David Ogilvy on leadership

A few quotes on leadership from David Ogilvy.

“Great leaders are always fanatically committed to their jobs. They do not suffer from the crippling need to be universally loved. They have the guts to make unpopular decisions – including the guts to fire non-performers.”

“I do not believe that fear is a tool used by good leaders.”

“There appears to be no correlation between leadership and academic achievement.”

“Great leaders almost always exude self-confidence. They are never petty. They are never buck-passers. They pick themselves up after defeat…”

“[On men who manager great corporations] Most of them are good problem-solvers and decision-makers, but few are outstanding leaders. Some of them, far from inspiring their lieutenants, display a genius for castrating them.”


Ogilvy’s books should be required reading for anyone involved in digital marketing. If you are starting out in the industry read Confessions of an Ad Man and Ogilvy on Advertising.

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