“How I Got Here 7” tasks industry leaders with telling their origin stories by answering 7 simple questions. Then we deliver those stories straight to your inbox every Thursday.  

Lisa Bradner, President, Managing Director, OMD Midwest

Lisa Bradner, President, Managing Director, OMD Midwest

A common theme of the HIGH7 has been an innate desire to embrace change.

For Lisa Bradner, the choice to lean into shifts in the industry landscape has resulted in an admirably wide-ranging resume.  From her time client-side to her stint as a Forrester analyst to helming OMD Midwest, she rides the tide by taking each new experience as an opportunity to learn.  

(It also helps that she dismisses any “doom and gloom” prognosticators, as you’ll see below.)

As a child, what was your dream job?

 I wanted to be a writer.  I was going to write novels and live on a horse farm.


What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

 Babysitting. I learned how to act like you’re in charge even if you don’t feel that way at all on the inside.

 The thing that made you excited about the industry on day one and still keeps you excited today is: 

 The rate and pace of change.  I get bored by the status quo and am unimpressed by “we’re all doomed and media is dead” predictions.  I love leaning into change, new ways of thinking and new ways of solving problems and the constantly evolving needs of our clients.  I am NEVER bored!


How would you explain what you do every day to a child? 

 My Dad always said, “Managers should manage so that workers can work.”  

 I fundamentally believe in this and that it’s something too few managers and leaders take to heart, but that I try to keep front and center.  I would tell a child that, “I try to solve problems so that the people in my office are happy and feel they are able to do their best work every day.”


Describe a key pivot or defining moment in your career that ultimately landed you where you are:

 I was a line marketer in early 2000 when blogs and RSS (remember that?) and other things were starting to happen.  I realized quickly that I either needed to accelerate my knowledge or I was going to be in industry constantly trying to catch up to what was happening. So I left the client side and went to be an analyst at Forrester.  I helped some pretty big companies write their first digital strategies and learned a lot about where the world was going and what it takes to drive institutional change through large organizations.  I also got paid to be opinionated, and that was a lot of fun.


What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever found yourself doing for work?

 On the advice of counsel I think it better not to answer that question.


Finally, the quality that makes you successful in this business is: 

 Curiosity, flexibility and a healthy dose of perfectionism.

Dick Thomas, Managing Partner, Match Marketing Group

Dick Thomas, Managing Partner, Match Marketing Group

Kat Gordon, Founder, 3% Movement

Kat Gordon, Founder, 3% Movement