What are the traits that set high-achieving individuals apart? In DNA of a MAKER, a podcast series by MAKERS and supported by 23andMe, Emmy award-winning journalist and E! News co-host Lilliana Vazquez interviews special guests to find out what they value the most about themselves and how these attributes have shaped who they are. Each episode begins with the prompt: What are the three to five qualities that make you successful?
Dyllan McGee, founder and CEO of MAKERS, discusses the origins of DNA of a MAKER and what individual traits make a great leader. The answer may surprise you! Plus, listen in for a special round of rapid-fire questions.
Aileen Lee is one of the most important names to know in the technology world. The founder of the venture capital firm Cowboy Ventures as well as non-profit organization All Raise, which is dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion throughout the tech industry, Lee got to the top by being a self-described over-achiever. That, along with empathy, drive and courage to overcome fears.
Erin Andrews opens up about how her competitive nature has fueled her love for her job, fitting into the male-dominated sports world and how she’s defied the public’s expectations. Overcoming personal struggles with a little help from Oprah and her Supersoul Sessions, the journalist welcomes building resiliency: “You cannot categorize events that have happened to you. But what you can control is, that event doesn't define you, at all. You learn from it and get better from the whole thing.”
Diane Guerrero, perhaps best known for her work on Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, shares her story to help others understand the plight (and positivity too!) of immigration survivors. At 34, the biggest lessons she’s learned along the way is to lead with love. Learn more about Guerrero and how she handles slights (by not taking things personally), prioritizes forgiveness and deals with perfectionism.
Gretchen Carlson isn’t afraid to go after what she deserves. It’s this courage and determination that the former Fox News host views as pivotal to her success. Above all though, Carlson, known for her pivotal role in Roger Ailes’ downfall, says that she’s a risk-taker: “To not risk is to not love, not live, not grow, not take chances, never learn. So to risk is to do everything.”
For Tarana Burke, the founder of ‘me too,’ she says the characteristics that define and drive her are her straightforwardness, which she says she got from both her mother and grandmother; decisive nature; and action-oriented approach to life that has helped her to become a healer who doesn’t “facilitate bulls***.” Burke, a champion for women, says that female solidarity, not a personal characteristic rather a societal one, is a key contributor to her work and success.
Kimberlé Crenshaw, a leading authority on civil rights and Black feminist legal thought and the force behind the #SayHerName campaign which calls attention to police violence against Black women, shares the characteristics that she believes have contributed to her overall success, including being observant, prepared and a critical thinker and her thoughts on privilege and fighting authority. The Columbia and UCLA Law School professor, who originally coined the term intersectionality, credits her “not being able to be silent and insisting on saying my peace” as having the most significant impact on her life.
Listen and subscribe to DNA of a MAKERR at Apple Podcasts or wherever you catch your favorite podcasts.
DNA of a MAKER is a Verizon Media production and supported by 23andMe. This podcast is executive produced by Elizabeth Bohnel and Dyllan McGee and produced by Stacy Jackman, Carisse Moy, Kelly Matousek, Jevon Bruh and Jeffrey Pattit. This podcast is edited by Elena Perez, Roy Hamm and Meg Metzger.
This series is funded by 23andMe. All content is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the brand.