Developing people through inclusive leadership

Annabel is the Associate Head of Marketing for Journals at Oxford University Press.

It was never my intention to have a career in publishing. I started here in a temping job in 2005 and immediately I fell in love with the place—the energy, the creativity, and the passion and knowledge of the staff and of the organization as a whole. When you walk through the doors of any OUP office around the world, the thing that hits you is belonging to part of a bigger community. It almost feels like a family.

Within a month, I applied for an internal job working in education and marketing. I worked up through product marketing, institutional marketing, and corporate marketing, until I finally found my home in journals marketing heading up a team of 30. Leading that team is actually one of the things I am most passionate about. Working with such a diverse group of incredibly talented and energetic marketers is a real joy.

We value learning and collaboration and you can really see that. Not just through how we work together, but also how we play together during our work day.

My own personal brand of leadership is very much around attitude and being positive, and including and listening to the ideas and thoughts of others no matter what level in the organization they are at. For me it’s all about inclusivity. I try to be as authentic as possible, and sometimes that means that you’re not in the role of leader as you might necessarily read about in textbooks or see in films.

I’m incredibly passionate about developing people, and that’s certainly something that I’ve learnt over my years at OUP.

I think that OUP really gives you the freedom to be an authentic leader and is actively encouraged, which is hugely valuable. Everyone has something to contribute, and often the people who are a bit further away from your desk are the people who have the best ideas and can find the best solutions.