Lily Wray on Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

February 14th, 2018

Lily Wray on Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

We're so excited for Lily Wray to speak at the 2018 Simmons Leadership Conference!

Lily Wray leads the Emerging Technology Operationalization team within Liberty Mutual’s US Consumer Markets (USCM) Transformation Office. In this role, she’s responsible for identifying, vetting, and scaling new technologies to support the company’s business priorities and strategies.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve gotten along the way?

If your next project or career move doesn’t leave you uncomfortable, you’re not stretching yourself enough. My best learning moments happen when I enter a role a little scared about the weight of responsibility that’s now upon me. However, I find that I surprise myself in exactly those moments, which builds confidence for the next challenge.

Any tips for work/life integration?

There is no one out there who can tell you what positive work/life balance will look like for you. I’ve been in numerous situations where I’ve felt self-inflicted guilt on both sides – for working too much during a challenging project, or for working too little when I needed to be at home. That balance will always look different for everyone, so you have to define what your priorities are and stick to them instead of getting worked up about the expectations of those around you.

If you could dine with anyone, past or present, with whom would you dine and what would you like to ask him or her?

I would dine with Reese Witherspoon – I admire her frank appraisal of the entertainment industry and its lack of of strong, female-driven movies/TV shows. Rather than just talk about the issue ad nauseam, she was proactive in forming her own company to offer exactly those types of movies/TV shows out to the marketplace. She identified a need, took action, and enacted a lot of positive social change along the way.

Fill in the blank. People would be surprised to know that I ____

am a tough negotiator. Throughout my academic career, I was very involved in impromptu speaking and debate. Today, I flex a variety of styles in how I collaborate across the organization and motivate my team towards our goal. However, I dig into my prior background when it comes to negotiating with vendors on contract terms and prices.

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