20 Under 40: Lauren Morehead
Education: Pepperdine University
If Lauren Griffin Morehead could choose any actress to portray her in a movie, it would be Reese Witherspoon, whom she says strikes the perfect balance between an adventurous spirit and a giving soul, traits that match up pretty well to the real deal. For example, if you scrolled through Lauren’s social media, you’d see that she’s a foodie, travel, and adventure junkie and that her family dogs are the center of her world. Professionally, you’d be impressed with how fast this 24-year-old has climbed the ranks at Gartner from an associate to a manager in her first 11 months. She considers herself lucky to have had mentors at the beginning of her corporate world career – mentorships she said helped steward her early career and instill in her a passion for helping others in the same way. “From the moment I started here, I’ve felt the genuine interest of surrounding leaders in my own life, aspirations, and well-being, and I plan to pay that forward throughout the rest of my time here and across my career,” she said. Lauren also pays it forward in her personal life, from serving on the Children’s Health One Society Board – having volunteered with the Jr. Leadership Board through high school – and on the board of directors for Students Shoulder to Shoulder, a nonprofit that partners with global nonprofits to do service work.
Q: If you could, what advice would you have for your teenage self, and why?
A: I would tell myself not to do too much, and enjoy the lack of responsibility more. I have always been a “doer” and an “over-committer” due to the gift and curse of being passionate about a lot of different things … your teenage years are a time to learn and grow and develop, beginning to flex leadership skills, but they’re also a time to simply enjoy the small things and cherish time with family and friends. That would be my advice: cherish and enjoy.
Q: If you could rent your neighbor a movie, what would it be?
A: “Father of the Bride.” They have a tight-knit family, and their granddaughters would love it.
Did You Know?
In addition to her Preston Hollow neighborhood, Griffin’s heart also belongs to East Texas, where her family ranch is, and Switzerland where she studied abroad.
Q: Where do you see yourself and/or your career 10 years from now?
A: I am passionate about M&As having come into Gartner through the acquisition of CEB, so in 10 years I’d like to be helping other organizations and leaders join their teams and achieve ROI across the transition. I would also like to have started a family with my husband, Matthew, and hope to have my joint JD-MBA. Lastly, I expect to still be involved on the Students Shoulder to Shoulder Board of Directors as well as with Children’s Health and my alma mater, Pepperdine University.
Q: What was your “lightbulb moment” that lead you to your career?
A: I was lucky to have several mentors at the beginning of my time in the corporate world that helped steward my early career, which translated into my own passion for helping to steward the careers of others. Those experiences, combined with a lightbulb moment in believing in Gartner’s work to partner with the world’s leading executives to advance and strengthen their people, processes, and technology, led me to pour into our sales people and function as a whole. From the moment I started here, I’ve felt the genuine interest of surrounding leaders in my own life, aspirations, and well-being, and I plan to pay that forward throughout the rest of my time here and across my career.
I have also become extremely passionate about “women in tech” and have been learning to code on the side to help advance my knowledge in the space!
Regarding M&A and my long term goals, being part of an acquisition early on in my career has fueled a desire to help the process for other companies, both in the short-term, day-to-day realities of such a large transition, as well as long-term as you think about ensuring investments are both sound and well thought out.
Q: Which leadership skills were the most challenging for you to develop and why?
A: As a young leader, building credibility is crucial. When you don’t have decades of experience and technical expertise to back you up, it can be hard to 1) have a seat at the table and 2) gain followership. What you can’t make up for with time and track-record, you have to go the extra mile for to bridge the gap with building credibility through other avenues: establishing trust, earning your opportunities for input, and leading with integrity… being known as someone who delivers upon commitment and does so with quality and poise. Followership is earned through trust, dedication, and genuine relationships that transcend quantitative results.
Q: What do you love about the Park Cities or Preston Hollow community and why?
A: The Park Cities/Preston Hollow community has been my foundation since a very young age – age 6, to be exact! I would not be who I am without having been surrounded by the values of family, faith, and philanthropy that embodies each home and each resident of our community, and I am forever grateful for and proud of, the relationships I’ve built across streets and zip codes. Our neighbors lend a hand when others are in need and push each other to do more, grow, and be ‘better,’ and that’s a unique charge to have in an age of virtual relationships and ever-changing neighbors. I also love that we are a people who want to share in each other’s accomplishments and highlight families across our streets – it creates a sense of community that is unparalleled in Dallas!
Q: What is your favorite local store?
A: This is tough! So many great ones.
Q: Where is the best place in the Park Cities or Preston Hollow for a power lunch – what do you order?
A: TJ’s Seafood Fish Tacos!
Q: If there was ONE thing that you could change or improve in the community, what would it be?
A: I believe our community could be improved by having more opportunities to gather together in-person. Hosting events surrounding holidays and other causes for celebration, and rallying together as a neighborhood to fundraise for different causes – perhaps dedicating funds to one cause or nonprofit each year – would foster not only community but also impact.
Q: If someone made a movie of your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
A: This is a great question! I think it’d have to be something like “Adventure and Empathy” and I would be played by Reese Witherspoon – she strikes the perfect balance between an adventurous spirit and a giving soul.
Q: If we looked at your social media accounts, what would we learn about you?
A: You would learn that I am both a foodie and a travel/adventure junkie, and that my family’s dogs (Mallie and Miles) are the center of our world! They are very spoiled. You’d also learn that my heart belongs in East Texas and Switzerland – East Texas being where our family’s ranch and a second home is, and Switzerland being were I’ve grown the most personally as a 15-year-old high school student studying abroad and again as a college student learning the French language. Lastly, you’d learn that I’m not one to shy away from ‘cheese’ and ‘lessons learned’ as I am a big fan of embracing the deep learnings we all experience in life and helping others along the way.
Q: What, to date, has been your most impressive or rewarding accomplishment in both your professional and personal life?
A: Professionally, I have been extremely rewarded by my involvement in Students Shoulder to Shoulder, moving from being a student of their courses both abroad and stateside in global citizenship, to an extremely active alum on the Alumni Board, to a seat holder on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Early Career Committee. I will forever be invested in and passionate about SStS’s mission to develop and inspire the next generation of ethical leadership, and I’m extremely proud of the work each team member and stakeholder has done to advance the organization and resulting impact both nationally and globally! Given its profound impact in my personal life: striving to be globally and ethically minded in every interaction and consistently give back to the communities that have given so much to me, I’d also consider it my proudest personal accomplishment.