TheBridge profile: Hillary Lehr
Name: Hillary Lehr
Current city: San Francisco, CA
Current job: Vice President, Client Success at Hustle
Past job: Senior Strategist, Brigade; Campaigns Manager, Causes.com; Nonprofit Organizer/Road Warrior
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Homage, tucked in an alley off Kearny Street in SF
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. Seek first to understand… do your research before making an ask. When working with busy nonprofits and candidates, it is essential to demonstrate all that empathy upfront when asking for precious time. Craft thoughtful, low-jargon proposals that get to the point of your value prop.
Q. Job advice in three words? Results speak loudest.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? It’s always been about relationships. Successful campaigns often share a common core strength: relationship-based organizing. Hustle isn’t reinventing the wheel here, rather we are providing the most efficient method for leaders and organizers have those relationship-building, personalized conversations at a scale that wasn’t previously feasible. I find the humanizing element of peer-to-peer text conversations deeply refreshing. Plus, those high reply rates are challenging us on the political side to be more responsive and authentic in our messaging, which is great.
Q. What can Silicon Valley (innovators) teach DC (regulators)? Listen more closely to your ‘users’ (in this case, voters) and adapt to reflect their voices. Pre-baked platforms aren’t optimized to reflect how everyday voters talk about real issues. In the same vein of how user research in tech provides a frank user voice, I’m always struck by the intimacy and insights of replies bundled into the high response rates of peer-to-peer text conversations. It’s not only about getting a message out, but seizing opportunities to better understand and engage with voters.
Q. What can DC (regulators) teach Silicon Valley (innovators)? Representation matters. Any homogenous group of people is going to solutions-limited in some way or another. It’s worth spending the time to get the right balance of perspectives at the table in order to ultimately make the best decision. Continue striving to create ‘a more perfect union’ with tangible, actionable policies that promote diversity, inclusivity, and equity. If technology companies want to better serve a broader range of audiences, there needs to be more representation from these communities in the workplaces themselves.
Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? Sleeve-rolling.
Q: Favorite app: MixMax.
Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? Let yourself evolve. Don't try to stick to a rigid career map, because you never know what your exact path will be. Everything you experience now, no matter what it is, will end up shaping how you uniquely lead.
Q: Morning routine? Wake up to the world’s best coffee made by my wonderful wife, catch up on slack, make sure my team is rolling with daily priorities, join an early east coast client call, then jump on muni and into another day driving Hustle up and to the right.
Q: How often do you work from home? I try to avoid WFH, the day seems to go by so much faster.
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