Q: What motivates you and your work?
I’m a managing partner at GCH Partners and help facilitate different types of investments, including with philanthropic organizations. I love what I do. It affords me the ability to help the world of social impact, social entrepreneurs, and new enterprises to understand how to access capital that they wouldn’t otherwise understand or be able to access. This is important because relying on donations is no longer sustainable. Particularly in a post-Bernie Madoff-world, charitable organizations need to be disciplined to develop sustainable revenue sources related to their missions. It’s now necessary for large companies to reexamine their missions and for children of philanthropists to change their perspectives to support more sustainable charitable work.
I’m motivated by my role as an active participant in this transition process. If you can help people to learn empathy and vulnerability, it can invite them to be part of something that’s greater than themselves, which can be both challenging and motivating.
Q: Do you consider yourself to be a leader, either at work or in other environments? What skills or values do you think are important in leaders?
Yes, I do consider myself to be a leader. I’ve been an entrepreneur, started companies, nonprofits, and departments within large financial institutions. Right now, I’m really building and leading in my sector. I bring leadership in terms of my values, ethics, and strategies to help others achieve goals that go beyond financial ones and that increase return on human or creative capital.
It’s important for leaders to have the ability to balance working in the world of pure profit-making while also making the world a better place. Being able to translate between those two worlds to make a sustainable future is important. My approach to leadership has been influenced by Bill Drayton, the founder of Ashoka and a friend; the Dalai Lama; and a number of government officials across the United States, Asia, and Europe, who have successful incorporated a global perspective into their work on trade and investment.
Q: What organizations or networks do you participate with outside of your company? Why are you involved with them?
I’m an advisor to Ashoka, Charity Miles, and several other social entrepreneurial organizations. In general, it’s really great to be connected to communities and networks whose members are interested in making the world a better place, have big hearts, and seek practical approaches to big problems. These communities can be very important for participants to learn about leadership, empathy and integrity, and how to bring those qualities into their daily life and career.
Q: How do you think these networks could be more effective in achieving their goals?
I think with both millennial-only groups and networks with older participants, it’s important to connect the disconnected and focus on creating that connective tissue across generations. Some of these communities don’t have enough cross-representation to bridge that disconnect. A lot of great ideas are created and shared among millennials, but they’re not integrated or adopted. For older generations or in more established organizations, it can be hard to harness the energy, ideas, and talent of millennials without upsetting stakeholders. I think it’s important for both groups to focus on being more collaborative and connected.
Q: What are some of the values that underlie your decision-making, particularly in terms of what jobs to pursue or organizations to be involved with?
Education is very important, powerful value that is rarely talked about. I believe that in combination with empathy and passion, it can drive innovation. I value having a big heart. It’s important for me to develop intimate relationships with clients or investors to able to share information or ideas and to be impactful.
*Article published by ImpactSquared.com. Interview by Abby Mayerhoff August 21, 2016. Reference: http://www.impactsquared.com/single-post/2016/08/21/A-Conversation-with-Gregory-Hill