Women In Media: Leo Burnett Melbourne CEO, Melinda Geertz

Women In Media: Leo Burnett Melbourne CEO, Melinda Geertz
SHARE
THIS



We know you’re loving B&Ts daily Women In Media segments – interviews with our industry’s most exceptional females. Today we talk to the boss of Leo Burnett Melbourne, the fabulous Melinda Geertz, who talks her farming background, her faults and tips to the top…

What or who inspired you to go into the industry?
The truth is, it was more happenstance than inspiration. I graduated with a history degree from Northwestern University in Chicago at a time when there was 11 per cent unemployment in the U.S, the highest level since the Depression. I wasn’t so much inspired by anyone at the time as desperate to find a job. And along came Leo Burnett with an open door and commitment to hire 35 trainees every year. It seemed like a perfect world for me: a mix of business and creativity. And I made the cut. I consider myself very lucky.

If you weren’t doing this particular job, what would you be doing?
I grew up on a farm, so that’s always a part of me but I don’t think farming is my calling! I’m interested in lots of things, which is probably why I was drawn to this industry in the first place. The joy of my job is that I touch so many companies and organisations in different sectors and I bounce between the creative and commercial world. That feels like many jobs in one.

How do you define leadership?
I don’t feel like I’ve ever really followed the “corporate” rules of leadership. I mostly rely on my instinct and common sense. I place a lot of value around creating clarity of purpose – what are we trying to do here? – and making sure everyone feels connected to that purpose. And, without a doubt, creating an environment – physically and emotionally – that is supportive and encourages creative problem solving is what I care about most. Some people refer to culture as “the smell of the place”, and you can’t concoct that.

What makes you tick and go that extra mile?
I grew up in a big family, and never really had any space of my own. So it’s probably no surprise that I thrive on collaboration. I get so much motivation and inspiration from the talented, creative people around me. And while it feels good to achieve on my own, it feels even better when we achieve as a group.

What five words would your staff use to describe you?
Not sure about this one. On a good day, I think they’d say I’m open, motivating and engaged. On a bad day, they’d say I’m a bit too impatient. I also have that irritating tendency to see the possibility for everything to be better…always. The journey is far more interesting to me than the destination.

Proudest career moment/achievement?
Winning the Grand Prix for Good at Cannes for our beautiful work for SCOPE (‘See the Person’) was pretty special. One of my sisters has Down Syndrome, so it touched me in a very big way.

What advice would you give a female graduate or a newbie contemplating a career in the media/advertising/marketing industry?
My counsel is pretty basic. If you want to be good at something, you have to work hard. But if all you’re doing is working, you need to re-think. Don’t confuse long hours with achievement. Be sure you make time for all the other things you enjoy doing. It will actually make you better at what you do. It’s true. And it will most certainly make you happier. A few words of wisdom for young women: Get your hand up! Modesty is beautiful, but don’t let it hold you back. And be confident in the different style of leadership that you bring to an organisation. Embrace your ‘inner collaborator’ and use it.

What’s your ultimate career goal?
I’m good at getting other people to articulate their goals, but not so good at it myself. I’ve never had a concrete career goal, and perhaps it’s a bit late to start. But I can say that I love what I’m doing, and as long as I’m growing and achieving and working with interesting, dynamic people, I’m feeling good about my career. Work is a big part of life, so being happy and stimulated is what’s important to me.

And make sure you enter our Women in Media Awards, or nominate a colleague, here!

Sponsor-bar

Latest News

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage
  • Media

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage

YouTube EXTRA Gum has launched EXTRA Support Acts, a program created to support Australia’s up and coming musicians by transforming pre-roll ads on YouTube into a digital support stage. It has been created in partnership with Clemenger BBDO Sydney as creative lead, Universal Music Australia and BRING for talent and music strategy and content, MediaCom and YouTube. The […]

Damien Terakes Joins Havas Media As Client Services Director
  • Advertising
  • Media

Damien Terakes Joins Havas Media As Client Services Director

Havas Media Group has appointed Damien Terakes as client services director. Following multiple new business wins and continued agency growth, the position will see Terakes take on a senior management role across all Havas Media clients in Australia as well as several global accounts. Terakes has built an impressive media career, with more than 30 years’ experience as […]

Cindy Gallop’s Six Principles For Creating Experiences That Connect
  • Marketing

Cindy Gallop’s Six Principles For Creating Experiences That Connect

The inimitable Cindy Gallop returned to Australia this week to give a high-energy, 15-minute presentation at Adobe Symposium on the six key principles for creating experiences that connect.  According to the founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn,  these principles also apply to successful relationships in life as much as business. Without further ado, here they are (in her own words): […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings
  • Media

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings

OMD Australia has taken the top spot for Australia’s Number 1 media agency in size, according to RECMA’s 2018 ‘Overall Activity Volume Rankings’ report released last week. Additionally, the company was named first in profile classification with a dominant profile for the 3rd consecutive year, along with vitality ranking and structure ranking. Furthermore, OMD Australia was also named […]

Former Google Exec Joins HubSpot As APAC Managing Director
  • Technology

Former Google Exec Joins HubSpot As APAC Managing Director

HubSpot has appointed Ex-Googler Shahid Nizami as MD of the Asia Pacific region. In his new role, Shahid will be responsible for HubSpot’s performance across Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and India and will be based in HubSpot’s Singapore office, working closely with the teams based in both Singapore and Sydney. Before joining HubSpot, Nizami led the […]

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team
  • Media

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team

Judging by the image, it seems Red Agency may have had no staff whatsoever prior to this hiring spree.

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey
  • Media

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey

B&T's editor coincidentally spilled honey on his shirt while typing this. And by typing, we mean copy and pasting.

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less   
  • Advertising
  • Media

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less  

Y&R wins Best&Less amid rumours the clothing shop its changing name to 'Somewhat OK&Reasonably cheap'.

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

Not one to rest on its laurels, M&C Saatchi unveils new production studio it hasn't called 'Not One To Rest On Laurels'.

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning, Melbourne-based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their clients. […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.

businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Smartly: The Future Of Martech Is Automated

Automated ad buying platform, Smartly was at the centre of the tech innovation stage at the Online Retailer conference 2018. Smartly head of ANZ Marta Bonzanini (pictured below) discussed the integral role automation plays in the future of marketers and creatives. “If an ad is not performing as well as planned, you probably have some […]

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games
  • Technology

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time […]

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo
  • Media

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo

Sphere snares Stockdale & Leggo business, which is a real estate group & not a simmer sauce as first reported on B&T.

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation
  • Technology

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation

With Aussie farmers facing so many challenges, could the answer be Blockchain technology? Ranking top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world, Aussie start-up Agunity are leading AgTech innovation. Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to […]

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci

Facebook's Carolyn Bollaci is the latest to sup at B&T's truth serum we prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine