Beyond High Street

Lisa Dallmer: Business Builder, Technology & Financial Services Leader

September 5, 2018

I have talked to some wonderful people on this podcast, but it is just a bit sweeter when you can reconnect with a friend from your college days. Lisa and I have been friends for more than 20 years (really almost 30), and it’s been incredible to watch her career blossom. And frankly, she has crushed it over the past few decades. And now she provides a unique podcast perspective as she is between jobs – something not many would be open to talk about. You will love her story about being called the wrong name repeatedly at the Miami job fair and years later, her cold call to a CEO. Both ended with jobs. She has a thirst to learn and spends time in the pod discussing inspiration, the need of space to think and how to understand signals of communication.


Podcast Notes:

“Ask for what you want and you might just get it”

Inspiration comes from learning.

  • Lisa credits her inspiration to always wanting to learn and being on the learning curve. Lisa believes learning is where real growth comes from and it’s best to learn by doing.

Sometimes cold calling a CEO works...

  • Lisa cold called to the CEO of a company after leaving a technology start-up. She gave pitch and the CEO said sure. This lead back to her continuous need to learn and did this through reading, talking and taking in as much she could.

The importance of having a  “figure it out” mindset.

  • If you have a figure it out spirit, you can get a lot of things done

    • Lisa spent a semester at the London School of Economics and wanted to challenge herself to learn French. She did and credits this mindset to how she really grew as a person personally and professionally.
  • It is crucial to learn how to have the ability to adapt, change and have the ability understand all signals of communication, especially when traveling abroad.

Understand what’s said and what wasn’t said.

  • When you understand the signals of communication, it’s most important to realize what you miss

    • You can pick up on this and realize how decisions are still made
  • This is important to understand when being leader and role model
    • Example: when a leader announces a promotion, all employees read into what is said, but also what is not said. Be careful.

Miami University is full of opportunity.

  • Opportunities are there and you just have to recognize it and reach out and grab it
  • Miami gave Lisa the confidence that she can ask for what she wants and this ability has helped her succeed in her career

Ask for what you want.

  • Ask for what you want

    • Example: Lisa was attending the career fair at Millet Hall and walked up to a recruiter, who kept calling her the wrong name. She told the recruiter she wanted to apply for the investment banking internship and the recruiter told her they only hire Ivy League students for that internship, all while calling her the wrong name. Lisa corrected her name to the recruiter and walked away saying she was only interested in the investment banking internship. A month later, the recruiter called her to tell her she was accepted to move forward to phone interviews for the investment banking group. Lisa ended up getting the internship and is a great example of asking for what you want.
  • Don’t expect your school or employer to just put what you want on the silver platter for you, you need to tell them

It’s good to take a step back and reflect on what you’re doing.

  • Lisa left her job because she realized she was starting to plateau and she wasn’t sure it was what she wanted to be on career path wise. Lisa wanted to step away from work in order to really reflect on what she wants to do next. Continuing with always wanting to learn, Lisa wants to challenge herself and immerse herself in a steep learning curve.

So, what’s next for Lisa?

  • Lisa is interested in artificial intelligence and how we are applying it to other industries. It is a gamechanger for how we can use data and predictive modeling to make better decisions to help consumers.

It’s important to recharge.

  • Step away from work and dedicate time to yourself.

    • Lisa decided to make a plan where her kids would go on a new vacation to a new location and try foods and different cultures once a month. It’s invites the space to think, as well as ushering in great adventures.
    • When creating the space to think, Lisa exercises more, sleeps better, and relishes the time.

Where can you find the space to recharge?

  • So many executives are go, go, go, and multitasking.

    • Initially, Lisa didn’t create the space to think in any of last jobs.
    • She recognizes this as failure to herself and family and now is working hard on creating deliberate tools to create the space to think. Example: walking to work instead of commuting where you can just think, free from distractions.

Lisa’s advice to young Miami University professionals.

  • Don’t be so set on having a game plan that you lose other opportunities that come your way
  • Experiment with different careers and roles
  • Be a risk taker
  • Your first five years of your career will be the most important because this is where you learn what you’re good at and what you think to do. It’s important to get a understanding and a synthesis of that to get a robust view of that
  • Try a lot of things and don’t be afraid to do that when you get older
  • Always try to keep yourself in change agent mode and risk-taking mode