Mourning Olivia Pope

For 6 years Shonda Rhimes gave me a gift that I'm forever in her debt for. She dived into her imagination and brought to life, my hero. Olivia Pope is my mentor from afar. So when she strutted off down the mall I mourned. Despite her dysfunctional relationships and her flaws the career lessons, I drew from her have shaped me and given me an ambiton I never thought I would be brave enough to puruse. 

 

1. Network

Olivia's break came when she worked as Fitz’s campaign manager a job she got because of her relationship with Cyrus and Verna. Your network is truly your net worth and the people you know give you access to closed doors people more talented can't even peek into. Get on apps like Meetup and Eventbrite, to find out where your industry events are. Use social media to create an enviable phonebook. Use LinkedIn to reach out to people.

 

2. Be better

"I am many things, stupid is not one of them."

Learn, read and then learn and read again. Practice and then learn again. I know it sounds harsh but the reality is hustle and hard work take you further.  Ask better questions. 

You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have -Eli Pope.

 

3. Trust your gut

What has your gut told you lately? I recently turned a job with a prestigious charity because my gut feeling was off. Develop a way to listen to instincts and hone in on what your inner self is saying. Ultimately when you live by your resolve you will have much more peace.

"My gut tells me everything I need to know."

 

4. Confidence 

The balls on the gladiators was epic. The Mantras would leave you in awe. It oozed confidence. Walk into a room and have a presence with substance. Whether that means listening to a song or giving yourself a mental pep talk. Find your strength and breakdown those barriers in your mind. 

"Some people have bark, some people have bite. I have both."

 

5. Collaborate

The partnership that had the biggest impact on me was with Lawyer Professor Annalise Keating. Olivia always came together and worked with other people whether it was for good or evil, collaboration was her thing. Despite being an incredible woman Olivia knew that a good team around her was her strength and she made sure her gladiators were taken care of, well sort of most of the time. If you can achieve your dreams alone then they aren't big enough. 

 

6. Make it mean something.

Wear your white hat, wave your freedom flag and wear your pink ribbon. Whatever your thing is let it mean something, volunteer, and if you are the world's busiest person donate.  Live a good life, be kind to the planet and Give something back. Plant seeds in gardens you will never walk in or admire their flowers of.

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7. Take initiative 

When Fitz and his press sectary were shot, Olivia stood up and addressed a press conference. She took on a role that wasn't hers. In fact, I’m struggling to think of a time when she failed to step up to the plate without waiting to be asked. 

 

8. Have ambition

Despite setting up Pope & Associates, very successfully I might add she left to work at the White House. The world we live in has changed, careers are winding roads and nothing is off limits. Don't be afraid to pivot, re-train, step out or start the side gig. In fact, if you look at the career path of all the gladiator's each one of them has had a stellar career. 

 

9. Be strategic Olivia Pope is one of the most effective communications professionals I've ever watched. She maximised the power of storytelling to get the message across, she knew her power to win elections and get laws changed. 

"I am very good at what I do. I am better at it than anyone else. And that is not arrogance that is a fact."

 

10. Unwind  

I'm a fan girl with my oversized wine glass. Find what allows you to decompress

Swimming laps, dancing or running whatever it was Olivia had a way to have fun zone out. We all need that time of reflection.

 

 

“You are a gladiator. Gladiators don’t run, they fight, they slay dragons, they wipe off the blood, they stitch up their wounds, and they live to fight another day”