What I Learned: Ellie St George-Yorke, Associate Director and Leeds Director, Definition
Ellie St George-Yorke heads the Leeds office at Definition – the public relations, communications and reputation management company with offices in Leeds, London and Dubai.
She has a wealth of experience in Marketing and Communications, having worked her way up through the ranks at Definition – previously serving as Senior Account Manager. She was also formerly in charge of communications at the Environment Agency.
At Definition – who works with international companies in the fields of health and charity, food and drink, etc. – St George-Yorke also heads the maritime division, supporting and guiding clients such as Nautilus International, the National Federation of Fishermen’s Federations and The Shipwrecked. Society of Sailors.
We discovered the lessons Ellie learned.
What daily habit or practice could you not do without?
I would love to say I hike every morning or start my day with yoga, but having a two year old means my morning routine usually involves more mess than mindfulness.
The one habit that I find really valuable and that made all the difference in the lockdown is taking the time to talk to my team. It might sound obvious, but talking to colleagues and working collaboratively is a great way to spark ideas and foster creativity on a daily basis.
What was your luckiest break?
It’s been a few years now, but when I graduated in the midst of a recession with an unrelated degree, I was turned down for more menial positions than I can remember. I finally got the chance to land an AE job at Definition – then Acceleris – which at the time was a very young agency based in Harrogate.
10 years later, I’m on the senior team at one of the top five B2B PR agencies in the country, and with the addition of new partners to our agency group last year, we are now working for clients across the country and beyond, from our offices in Leeds, London and Dubai. It just shows, everything happens for a reason!
What is your best failure?
Every time you fail, you learn something. At work it could be a location going awry or a customer leaving, or at home it could be missing a family event or even something as small as not being able to find two socks. own assorted.
It’s hard to think of a “better” failure, but as long as you’re constantly learning and moving forward, failure can be a good thing.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made, either financially or in time?
For the past year, I have been participating in the Be The Business mentorship program funded by BEIS. After being skeptical at first, I was matched with an amazing mentor who provided me with a new perspective and an invaluable neutral soundboard to help me play my part in growing the business as well as achieve my own professional ambitions.
Which book would you recommend others to read and why?
That’s 500 pages, so maybe not all, but take a look at “On My Own Side” by Dr Aziz Gazipura. It offers fantastic insight into how we enter patterns of self-criticism and how to reprogram our brains to be kinder to ourselves.
One of the mantras is to talk to yourself as if you are talking to someone you love. In a world where people often seem so quick to criticize, this is a valuable reminder to be a champion for yourself, as well as for your coworkers and friends.
What advice would you give your 21-year-old?
It doesn’t really matter, because anything I wouldn’t have listened to.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your professional life?
For me, there has been a specific moment of realization a few years in my career that you can actually be yourself at work and not have to pretend to be something that you are not.
Everyone has a different style in business, and by relaxing in my own way of building my network, developing relationships with clients and managing my team, I have been able to build confidence and inspire confidence in others to that they also develop their own styles.
Tell us about yourself who would surprise people.
I once went to a job interview and realized halfway through that I was in the wrong company. I quickly returned to reception to participate in the right job interview. I didn’t have either – not my best day!
How will the COVID crisis change work for the best?
We are already seeing the benefits of a more flexible approach. By allowing people to work according to their productivity cycles, we can harness the best of them without wasting their time and productivity sitting on a train.
While we missed the atmosphere of being in a creative space together at the office, COVID has changed attitudes towards remote meetings and Teams and Zoom meetings now being second nature, I’m sure we can go on and find a good balance when the world opens up again.
What does success look like to you?
For me, success is doing what you love, with people you love. Most of the time I think I am successful enough!