Podcasts for CEOs: Michael Frohlich

Ogilvy UK's chief Michael Frohlich is fascinated by the inner workings of power.

by Stephen Jones
Last Updated: 18 Sep 2019

Michael Frohlich became CEO of ad giant Ogilvy UK in February 2018, replacing Annette King to oversee the British version of the company’s global restructure. 

He believes business leaders have a responsibility to be informed, which is easier said than done in today’s fast-paced world of 24 hour news, which forces us "to take in a million things at once". That’s why he turns to podcasts for his daily fix of culture, insight and politics.


"My first recommendation is For The Many, a podcast from LBC. Phone-in host Iain Dale has collaborated with former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to bring a new lens on each week’s top political stories. 

"Not only does it keep its audience informed of the latest political developments in the UK, the episodes offer a fresh, debated perspective. We’re always quick to think everything consists of two straightforward sides, but an often uncomfortable truth is there’s grey in many decisions, political or otherwise. 

"There’s a political theme in what I find most interesting in podcasts. Can He Do That from the Washington Post is an excellent examination on the nuances, limitations and liberations of power. The episodes are never longer than 30 minutes, but they are incredibly timely, rooted in the key question of where are lines drawn in political power, especially in the current US administration. 

"Understanding your power, regardless of which field you operate in, is an invaluable leadership lesson. 

"The West Wing TV series was particularly fascinating to me as I moved through my career. It was the perfect combination of political intrigue, everchanging team dynamics, making tough calls, all while trying to survive professionally and personally in the unforgiving Washington, D.C. environment. 

"Sadly, the show ended many years ago, but there’s the West Wing Weekly podcast, which not only brings renewed behind the scenes anecdotes to the front, but also serves to profile many of the people impacting politics today. 

"In leadership, there’s a balance between the intensely serious nature of steering the course of a business, and remembering the importance of humour. Which is why, when I’m in need of some comic relief, My Dad Wrote a Porno, the hit comedy podcast which chronicles a hilarious amateur novel and is hosted by Jamie Morton, James Cooper and Alice Levine, hits the spot."


Image credit: Courtesy of Ogilvy

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