Leading Women
Leading Women
Mar 28, 2021
Mary Hamilton, CEO of Hugh Hamilton Wines on embracing transitions and tenacity in leadership
Play • 29 min

This episode, Shadé Zahrai interviews Mary Hamilton. Mary is the CEO of Hugh Hamilton Wines, Australia’s oldest wine family. She is also a Board Member of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association and Board Member of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation. She was also the Worldwide Business Director of McCann Erickson.


Valuable Discussion Points

(01:26) What is the story of Mary’s leadership journey?


Mary’s journey started as a little girl. She was always dressing up and pulling out pages of gorgeous Vogue magazines and holding all the ads together in special folders. This led her where she went because she went to school and she did work experience with a very specific goal in mind. She has been on quite a journey. Some of those things weren't intended and some were and everything had its purpose along the way.


(12:15) What was Mary’s main drive when she was early on in her career?


She was just really grateful to be able to learn so much from good people and to see wonderful, important brands and important campaigns just coming to fruition. She shares a story that one day, the chief executive put out a call and said, is there anybody in this business that knows anything about wine? Mary comes from a wine family, she has been around wine her whole life. The CEO was establishing a pitch team and asked her to join the team, she said yes, sure but she has got one condition. If they win the pitch, she wants to run the account.


(22:17) What important career advice did Mary receive, which was pivotal for her?


The vice chancellor of the university gave Mary career advice. She was finishing and going to be out

in the big wide world. Mary asked him for some advice on how to tackle leaving uni and going out and starting her career. And the vice chancellor asked her a really fundamental question, do you want to be organisational or do you want to be entrepreneurial?


Key Learnings

  • It’s a female thing that we often feel as though we've got to be really well rehearsed to go for stuff. It's maybe a little bit of a female curse. And it's because we've got great emotional intelligence often that we feel as though we really should be the real deal. But Mary thinks that can also be a handicap, because sometimes you get passed over because you just didn't jump into the void.
  • Mary added a fifth P to the 4Ps of marketing to the Leadership Toolbox. Aside from the 4Ps of marketing, promotion, product, price and place, Mary added people as being a fifth and important part of marketing. People is about knowing who you are, who you appeal to, what your purpose is and what you offer.


Quotable Quotes


“Some of those things weren't intended and some were. And everything's kind of, I think, had its purpose along the way.” – Mary Hamilton


“And it just made me think you don't always have to be ready to ship to be able to ship. You know, you can sometimes say, I think I've got it and I'll just go for it.” – Mary Hamilton


Important Resources and Links

If you would like to learn more about how CommBank is ensuring women are advancing their growth in business, visit https://www.commbank.com.au/women-in-focus.html.


Host of the Leading Women podcast, Shadé Zahrai helps women hack their careers to advance faster, overcome their limiting beliefs and confidently create the life they deserve. She is featured in Forbes, the New York Times, TED, Daily Mail and other media. If you’re interested in learning more about Shadé and the issues she’s currently discussing, visit https://www.shadezahrai.com


If you’re interested in connecting with Mary Hamilton or viewing her professional portfolios and achievements, visit her LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-hamilton-b8b084b


The Leading Women podcast is produced by Nicole Hatherly, recorded at RadioHub Studios with post production by Cooper Silk and Iain Wilson.

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