Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather

I am Chairman Emeritus ofĀ Ogilvy & Mather, and I have had the privilege of working for this agency and building brands for clients for more than 40 years.

What I find most unique about O&M is our culture. I have visited our offices all over the world and, no matter the city or country, I always feel like I'm home. We have our founder, David Ogilvy, to thank for that. He cared passionately about the kind of agency he was building. He had strong feelings about our culture, about our professionalism, about how we behaved toward our clients and toward each other. What he believed and communicated remains at the heart of our agency today.

Some of the most important moments of my career were spent with David just prior to my ascending to the role of CEO. I spent several days with David Ogilvy at Touffou, his historic home in France. I sat by the hearth of this great man and he gave me his best, most heartfelt advice. Of all the things we talked about, I remember most what he said about people. He said to me: "You can never spend too much time thinking about, worrying about, caring about your people because, at the end of the day, it's only the people who matter. Nothing else."

My favorite David Ogilvy quote is also about people: "If you always hire people who are smaller than you are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants."

Our goal continues to be to do the work that builds our clients' brands and moves their businesses. Giants will always be required for that mission.