Being Unapologetically Authentic with Milken Institute’s Katie O’Reilly

Dec 02, 2020

Do you worry about what other people think of you? Have you let your fear of judgment get in the way of leading with courage?

Research has shown that when people are their authentic selves at work, they are less likely to feel stalled in their careers, more likely to be promoted and advance in their career, and more likely to build a strong sense of trust with their employers, peers and team.

In this episode, you’ll meet Katie O’Reilly, fearless leader and Executive Director at the Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank on a mission to increase global prosperity by providing access to capital, creating jobs and improving health.

Katie shares how being unapologetically authentic helped her earn the trust and respect of powerful global leaders, lead her team of change agents, and make massive impact in the world. Katie reveals her own challenges and how she stepped into her personal power after overcoming self-doubt and fears. Katie shares her perspective on the importance of taking chances in your life and career, always learning and growing, and building and nurturing your relationship network.

In her role as Executive Director at the Milken Institute, Katie has overseen the international expansion of the Institute’s major initiatives globally. The Milken Institute convenes the world’s leading CEOs, institutional investors and government leaders for solutions-oriented dialogues about pressing social and economic challenges while also producing independent, data-driven research and crafting meaningful policy initiatives.

Katie has spent more than 15 years working with leading organizations in the NGO, philanthropic and corporate space. She began her career as a community organizer and policy analyst for the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness and served as Senior Fundraiser for United Way. Active in many organizations, Katie currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. She is co-chair of the U.S. Board of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She also serves on the advisory board of Pocket Patient, a patient-centered, digital medical platform for the developing world. 

Highlights:

[03:33] Katie’s story
[08:26] Connecting in your career and finding your place
[23:39] Advice on being your authentic self in difficult situations
[25:59] Overcoming imposter syndrome
[28:59] Practical tips for business development
[30:02] How to open the conversation
[33:11] Nurturing your relationships
[36:01] Common traits of exceptional leaders
[40:13] Most exciting trends for the future
[44:05] Biggest barriers that hold women back
[47:32] Katie’s success habit

Quotes:

“When you're thinking about your career, try not to think TOO big, because it's about the day to day and what you enjoy doing every day.” – Katie O’Reilly

“The best advice for your career is to be curious.” – Katie O’Reilly

“You have to be vulnerable to be a great leader.” – Katie O’Reilly

“Exceptional leaders do not want to be the smartest person in the room.” – Katie O’Reilly 

About Katie O’Reilly:

Kathryn (Katie) O'Reilly is an Executive Director at the Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in Washington D.C., London, and Singapore. The Institute’s mission is to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. The Institute convenes the world’s leading CEOs, institutional investors and government leaders for solutions-oriented dialogues about pressing social and economic challenges while also producing independent, data-driven research and crafting meaningful policy initiatives. 

Since joining the Institute in 2007, O’Reilly has overseen the international expansion of the Institute’s major initiatives and leads teams engaged in relationship management and program development globally. More specifically, she creates strategies for engaging in the work of the Milken Institute for a global network of supporters including financial institutions, corporations, foundations and individual philanthropists. In the area of program development, O’Reilly fosters collaborations across a variety of topics including capital market development, medical philanthropy, disease research and capital access. From Financial Innovations Labs to conference panels and workshops, O’Reilly leads efforts which bring together leaders from different sectors and regions to design and implement market-based solutions to global challenges.

She has spent more than 15 years working with leading organizations in the NGO, philanthropic and corporate space on crafting partnerships while also helping companies and individuals leverage their philanthropic investments. She began her career as a community organizer and policy analyst for the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness and served as Senior Fundraiser for United Way. Active in many organizations, O'Reilly currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Fund to End  Modern Slavery, which coordinates a global strategy to permanently dismantle slavery systems and is co-chair of the U.S. Board of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the largest child health research institute in Australia and one of the top three worldwide. She also serves on the advisory board of Pocket Patient, a patient-centered, digital medical platform for the developing world. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and served as an Americorps volunteer for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. 

Links: 

LinkedIn: kathryn-o-reilly-2b57894

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