PMP385: Capturing Kids Hearts with Flip Flippen

Flip Flippen is a New York Times best-selling author, social entrepreneur, psychotherapist, and the founder and chairman of Capturing Kids’ Hearts, one of the largest educator training and team development companies in North America. Flip and his wife Susan were named Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year, making them the first couple to ever receive this prestigious award. Their company was chosen by Texas Monthly magazine as #2 Best Companies to Work For in Texas. Flip and his team are passionate about bringing out the best in people. 

In this episode, Flip shares great takeaways on how to connect with learners, what the Capturing Kids’ Hearts process looks like in schools, and words of wisdom for leaders wanting to increase their impacts. 

Listen-in to the entire episode, here are a few highlights of what we discuss:

Raising Children – Influences of Teachers

Flip shares how he and his wife Susan have raised 20 kids together over the years. He didn’t learn his real name until 1st grade, and in 2nd grade, when his teacher announced she was assigning him to a leadership role the following year, he did not realize he was being held back as a struggling reader. Instead, he fell in love with helping younger students, and that passion has stayed with him his whole life.

A Child’s Heart

Although Flip was not emotionally close to his parents, his teachers played an enormous role in helping him believe in himself and achieve success in school and life. After graduating with his doctorate from Texas A&M, Flip began working with young men in gangs. Eventually, he began a non-profit reaching out to troubled youth, working in prisons, and helping others learn that if you have a child’s heart, you have his head.

Impacting Outcomes

Young people need skills, and they need to understand the skills involved in the subculture of jobs and professions. Eventually, Fip began teaching methods in an afterschool program. This led to the development of Caputring Kids’ Hearts which has served millions of students and thousands of campuses across the U.S.

The CKH model reduces discipline referrals, establishes social contracts for classrooms, provides stronger self-governance for students, and increases academic performance. 

Facing Today’s Issues

As we talked about current issues in education, Flip asserted that learning loss is not the biggest issue we face, discipline is the challenge. Culture is the “ground” of our schools, and curriculum and standards are the “seeds.” If we dont’ first instill the right conditions, learning will not take place.

Final Words of Wisdom

As we wrapped up the conversation, Flip shared that people only change when they have an emotionally compelling reason to change. This also applies to leaders. 

  1. What are you truly about as it relates to your role in school?
  2. How can you communicate that passion to your people?

As Flip puts it, “People are drawn to purpose.”

Listen to the entire episode for even more great takeaways. You can learn more about Flip Flippen at the Flippen Group website and explore Capturing Kids’ Hearts at

Thank you again for doing what matters!

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker