Whitepages CEO: How Being Open to New Opportunities Leads to Unexpected Success
By: Fitz Mullins | ExecuTalks | February 27th, 2020
In this week’s episode, we sat down with Whitepage’s CEO, Leigh McMillan. Our conversation with Leigh led us to places we didn’t anticipate talking about, but that is what makes her such a dynamic leader. Check out our three favorite takeaways below and listen to the full podcast for even more!
1) Don’t Conform to Everyone Around You
Growing up in an affluent community, Leigh realized early on that she didn’t have as much money as her peers. She candidly asked her parents one day, “are we poor?”. Her parents were quick to point out that even though they did not have as much money as some of her classmates, they lived a comfortable life. With her parent’s assurance, Leigh realized that she didn’t need to fit in and dress a certain way just because her friends did. She embraced her uniqueness and strived to maintain her distinctive qualities throughout her professional career. In doing so, she set herself apart from the competition and risen above.
2) Be Opportunistic
After graduating from the University of Washington, Leigh took the first job that was offered. She began working for the Seattle Mariners in the ticketing department and quickly took a chance in the public affairs department. While engaging with high profile fans, she found herself helping soon-to-be Senator Maria Cantwell. At the time Leigh was not interested in politics and didn’t know much about Maria Cantwell. Flash forward a few years and she was working on the Senator’s campaign race for Washington. Leigh made such an impression on Maria and her team that she received a call out of the blue one day to help run fundraising throughout the country. Even though Leigh really didn’t see herself as a political campaigner, she knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Leigh’s ability to adapt and say “yes” has allowed her to have an incredibly diverse career. Her varied background across a range of industries has helped foster the skillset she utilizes each day as the CEO of Whitepages.
3) Know Yourself and Embrace Your Strengths
A lot of us don’t really know what we want to do with our lives or even what we’re good at. On the other hand, Leigh has taken the time to dive into her innermost thoughts and try to understand what really drives her. In doing so, Leigh has learned a lot about her own strengths and weaknesses. For Leigh, being a good leader means knowing how to leverage your skills and recognizing the need to evolve. Whether it’s moving someone to a new role or seeking a fresh perspective on a project, Leigh isn’t afraid to change things up for the good of the company and her team.
Founded in 1997, Whitepages® helps individuals and small businesses contact, vet and verify people in their worlds. Each month, more than 35 million people use Whitepages identity data to get in touch with extended friends and family, confirm identities and research backgrounds. Small businesses use Whitepages to prevent fraud, contact customers and evaluate business opportunities.
If you benefited from reading this, give us a listen because Leigh shares a lot more wisdom! Just click on the "podcast" tab or search for ExecuTalks wherever you get your podcasts!