Grace Blue’s Inspirational Leaders: Three Tips from Polly Cochrane

As we continue our series of talks from inspirational leaders, we had the pleasure of hearing from Polly Cochrane. Here are three key take-outs from our conversation with Warner Bros top marketer:

  1. Migration from sector to sector builds leadership strengths

Polly’s career path is a perfect example of how migration of sector makes a better leader. From an account director in a creative agency, she moved into publishing as a marketeer, then into broadcast to head up ad sales, before becoming marketing supremo at the world of Warner Bros. Polly personifies the ‘fearless’ quality, always moving to jobs that she had no experience doing with the confidence and belief that hard work and integrity would be the keys to success.

  1. Fresh eyes bring new value

Is it a risk to move sector, both for the individual moving and the team they inherit? Polly’s view is that all businesses need to look from the other end of the telescope, using a fresh pair of eyes to bring a different logic and new strategies. In her view, always hiring from within the industry is very limiting and it also carries a much bigger risk.

  1. Create environments that stretch people

Polly believes being a good leader is about being demanding and supportive in equal measure and seeks to create environments which stretch people. She has made the decision not to have a ‘game face’, allowing her to always be an authentic leader. This means having total transparency, no hidden agenda and nothing to hide. This inspires loyalty. Polly’s advice is that people thrive in honest environments and these stimulate collaboration so they can deliver beyond their business unit.

As we reflect on the needs for our clients to find the best leaders, it’s clear we work in an ever-changing business. If you’re as fearless as Polly (or you want your next recruitment decision to be), you too can make that step-change in competitive advantage by being brave and moving (or hiring) beyond your sector.

By Tara Winstanley, Associate