5 Lessons in Life & Leadership: What Ogilvy Health Has Taught Me

by Melanie Brunner

Melanie Brunner

When I first walked through the doors of Ogilvy’s NYC office more than ten years ago, I could never have imagined then all of the incredible experiences and people I’d be exposed to over the next decade. From clients who have become partners, to managers who have become mentors, to co-workers who have become friends, they’ve taught me so many valuable lessons about life and leadership. Here are just a few:

Trust is Key. Collective success depends on every person bringing their best each day and with that, comes a huge element of trust. As a leader, equally as important as trusting your team is being worthy of their trust – showing up for them, supporting them and in a nutshell, having their backs.

Sprint Uphill. Ok, so maybe not literally but the point is, don’t shy away from a challenge – tackle it head on. What may seem like an obstacle may very well be an opportunity to master a new skill, if you only commit to putting the work in. Cultivate a culture of embracing challenge and growth.

Diversify. Diversify. Diversify. Work is not the be all, end all – encourage team mates to pursue their passions, spend time with friends, play tag with their kids. Giving ourselves and our teams space to recharge and pursue interests ultimately makes us better human beings, in and out of the workplace.

Never Stop Laughing. Some of the most accomplished, C-suite leaders I’ve worked with have also been some of the funniest.  In the hustle and bustle of day to day life, it can be easy to take ourselves too seriously. Sometimes a kind word in a tense meeting or sharing a laugh makes all the difference in connecting us back to ourselves and our teammates.

Take Chances. No matter your level, there’s always room for growth. It’s never too late to expand your horizons, learn new skills or take on an assignment that pushes you beyond your comfort zone. The sky truly is the limit.

It isn’t always easy, and there will always be challenges, but applying these principles in business—and in daily life—has made all the difference for me. And, being part of a team that not only fosters but encourages these ideals just helps to remind me that I am where I’m meant to be.