The Power to Make a Difference
Do you fundamentally believe that every person in the world has the power to reach their full potential and, as such, holds the power to have a positive impact on their families, their communities and, ultimately, have the power to transform society? These fundamental beliefs guide the work Omidyar Network (ON) is doing.
MLT alum Chloe Fagan-Tucker thrives on helping entrepreneurs develop and implement transformative ideas, which is exactly what she does as a part of the Governance & Citizen Engagement team at Omidyar.
Here is a snapshot of Chloe’s experience with Omidyar and MLT:
Can you explain what the Omidyar Network does?
We provide capital, advice, networks and support to entrepreneurs all around the world who have a vision of how they want to make the world a better place. Through those four channels, we are able to better understand what actually works in creating positive social change.
ON is focused on five areas we believe are building blocks for thriving, stable, and open societies: Digital Identity, Education, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.
So what exactly is your role?
I am an Associate on the Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative. I invest in technology-enabled for-profit and non-profit startups and entrepreneurs who are seeking to grow a product or service that helps with creating a surer path to democracy or allowing people to better engage with democracies around them.
One of my favorite investments has been with a non-profit called Democracy Works that creates software that helps to increase voter engagement. The software is designed to support voters as they figure out where their polling location is, how to get there, or whether they are even registered to vote. If they’re not registered, it will assist them with that. It also helps voters understand what will happen once they reach their polling place — like what sort of identification they need to bring, and which questions they should be prepared to answer.
It not only supports the logistics around voting, it also helps voters understand who the candidates are and what their platforms are.
What makes you most excited about the work you are doing?
The more I engage with entrepreneurs, the more excited I get. I enjoy getting to know them, learning their stories and being by their side as they are looking to try something that’s never been done before.
These people are all superheroes in my book! I wish I had their guts. I feel like I’m the Alfred to their Batman/Batwoman in terms of helping them get the equipment, tools, advice and the capital that they need to go conquer the world. I get to help multiple Batmans/Batwomans, not just one. So I think that’s really exciting to me.
I feel like I’m the Alfred to their Batman/Batwoman in terms of helping them get the equipment, tools, advice and the capital that they need to go conquer the world.
What has been your favorite part of the job so far?
Back in March, we were in Rio de Janeiro for our team’s all-hands meeting and we’ll be gathering in London in October. Having the opportunity to get to know people from all over the world is amazing. People I consider to be real friends live in London, South Africa and Myanmar. It’s incredible to be able to say I have a friend in Myanmar!
That’s an amazing perk of the job. You have a global team and you get to hear people’s perspectives about what they’re dealing with in their countries as they do their work.
My teammates from around the world also help me think through problems and put things in the global context. I love that and it really makes me feel as if I’m a global citizen along with them.
In what ways has MLT had an impact on you and prepared you for your career success?
I like to say that I am an MLT super-user. Even when ON first reached out to me regarding the role, the first thing I did was contact my MBA Professional Development Coach, Francine. I still talk to her about once a quarter, and I completed the program back in 2014. I also regularly keep in touch with my MBA Prep Coach, Kathy.
Both women have become not only mentors but friends. They have opened up their networks to me and given me so much advice. MLT has really made me appreciate the power of the network.
At MLT, we speak a lot about the importance of feeling like you belong. What gives you that sense of belonging and what advice do you have for others who are looking for it?
Honestly, I still struggle with that. So, I’m still working on it but there are things that help me get through it.
I would advise that when you first start a new position, that you take some time to just observe. Go on a listening tour – engage with people, but listen more than you speak. Get a feel for all the different roles and functions. Figure out who the rockstars are and what success at the organization looks like. Identify those people and then spend some time observing them. What is it about the way they communicate that gets people to buy into their ideas? What is it about the way they present their analysis that helps people absorb it and understand? What is their secret sauce? Then, try to figure out what elements of that formula you already have.
Figure out who the rockstars are and what success at the organization looks like.
It’s important to highlight the traits you have that the organization values, and really showcase those attributes immediately. That’s a great way to get some early wins. Utilizing your first six-nine months as a way to just show that you’re competent, you’re capable, you’re here, you’re ready to work and you’re excited. That way, people at all levels of the organization will put their trust in you.
Eventually, you’ll be able to bring your full self to wherever you are and walk into the room, own it and feel confident because you know what success looks like in that organization. You have identified the qualities you already have that match successful employees. And, you’ve also had an opportunity to identify the aspects you need to work on to take your career to the next level.
It also helps to remember there’s no carbon copy of you. There’s nobody else who looks like you, who has your voice, or who does things the way you do them. You can carry it in a way that no one else can. Really own who you are.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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