How To Be Like Olivia Pope (Her lessons on style and work)

From the pilot episode in 2012, I have been a loyal and faithful “Scandal” fan. Now there are times I have been critical of the show. Like how does the President get shot in the head then two episodes later he’s walking and talking? But overall it has been one of my favorite shows. I mainly watch the show because actress Kerry Washington plays the main character so well. This may sound weird but in a lot of situations, I think to myself: What would Olivia Pope do? She’s taught me to lead with the best version of myself.

Olivia Pope is the ultimate stylish badass professional. Yes, she has character flaws and her plethora of personal issues, but you can’t deny she is a top-notch worker. Olivia handles every situation maturely and creatively whether in the White House or office. She’s always one (or multiple) steps ahead and at the end of the day she handles everything.

So even if you’ve never watched the show, here’s how to be like Olivia Pope in your work and life.

Photography: AEGEAN
Photography: AEGEAN


Olivia has a team of employees called Gladiators. She could be on the verge of a mental breakdown but when something doesn’t go her way, she takes responsibility for it…always. This is an important quality to have in any work environment. Own up to things, especially if you’re a manager. Pointing fingers and deflecting blame never looks good.


In a previous post, I said being selective with what information you share really does protect and progress you. Olivia is not known for transparency. She has a strange combination of being secretive and honest. I think it’s important to not tell everyone what you’re doing, except for the people who absolutely need to know.


You don’t have to break the bank to look good, but please get your life together and get a few pieces that fit you well and at least look expensive. Whether it’s a trench coat or large leather handbag, Ms. Pope always looks like she stepped out of the Ann Taylor showroom. You take her seriously because she looks serious. She sticks to solid colors mostly and has a signature look. Develop a style of your own.


Olivia isn’t cocky. But she knows her worth and will tell you that in a heartbeat. No matter what your position or title is, you can be in control. Stay firm, stay grounded and don’t allow disrespect.


Her creative ways or the wild storylines elevate the TV show, but Olivia’s character teaches you lessons for real life. Olivia has created a successful life for herself on her own terms. She isn’t married, she doesn’t have kids and I don’t think she has a 401k. She had an abortion because it wasn’t the right time in her life to have a child. When she finally was able to be with her lover (the president) she broke up with him because she didn’t like the lifestyle. But she is passionate about her job, has a bomb apartment in D.C. and drinks good red wine. That’s goals.  


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