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Laurna Woods, CEO of Beattie Communications Group

Anything is possible and dare to dream; don’t let where you’ve come from limit where you can go.  

Former journalist Laurna has spent the last quarter of a century working towards building Beattie into the UK’s leading independent integrated communications agency. Most recently she and her predominantly female leadership team have taken the agency’s award-winning blueprint global, starting with Ireland and Canada.

With her 130-strong team, she works with businesses established and emerging, British and global, across all sectors, to help them exceed their commercial goals and achieve their brand dreams.         

Laurna’s passions outside of work include running, horse riding and outdoor charity challenges.

Laurna is also a non-executive director of the Accord Hospice in Paisley, just outside Glasgow

Top tips

  • Career Progression: Never stop learning, it’s the best way to future proof yourself. Read, listen and watch. All the time. On the plane, in the car, on the bus, on the treadmill. Keep your eyes open and look for inspiration in unexpected places. Reach out to people who inspire you and be open to learning from all generations.
  • Leadership: Be strong, be brave, be genuine, be honest. Lean in when you want to lean out. Look after your great people and they will look after you. 
  • Resilience: Look after you. Eat well. Sleep well. Exercise well. Be disciplined. Rise early and switch off sensibly. Do all of this and your body and mind will be grateful and generous in return. 
  • Communication: Just do it and don’t hide behind email and social media, get out and meet real people as much as you can, but at least once a week!
  • Networking: Keep in touch with everyone you’ve ever known in business; never lose interest in people because ‘there’s nothing in it for you at the moment’. Treat networking as a must-have rather than a nice to have.     
  • Personal Brand: Investing in your own brand is essential both in helping build the profile of your business and in leading from the front. As a leader, it’s your duty to shine a light on the issues that matter to you and your business, as well as helping inspire those around you. Surround yourself with the best PR and marketing advisors and invest in media and presentation training to give you greater confidence, but above all else, be yourself and stay true to your own beliefs and values. Be bold, be brave and push yourself out of your comfort zone.    

 

Best piece of advice I have been given

Anything is possible and dare to dream; don’t let where you’ve come from limit where you can go.  

Key Advice for someone looking to progress

If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right. What’s achievable is up to you and you are the only person who can stand in your way.