Tinkering with OCE

📧 How to get people to ACTUALLY respond + other leadership tips

Published 20 days ago • 3 min read

Hey Changemakers,

Today marks 4 years since the wrap up of our inaugural OCE cohort.

And boy oh boy has there been a lot of learning these last 4 years for me.

Starting OCE, property management biz, and on a mission to bridging cultures. It has me thinking often about leadership…

So today, allow me to share my reflection on the leadership lessons I most wish I could pass on to the 17-year-old Lena.

And PS: 2024 cohort application is due end of this month, apply here ASAP so you don't miss out.


If you are new, welcome to OCE’s weekly newsletter curated for the ambitious youth…here are some articles you missed from previous weeks:


The Crisis That No One Is Talking About…

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Best tools for building your passion project

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All Your Questions Answered

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Leadership Tips: How to get people to ACTUALLY respond.

Ah yes, the globally-recognized list of “People who seem to never get back to you.” Starting off…

1. That potential Partner or Collaborator

2. The disappearing Investors or Donors

3. Prospective Advisors or Industry Experts

4. Recruiters or Hiring Managers

Just kiddin’, we love partnerships and collaborations. As a leader you should aim to build as many of these relationships as possible.

YET, the truth is anyone with influence gets A TON of inbound interest. To remain sane and at the top of their game, they have to cherry pick, and spend their time focused on high-value projects that align with their interest.

As a result, it’s common to encounter “ghosting” when you start a new venture as people aren’t always as responsive as you may like them to be.

Tip 1:

Things that worked for me: Reach out directly via phone, email or social media. And include a compelling reason why they want to talk to you.

For example, with my property management biz, I need to build a ton of partnerships with communities and national management companies.

To ensure they take my proposal seriously and that I come across as seasoned expert in the field, I created a website that briefly outlines my pitch.

Then over the phone, I tell the prospective partners that “I’m a seasoned manager with an established portfolio of properties and have the necessary system in place to take on vacant units at scale. The community stood out to me for XYZ reasons and I’m eager to learn if it’s a good fit.”

See how I offered a compelling proposal that they can’t refuse? You can use the same logic for your projects.

The bottom line: Sell yourself and offer a compelling proposal.

Tip 2:

Personalize your requests whenever possible.

If you don’t have an offer, then you have to be able to translate your ask into a compelling mission that aligns with your potential collaborator/donor/advisor’s interest.

Say you need support for your non-profit organization.

Do so in a short statement, include ‘WHY’ supporting your cause matters to them personally and tailor your message to resonate with their values.

Be persistence. They will almost always ask for a quick call and more info - I know from experience :)

Tip 3:

On the note of persistence, a lot of times it’s about relationship-building.

Sometimes, you need to keep pushing and following up for people to take action.

Drill that into your head, folks…

Tip 4:

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – the more no’s you get, the closer you are to a yes.

Asking questions, knowing what you want and pushing through the fear to ask for it has been at the center of my growth. As I continue to refine my questions, I get more of what I want. And the cycle repeats.

I think most things in life are a number’s game, so I try to collect “no’s” and “ghosting” like a badge of honor. Every no gets you closer to someone who will say yes.

The only caveat I’ll make here is that I try to give something in every encounter I have. If all you do is ask for things from other people, you are not aligning your karma very well. So you should always ask for what you want while keeping in mind what you can do for the other person. How can you create a virtuous cycle with your asks where everyone wins?

And now, props to the amazing OCE alumni who have been working INSANELY HARD to become builders, mission-driven changemakers and putting themselves out there asking questions – I see you, I hear you and I can’t wait to witness your transformation :)

Like what you read? Share with friends!

Add me as a contact to ensure you receive the latest newsletter in your inbox!

PS. This summer, we are going to tackle pressing global issues and drive innovation in regions where it is needed the most. Want in?

We run a summer cohort for ambitious youth (high school and undergrads) to work directly with world-class founders while learning from Silicon Valley leaders. Check out our info session recording.

You can also explore purposeful opportunities through our Impact Internship Opportunities Database.

Get Curious.


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