Leaving Levo—What I've Learned from Millennials

Me, Sheryl Sandberg (an early Levo supporter), and Levo cofounders Caroline Ghosn and Amanda Pouchout

Me, Sheryl Sandberg (an early Levo supporter), and Levo cofounders Caroline Ghosn and Amanda Pouchout

Happy New Year! December 29th was my last day serving as Chief Leadership Officer at Levo. It’s been a life changing experience, largely because of what I’ve learned as a Gen Xer working in a company founded and run by millennials. Working at a tech startup was a challenging cultural shift from my previous employers, but years later I’m the beneficiary of our founders’ promise—to help women elevate their careers and to create lives that they’re passionate about. I’m leaving Levo on a higher note than I could have possibly imagined. And I’m proud to have contributed to the fastest growing network of millennial women leaders.

When I joined Levo in early 2013 I was a lifelong non-profit activist and leadership expert who had only worked for Baby Boomers or members of the Silent Generation in traditional workplaces. It took me three weeks to find the courage to ask our office manager, “Is there a phone here?”

“Do you mean a landline?” she replied, as if I had asked for Moses’ tablet.

“Yeah,” I confirmed sheepishly.

“No,” she answered, amused. “We don’t have those.”

I quickly learned there were exciting new things Levo did have: project management apps that fueled work transparency and productivity, yoga on Wednesdays, walls with whiteboard paint my kids were encouraged to draw on, and bosses that cared about how much sleep we got.

I used to think that a career was working 24/7—sweat, blood, and tears—for one brand. I’d negotiate a title and salary. Once I achieved a set of deliverables I’d ask for a bigger title and salary. Maybe at some point I’d move to a different brand. At some point I’d definitely retire. My career was what I did. But Levo has taught me that what you do is less important than the difference you make.

Now, my career is executing my life’s work of advancing women and girls in whatever way will achieve the most impact. In the near future that will include more public speaking, books, serving on the boards of Girls Who Code and Simmons College, working on a new venture to help women build the crew they need to #droptheball, and of course continuing to be a Levo contributor.

Over the past four years I’ve worked with some of the most creative and innovative colleagues any old-schooler could ask for. My biggest gratitude goes to Levo cofounders Caroline Ghosn and Amanda Pouchot, whose unwavering support has allowed me to fulfill my dreams. I also have to acknowledge Gina Bianchini, Fran Hauser, and Sheryl Sandberg, who invested in Levo and told me it would be a good bet. They were right. In fact, working for millennials was the best professional wager I ever made.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me in this leg of my journey to leverage women’s voices and talents. See you in the next…