Charlotte Beers Profile

With a record of success in marketing so impressive that she was invited to serve as Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs under Secretary of State Colin Powell, with responsibility for bringing Brand America to the world, Charlotte Beers has been named the most powerful woman in advertising and the Queen of Madison Avenue. She revolutionized major advertising campaigns by employing her mantra of the difference between a product and brand. She has appeared on the cover of Fortune and BusinessWeek and is regarded as one of the most powerful women in America.

Charlotte’s extraordinary career in advertising began at J.Walter Thompson Advertising, where she rose to become the firm’s first-ever female Senior Vice President. She then moved on to Tatham-Laird & Kudner as CEO, tripling its billings and attracting many major accounts. She was then invited to take up post as Chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a multinational advertising agency with 8000 employees and a $5.4 billion turnover. In just 5 years she had increased that turnover to $7.5 billion, a success which has led to the case study “Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy” becoming a standard text at Harvard Business School and many other prestigious institutions.

For her service in bringing Brand America to the world Charlotte was honored by the State Department with their highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. She has also gained, amongst many other accolades, the Yale School of Management “Legend in Leadership Award”, the Sara Lee Frontrunner Award, the prestigious Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications and been named as one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year.” She is an inductee of the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Charlotte is a member of the Board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and presents seminars around the world on “The X Factor,” teaching women how to take charge and gain power in their industries (X representing women’s leadership potential).

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    Born in Texas, Charlotte Beers has combined her business insight with an innate Southern charm to become highly successful in the competitive world of advertising and marketing, which in turn took her on to the position of Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs reporting to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Charlotte was named, “the most powerful woman in advertising” and was called, “the queen of Madison Avenue.” Featured on the cover of Fortune and Business Week as one of the most powerful women in America, her mantra of the difference between products and brands revolutionized major ad campaigns, bringing unprecedented success to her clients and the advertising agencies she managed.

    Charlotte began her career in advertising as an account executive at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, becoming the first female Senior Vice President in the firm’s history. From J. Walter Thompson, Charlotte was called to bring her skills as a turnaround agent to Tatham-Laird & Kudner as CEO. During her time as Tatham’s CEO, their billings tripled and major accounts were brought under the company’s umbrella. Her success led her to her next position as Chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a $5.4 billion, 8,000-employee, multinational advertising agency. In her five years with the firm, billings increased by $2 billion. Harvard Business School and many other universities still teach this best-selling case study on leadership titled “Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy.”

    From 2001 to 2003, she served as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, taking on the task of bringing Brand America to the world, with special focus on the Middle East. For her service, Charlotte was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the State Department’s highest honor.

    Charlotte’s additional accolades include the, “Legend in Leadership Award” from the Yale School of Management, being named one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year,” the Sara Lee Frontrunner Award and the esteemed Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications. Charlotte was also inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2009.

    Charlotte currently serves on the Board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and conducts seminars throughout Europe and the United States called, “The X Factor,” “X” representing the potential of women to lead. The workshops have given women the tools to take charge, find pride and power at work, and to learn to never miss a moment to lead in the many industries they represent.

Charlotte Beers Speaking Videos

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Charlotte Beers's Speech Descriptions

Charlotte Beers, the legendary advertising exec and former chairman of both J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, leads a dynamic session filled with strategies that will give women the insight and vision to break into the leadership circle. With gathered lessons from her workshops and personal anecdotes from her own successful career, Beers reveals shortcuts that help women assess not only what they have to offer, but also the steps to successfully present their unique qualities.

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Books by Charlotte Beers:

I'd Rather Be In Charge

I’d Rather Be in Charge
Throughout her illustrious career, Charlotte Beers has been a CEO, a Chairman, an Undersecretary of State, and the first woman to appear on the cover of Fortune magazine. But none of those titles compare to what Charlotte is called today: Teacher, addressing women across the United States and Europe about breaking into the inner circle of decision-making, in what she calls, “the era of forging ahead for women.”

Now, Charlotte is sharing her extensive knowledge and experience in I’d Rather Be in Charge, providing concrete, step-by-step solutions to the serious issues facing working women today: Though exceptionally qualified, willing, and ready for the challenge, women are not yet in positions of influence and leadership in many of the industries they represent.

Based on wisdom Charlotte has gained on her journey from a brand management position at Uncle Ben’s Rice, to Chairman of two worldwide advertising agencies, to Undersecretary of State, I’d Rather Be in Charge offers sophisticated guidance from an inside source who has been in the trenches.

Charlotte provides lessons ranging from how to know yourself to managing confrontational situations. Part personal history, part pragmatic guide, I’d Rather Be in Charge gives women the tools they need to gain a level of self-belief that will help them succeed in the modern workplace. Charlotte believes that women need to explore what really makes them tick and learn to present this knowledge in a persuasive fashion as they move up the ladder. I’d Rather Be in Charge offers a blueprint of elegant solutions for making this climb to being in charge and finding meaning and joy at work.

Told in an intimate and honest style, I’d Rather Be in Charge shares Charlotte’s own examples as well as stories from her students and lessons she has learned from her peers such as Martha Stewart and Suze Orman. By chronicling both successes and mistakes, Charlotte illustrates the universal message that finding your own personal style of leadership is the only way to take charge in the ever-evolving workplace of today.

I’d Rather Be in Charge is a breakthrough book, a master class for women who are ready to learn from a legendary business leader how to shatter the glass ceiling, reach the corner office, and—above all—develop their highest self in the workplace and beyond.

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