Head of Community
Sydney — Australia
The best description of leadership I heard was from Jennifer Garvey, who argues that leadership is about how other people experience themselves in your presence, as opposed to how leaders are perceived in other people’s presence. Great leaders inspire greatness. I see it time and again in the entrepreneurs who we work with.
Where is the joy in your role?
Community development is based on the principle that when Venn diagrams of interest, expertise and people overlap, magic happens. My role is to help entrepreneurs access the networks and knowledge that they need to be successful. This makes it a creative and strategic challenge, entirely guided by the needs of our entrepreneurs. Most frequently, the joy is in seeing entrepreneurs connect over conversation and that spark of understanding that flies between the two.
Where did you learn the most in your career?
My time at Tushare (online sharing platform) and Sendle (the logistics service we built for Tushare) was an extraordinary experience. I took on roles as the Community Lead, General Manager, Head of Business Development and Head of Comms, learning on the job to build out teams and core functions with the guidance of our co-founders and the internet. While the skill development was huge because I was mostly starting from scratch in each role, what I learned more deeply, was how critical team culture is to the joy and success we get from work. I’ll be forever grateful to James, Craig and Sean for that lesson.
What have you learned about the markets Square Peg works in?
Social capital is vital to everyone’s personal and professional lives, but few people think about the way in which they operate in the system. Israel is a stunning example of how a nation can adopt the principles and drive economic and cultural progress; spending time there as part of my role is a real privilege.
What do you look for when you meet an entrepreneur?
Clear thinking is so magnetic; it aligns individuals, inspires action and provides a path from idea to actuality. When an entrepreneur outlines a clear vision, the way their industry works or their decision-making process, it draws everyone in.
What new technology do you wish you could experience again for the first time?
The first time I tried VR was surprisingly emotional – not at all like snake on Nokia 3310. Some technology just has to be experienced to be believed. When headsets are as ubiquitous and easy to use as watches, how we live, work and play will change forever.
What in your childhood made your career probable?
Ambitious friends who pushed me early. A fiery passion for underdogs. The confidence my sisters gave me. The experience of community sweeping in to support in times of need. A Tetris obsession. And I’m the middle child. But, more importantly, I grew up with access to world-class education and student loans, and was encouraged to follow my interests in social history.
What environment do you thrive in?
It is so inspiring to work in an industry where everyone is attempting to master their craft. Whether it’s the entrepreneurs we partner with, their teams or my colleagues – all of us are on an ambitious learning trajectory.
Who do you envy?
People who enjoy the final 2%.