David Ogilvy: Reading Outside the Lines

I’m reading two books that are a bit outside my typical fare of business books: Confessions of an Advertising Man and Ogilvy on Advertising, both of them highly recommended from creative professionals, especially those in marketing and advertising circles.

I’ve definitely heard the name but have never read any of his works but apparently he’s the man when it comes to this type of stuff – a true leader and innovator in the space. In fact, he’s often been considered the “Father of Advertising” among many other monikers:

David Ogilvy, the pioneer of modern advertising and the progenitor of the modern agency business, is also one of the most famous people that the ad world has ever produced.

Oh. Wow, ok. Sure. I’ll go read some of his stuff then (that’s what I told myself). I did some Googling and found this incredible letter he once wrote about being a lousy copywriter. Incredible.

So I went and bought two of his books.

So far the books are incredible and is a great reminder of taking time to read things that don’t necessarily fall directly in your wheelhouse. I love his concepts of managing people, valuing his team’s work, and even managing clients:

We admire people who work hard, who are objective and thorough. We detest office politicians, toadies, bullies, and pompous asses. We abhor ruthlessness. The way up our ladder is open to everybody. In promoting people to do jobs, we are influenced as much by  their character as anything else.

When was the last time you read something that didn’t directly fall in-line with what you typically do? What was it specifically?

I’m enjoying these books so much I may have my team read it – imagine that.