by calling it a culture of caring. I mean, we care about people. We care about the clients that we work with. We go the extra mile for them every single day. We do that together as a collective today of 52,000 knowledge workers, to go back to Peter, 52,000 colleagues all over North America who really get up every morning to put our professional craft at work, whatever it is. It can be data analysts or trainers or those financial advisors and client service professionals. We have this spirit of caring, using our craft to go the extra mile now.

Now then you take that to the next stakeholder, which is our communities. Remember I said, we’ve got a brick-and-mortar location in two-thirds of the counties of the United States, all 10 provinces in Canada. We are pillars of our community wherever we are. I’ll tell you a quick story about that. One of our most veteran financial advisors, who is retired now, he practiced for almost 60 years. He was in Kearney, Nebraska, Jim McKenzie, and he was one of the most elevated wealth managers I’ve ever met in my life. He was also one of the deepest, richest salt-of-the-earth people you’ve ever known. He said, “Penny, my job is to make more millionaires per capita in Kearney, Nebraska, than in any other town in America.” He said, “I’m not doing that just to help people pile up wealth. The point is that I want them to have more possibility in their lives, but they’re going to also use their resources to have the best hospitals, the finest libraries, the best social services systems. This is going to be a place where people want to grow their families, where they want to stay, where they want to invest.”

What Jim was describing was this virtuous circle of being in community, of being a tremendous professional that’s a pillar of your community. That’s why we believe it’s so authentic to say we deeply impact our communities. When you roll all that together, the platform the size of Edward Jones, we improve society. That is not an overly ambitious statement to make. When we articulated all these things, Ranjay, a big part of that journey was also to put measures to that, to pick the lanes that we were going to operate in against that purpose. It is growing financial strength, promoting healthier futures and ensuring more inclusivity in the wealth building in our country, to grow the middle class in our country. We have measures that are associated with that, and all our work, all our strategy is pointed to those things. Our purpose is not something that sits off to the side. It is essentially integrated with our strategy.

Ranjay Gulati:

Let’s pause for a moment so I can tell you more about Penny Pennington’s background and her remarkable career. Penny was born near Nashville, Tennessee. She got her Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce at the University of Virginia and also attended Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Penny started out in corporate banking before making the jump to Edward Jones where her first role was as a frontline financial advisor. In 2006, she joined the home office and held several leadership positions in the firm before becoming managing partner.

I asked Penny to talk about her leadership philosophy, how she motivates team members in the company’s far-flung offices and keeps them connected with the deep purpose of Edward Jones.

Penny Pennington:

Well, I believe that leadership is about awakening that in every person that’s part of our organizations. The leaders that I am most energized and inspired by, that’s the kind of leadership that they’re exhibiting, and the way that that has happened for us, the journey that we’ve been on most recently, is to ask people to connect that in their own lives, to say to them, listen, this is an articulation of the purpose of our organization. You can colloquial say we leave people and places better than we found them. I heard that 24 years ago as I was starting my career as a financial advisor at Edward Jones. I heard that phrase. What we ask people do today and what’s part of the conversation that we have about our strategy is to say, hey, what’s your own why to every person in our organization? What’s your personal and professional purpose?

It doesn’t have to be this articulation, but get in touch with that, and then what I ask people to say is test Edward Jones. Test who we are, our strategy, what you see us doing every day, what we’re enabling you to do as a professional every day, and are you able to illuminate your own personal purpose because you’re part of Edward Jones? Does it help you be more purposeful in your life? I actually flip the script and turn it around. When we have that conversation and people really get in touch with that, what it does then is helps us be more innovative because when each professional, and these are incredible professionals. These are the most talented financial advisors in our industry. They’re the most talented professionals supporting those branch teams in the wealth management industry, what that enables us to do.

Somebody told me purpose is an incredible alarm clock. If we’re really purposeful, if we get in touch with that individually and as a firm and then we think about the platform on which we operate, the opportunity that we have today, remember that huge wealth transfer, we have 40 million clients who profile like Edward Jones client, the addressable market in front of us is huge. It makes us more innovative. It makes us more ambitious. It makes us more courageous when we really begin with the headwaters of our purpose and that big ambition, that big worthy ambition that it inspires growth and innovation.

Ranjay Gulati:

Penny, you’ve used the word courage a couple of times. In an interview you did with CNBC, you actually talked about courage as well, and you talked about courage does not mean you’re fearless. It means you act in the face of trepidation, ambiguity, but you act based on a north star, based on your own purpose, based on the purpose of the team and what you’re trying to accomplish together and, in fact, things may fail or go in a direction you did not expect, but you act nonetheless.

Tell us more about what the word courage means to you.

Penny Pennington:

Fearless is a way to put it, but, actually, it’s about fearing less. I find in my own personal journey and in the collective journey that we’re on at Edward Jones is we’re less afraid when we have this north star in front of us, when we know that what we’re doing is such worthy work, when we have this confidence that comes from having made a difference in people’s lives, when we have this confidence that comes from looking at our heritage of leaders.

Now I go back all the way to Mr. Jones, Sr. who founded this company and Ted Jones who initiated this business model that no one had seen before and that, frankly, many people in our industry scoffed at, laughed at for being small town or being something that the big guys had decided not to do. That fearing less comes from those positive proof points of what happens when leaders are courageous.

Mr. Jones, Sr. was courageous. Ted Jones was courageous. John Bachmann, one of my predecessors, was courageous. Jim Weddle, Doug Hill, the people who came before me in this role, I can look at, I can read their history, I was tutored by them, and see their courage. Courage, to your point, is not about the thought process of it. I mean, you can be courageous in your thinking, sure, but it remains an abstract and it doesn’t make a difference if it’s only a thought experiment. What makes a difference is when it goes into action. When it goes into action alongside other people who are that purposeful and that inspired by that north star, that’s where growth and innovation comes. That’s where the courage comes to be competitively differentiated and to go after that north star relative to that differentiation.

That’s what we have done for generations at Edward Jones, and that’s what we’re doing today. That’s what keeps me going every morning in spite of the hurdles that we face and, in fact, sometimes, moving into spaces where we know there are going to be a few failures. There’s going to be some testing and learning, and the courage to act, the act of fearing less, getting comfortable being uncomfortable is where growth and innovation lies.

Ranjay Gulati:

Give us an example. You’ve been through COVID. You’ve been through this major transformation that is underway. You’ve tried to embed purpose into the organization. Can you give us even a small or a big example while as managing partner or before where you really had to dig deep into your own courage to do something that looked really hard?

Penny Pennington:

Well, I think all of us were seared by those moments during 2020 when, personally and professionally, we were dealing with the reckoning of COVID-19 and the pandemic and the way that we needed to pivot as a company. The way that we did that was to look at our north star of connection and realize, as distributed as we were, that we had to stay connected, and so, within five days, getting over 50,000 people connected by Zoom technology was really unprecedented, an unprecedented pivot for our company, but it was inspired by that fearlessness of making sure that we remain connected to our clients, and we did from the very beginning of the most anxious times that many of us have ever been through because we’re built for this. This is what we’re supposed to do is to relieve anxiety for our clients.

I think, more recently, the overarching drive that I would point to is the mobilization that we’re undergoing as a company. The mobilization has to do with a set of tools, but, as much as anything, a mindset that we’re mobilizing to be the most relationship focused, client centric, knowledge-enabled set of elevated wealth professionals there are in our industry and applying the highest order of our craft to more people, to a more widely and a more diverse group of clients than any company in our industry.

The courage that it takes then to mobilize the tools to do that as quickly as we are to today is something that no one in our industry has ever tried to do before. Mobilizing a set of financial advisory tools, mobilizing a set of investment management tools, mobilizing a set of client and practice management tools over a period of about 18 months into 20,000 practices across North America is unprecedented, and it will be the fastest, most successful mobilization that has ever occurred in the wealth management industry. That takes a little courage to do.

We’re on a podcast. I was about to say you can see the smile on my face. This is what gets me up every morning, because the action behind fearing less in order to be more for more people and, with my 52,000 colleagues at Edward Jones, it’s the most natural set of actions that I can think of to take.

Ranjay Gulati:

Business leaders who act with an explicit and deep sense of purpose also need to lead with courage, to take action in the face of fear. They must foster courage in their C-suite colleagues and in employees throughout the company. Purpose and courage I have found go hand in hand. Together, they help conquer the fear and uncertainty that are inevitable in any businessperson’s life.

I asked Penny Pennington how she inspires others to act with courage. She says it starts by keeping her extensive team engaged with the larger fundamental purpose of Edward Jones.

Penny Pennington:

During those times when the way that our financial advisors and our branch teams connect with our clients, which had been very face-to-face, when it had to shift within a matter of hours, we dug straight down into our purpose. We dug down deep into why do we do what we do. We do this to make a difference in people’s lives. They need us right now. Whatever it takes to do that, we are going to do it, and we’re going to do it confidently and fearlessly. It connects first back to purpose, then it connects to resilience. It connects to what are very tangibly the examples that we have of being courageous in the past and it working out like we learned from it, we did a great job and we grew, we prospered, we helped more people. We go back to those positive proof points. That gives us confidence and it builds our resilience.

Resilience is hugely important here because, getting up every morning in the face of the massive wealth transfer that we’re going through, the massive mobilization that we’re excited about several years ago, getting up every morning and to face a new day with limited information about what was going on during the time of the pandemic, we have to remind ourselves of our own resilience and our ability to do that. During that time and today, I remind our entire team that resilience and courage are nurtured when we take care of ourselves, when we get enough sleep, when we eat right, when we take care of the things in our lives outside of work that mean so much to us, that fill us up, that make us even more purposeful people.

The mental stress of all of this and this much change and transformation is something that we’re talking a lot about. We had a business resource group meeting the other day. There were a thousand people on the line. It was a hybrid meeting. Some of us were in-person. A lot of people were online. We were talking about the mental stress of the past several years. We were talking about neurodiversity. We were talking about the way this impacts individuals and families. We were being really vulnerable about expressing the way that stress affects us and what we do to be resilient in the face of all of that.

Ranjay, how we think about courage and resilience and soldiering on through all of this and doing it together. I think more and more the empathy around what people are going through to be resilient and courageous, and the vulnerability of me expressing what I’ve experienced over the past few years and how I’ve gotten through it and inviting others to do the same really boost our courage.

Ranjay Gulati:

Thinking, getting personal, I want to turn to you, and I was fascinated to realize as I did my homework that you had a 15-year career as a banker. You were managing director. You had kind of climbed the hill and then you made a decision that you were going to start over and join Edward Jones as a first-line person. You’re going to join as a financial advisor entry level. I mean, who does that?

Penny Pennington:

I did. So many folks at Edward Jones, Ranjay, do this. One of the things that is so characteristic about our firm is that my predecessor called us an opportunity factory. In growing the number of financial advisors that we have, we hire folks who have been incredibly successful in other places, at other firms, maybe in our industry, sure, but many, many, many people just like me, I was no different, who came from really successful careers and backgrounds, who were decorated veterans in the military and incredible executives and people from all walks of life who come into our industry as financial advisors at Edward Jones. That was me. I mean, that’s what I saw, the business model and the opportunity that I saw. What I saw was the purposefulness of this organization. I saw a business model that was very unique, an investment philosophy that, because I’m steeped in a background of securities and financial services, I know that our investment philosophy is true and enduring and reliably builds wealth over time for investors. I saw all that.

I got to tell you it just seemed like the natural next step to take in my career, taking next steps in our lives based on our own purpose, based on something that we see and, there it is, the courage to act. There were those who thought I was maybe a little bit crazy for getting off that particular ladder, but I saw this as a more natural stepping stone for the life that I wanted to live, a kind of practice that I wanted to grow. Now, little did I know that the opportunity that I have today just to be in this position was going to be part of that journey, but it seems like a natural progression in a place that is an opportunity factory, a place of personal and professional growth that that would be in front of me.

Ranjay Gulati:

Penny, there’s something more I want to discuss with your permission. You’re a cancer thriver and, somewhere in that time period, it must’ve been quite a moment where only four months after your mother you received the same diagnosis. That must be quite a crucible moment in your life. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about that and how that has shaped you as a leader you are today.

Penny Pennington:

Well, it has made me fear less. My cancer journey puts me in a position of being very blessed because my cancer journey has been one of thriving, not merely surviving and, unlike millions and millions of people, I am alive. It makes me fear less about my life journey. It also makes me very committed to healthier futures for more people and more people who go on this cancer journey. My cancer journey is now over 20 years old. Today, the technologies that I see, the treatment programs that I see, I see people thriving today who would not have 20 years ago. That gives me so much enthusiasm and hope.

My own journey, I was 39 when I was diagnosed. I was relatively young, and it did come because I went and had a mammogram because my mother had just been diagnosed and it scared me to death. We went on this journey together, which was a pretty remarkable mother-daughter experience, not necessarily one we would’ve hoped for, but has made us stronger as a family as a result. I knew that it was not life-and-death because we caught it very early, but I also was at a crucible moment in my life. I had married recently and I’d married two young girls. My husband Mike, who’s the rock of my life, had two daughters. They were seven and nine at the time, and they had lost their mother. I had to promise them that I was not going to die because there was no way I was going to let them lose two mothers.

That fired me to really take care of myself, to be quite aggressive in my treatment program, and just to be there with them and forward them and ask them to do the same for me. Then I had to go to my clients because I was going to be out of my practice for a couple of weeks and then periodically during my chemotherapy treatment. I was scared to death, Ranjay. I thought I’m going to tell my clients I’m going on this journey and they’re going to leave. I mean, who wants to work with a financial advisor who’s going through health problems? What if she doesn’t live right? What happens to my financial plan?

Well, actually, the opposite happened. My clients rallied around me. They’d sent me books and prayer beads and nutritional advice and spiritual advice. They would come in and bring pink teddy bears and pink roses. What I did not realize was that, by sharing the journey that I was on, it invited other people into that journey. It made me real, and it made me more real for the journey that they were going to be on because we’re all going through stuff. The empathy and the awareness that I developed from that experience of other people’s journey is something that I carry with me today.

Ranjay Gulati:

Well, thank you so much for sharing that. Penny, as I bring this discussion together, I have a last question for you. For those of us, my students and others who’ll be listening to this, a lot of us are dealing with leading in uncertain times. It’s really hard. You’re leading in times of extreme uncertainty where you don’t know what you don’t know. There’s so much unknown, so much happening around, economic uncertainty, political uncertainty, regulatory uncertainty, political, geopolitical uncertainty. There’s a lot going on. What advice do you have for someone who wants to lead in these moments which are really challenging moments if I may say?

Penny Pennington:

I think the way that I would answer that is to look at the moment that we’re in and realize first that this is what characterizes the world that we live in, multiple crises all at the same time, and this is when leadership really, really matters. This is what you’re signing up for as a leader, but what energizes me is that I’ve also signed up for and re-sign up every day for being in a place that can make a difference.

I look at so many of those crises and I look at situations where I feel helpless. What can I possibly do to make a difference? Maybe it’s the geopolitical environment that we work in or the inequity that we might see across the world and, yes, even in our nation, and I say, “What can I possibly do?” and I say, “Well, actually, I can shine a bright light in the places where I operate every day.” It may not extend all the way around the world, but it makes this part of the world less anxious. It improves this set of lives. If I can do that from the position of leadership that I occupy and if I can create conditions for other people to feel that way and take those actions, the ripple effect of that is enormous.

What I hang my hat on and what inspires me, what helps me barrel through those hard times is just knowing that shining a bright light in any place helps brighten the world for other people. That’s my purpose. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why leadership is needed today, so come on in. The water is turbulent, sure, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Ranjay Gulati:

Penny Pennington is managing partner of Edward Jones, a financial services firm with more than 15,000 locations in cities and towns across the United States and Canada.

For more of my conversations with leaders in the business world navigating the 21st century business environment, visit my Deep Purpose website. While you’re there, you can also find out about my book titled Deep Purpose. Companies that are serious about establishing and working towards a deep purpose find that it delivers game-changing results for the workers, the shareholders and the larger society, so visit with me at deeppurpose.net.

This podcast is produced by David Shin and Stephen Smith with help from Craig McDonald and Jennifer Daniels. The theme music is by Gary Meister.

I’m Ranjay Gulati. Thanks for listening.