How I made it: featuring Lucy Miller, Managing Director at Hogarth Dubai
For our latest inspiring stories series, 'How I made it', we're interviewing the cream of the crop across all facets of communications and marketing. This is where you'll learn about how the best in the industry got to where they are today and hopefully pick up some tips along the way to help your own career progress.
Lucy Miller joined Hogarth Dubai – a marketing implementation agency and part of WPP, with clients including HSBC and Dyson – as MD in 2017. Having held client services and MD roles in marketing agencies in London, New York and Dubai for 20 years, her experience spans areas such as experiential, integrated, creative and production. Stand-out moments from her career include growing an office of Gyro (now part of the Dentsu-Aegis network) from a start-up to a team of 20 and setting up her own marketing consultancy Miller Menzies which helps agencies develop and establish a presence in the region, and provides marketing training.
We sat down with her to discuss an inspiring dad, starting the day serenely and the benefits of taking the stresses of the day out on a punch bag…
How do you start your day?
I start every day with a cup of tea in the garden at 6am. It’s quite a serene beginning but my day then turns into a crazy school run, with lots of running around. I’m normally in the office before 8 o’clock and start a fresh page of my notebook every day.
What personal attribute do you think has most helped you to succeed in your career?
Integrity. To me, that means always being honest. I’m honest with my team, my clients, the people I work with, myself. It’s about having morals. Every decision I make, I aim to be true to myself.
What keeps you sane on those crazy days?
Exercise – Whether it’s a walk on the beach or a dance class. I also used to do a lot of kickboxing, so on those really difficult days I get in front of that punch bag and give it hell. When things get tough, I think that if you can feel physically strong, it helps you to feel mentally strong.
What career advice would you give to someone who wants to make it in your industry?
Listen. I think there’s a lot of talkers in our industry, a lot of people with a lot to say. I think whether you’re a creative, a client or a planner just listen, listen, listen. It’s also worth trying to listen beyond what people are saying and trying to work out what they are thinking and what they actually want. It’s about trying to use a bit of emotional intelligence.
Describe yourself in three words
Creative. Friendly. Driven.
Who inspires you?
My dad. He was in the military and had an amazing career, rising through the ranks from the ground up to the rank of major. He just has such amazing natural leadership skills and charisma, so I’ve always looked to him for inspiration and advice at work.
What major challenges have you overcome in the course of your career?
The biggest challenge was going back to work after I had my son. I think for many women becoming a mother really changes you. It is about overcoming those challenges within yourself, in terms of your own confidence, and figuring out how you’re going to balance this little person that needs you with the demands of your job. It’s also about trying to manage that desire to stay with your child and your ambition, that passion you have to continue with your career. That’s been a challenge but I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve only really worked with companies that have supported me as a mother. Now, I work with other working mothers and I try and pass on that support, and help them find their own balance.