Human on the Inside with Marketer & Mental Health Educator Poppy Griffiths

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5 min read

We’re big believers in the power of human skills. But don’t just take our word for it – the evidence for excellence powered by human (‘soft’) skills is everywhere! In this engaging, ever-enlightening series, we speak with industry leaders, innovators and game-changers to learn a little about their personal career journeys, and how human-led strategies, philosophies and cultures are proving a force for good in their working worlds …

Welcome Poppy, and thanks for stepping into the #SuccessIsHuman Spotlight!

You’ve worked at global Australian company Swisse Wellness for many years. A wellness company dedicated to making people healthier and happier. You’ve held diverse roles in Brand Marketing & Communications, eCommerce, Workplace Wellness, & Strategic Partnerships.

In 1 sentence (ok, we’ll give you 3), what have these roles entailed?

My journey with Swisse has been very rewarding. Diverse roles have gifted me opportunities to be a brand custodian and storyteller for an iconic Australian brand, to develop new and innovative health products, and launch memorable creative campaigns. I’ve led strategic partnerships which have elevated the growth of our online business and opened new business revenue streams. Cross functional teamwork at Swisse is strong and celebrated, and together we have developed several preventative health education initiatives; including a national Swisse Wellness Survey and Ride to Work Scheme. Particularly rewarding has been my involvement in Workplace Wellness for our Swisse teams; developing the future strategy and initiative roadmap to better support our people’s high performance and wellbeing.

You’ve been with Swisse for over 4 years, and prior to this, had impressive tenures with Jetstar and Ogilvy. You’re also a Community Ambassador for R U OK? – a role you’ve held for over 10 years now. How does all this work speak to your personal purpose and what drives you as an individual?

I’m definitely at my happiest when my work and life is centred on meaningful outcomes. My greatest moments of success and joy, inside and outside of work and regardless of job role, have come when my natural strengths, technical skills and core values are aligned. I am a high energy, positive person by nature – I love people and deeply value building strong relationships. I’m in my happy flow when I’m learning, being creative and making impactful things happen. I’d say my personal purpose stems from wanting to create positive outcomes for others. I think we can all find our purpose when we combine not just our learned skills, but also our values, strengths, and passions.

Tell us a little about your personal education pathway/s – what led you to where you are now? How closely do your formal qualifications match your current career?

I’m not sure my path is linear, but the dots are joining and continue to evolve…that’s the best part I think. I have a love of learning but also a very practical hands-on job application so can make sense of the ‘so what’. I began with an undergraduate in Psychology from Melbourne University and a deep passion for understanding human behaviour. I spent the next 6 years working in marketing and communications in the advertising and airline industries.

My love for preventative health and helping people led me to the last 9 years working with numerous national health not for profit’s and Swisse Wellness. In that time I have also completed a postgraduate at Monash Business School in Masters of Management. I have worked in mental health advocacy and education for the last 10 years with many businesses, universities & communities.

I am currently undertaking my coaching qualification with the Neuroleadership Institute as I embark on my own business centred in high performance coaching, to support individuals and businesses to achieve their potential and happiness. I do quietly champion a non-linear path, it can feel uncomfortable at times, but the doors are open to limitless life and career opportunities.

If you could share one piece of career advice to your 21 year old self it would be …

One semi-long list I’d give myself at 21,31,41,51…you get it!
1. You are worthy and enough just as you are. If happiness isn’t here today, it’s hard to find any day.
2. Surround yourself with good, kind, talented people and ask a heap of questions.
3. Plan for the future, be ambitious and work hard, but don’t forget to allow the freedom for flex and fun.
3. Career goals…begin with your core values, what you are naturally good at, and finally what lights you up, only then go about finding your ideal job.

Maximising the potential of individuals, communities and businesses through the power of human skills is the reason Maxme exists. Can you tell us a little about the role and / or value of human skills in your workplace right now?

I’m a firm believer that human skills are the secret to helping us thrive, in all aspects of life. Although termed ‘soft skills’, they are central to how we relate to one another, how we influence those around us, and how we show up, think and act. Swisse is a great example of a business that drives innovative and high performing teams through skill, values and mindset development. Technical skill development is always important for ongoing job growth, but even more so is our influence and mindset. Our influence is best realised when we know our values and natural strengths and letting them shine in every encounter we have. It’s also valuable to know and tap into the strengths of those we work with. Building a resilient mindset also helps us show up at our best even in challenging times. In my view, some of the best human skills to keep working on are self-awareness, communication, empathy, vulnerability plus a hunger to show up regardless of the wins or losses with an open mindset.

Self Awareness sets the critical foundation for all Maxme learning experiences. With that said … what’s your strongest trait / personal super power?

Life’s highs begin with self awareness! I love the saying ‘the most important conversations you will ever have are the ones you will have with yourself.’ In my view self awareness helps us become better humans. And with it, life feels and looks better. We have more confidence, and we are more decisive. Our communication is clearer, and we understand multiple perspectives. Personally I have strengths and values centred in relationship building and influence. I naturally enjoy bringing people together, and collectively solving challenges to make things happen. Together, we all have the horsepower to achieve and celebrate success 200 fold!

And on the flip side, what’s one human / ‘soft’ skill you’ve had to really work on improving over the course of your career

I naturally value achievement and have high energy and stamina. I enjoy being productive and getting things done well. But this can seek to sabotage me at times too, falling into the trap of hyper achievement. It’s a fine balance keeping my achievement expectations in check and avoiding burnout and frustration when I fall short. I am a work in progress! I’m aware not everyone wants to operate like me and that’s ok! I try to dial down the energy and drive sometimes, by making sure I set boundaries for myself, including switch-off time.

If you could share one piece of career advice with recent Uni graduates or candidates keen to work at a company like StudentEdge, what would it be?

Firstly, try circling back to beginning with your values, passions, and what you love doing. Once you feel clear on this, only then go find the ideal company or job whose core is centred in similar values and passions as your own. Secondly, explore intern programs. Swisse has a great intern program with annual intake. Thirdly, when it comes to job applications and interviews, be memorable. Plus be respectful but bold with your own observations of possible gaps/opportunities for growth potential where you could add value.

You’ve been granted approval to add one University graduate to your team, but have 100 applicants, all with outstanding academic results. How do you find your perfect candidate – what are you looking for?

Passion & failure. What?! Failure I hear you say. Let’s clear the elephant in the room first. When I say failure I mean a willingness to share times of setback, mistakes, or disappointments. It’s not the failure I care for, it’s hearing boldy and beautifully what an individual gained and learned from the experience. Growth mindset is so important. As for passion, it’s inspiring to see people living their values and embarking on or doing what they love. I know they will show up and give their best each day. `The technical skills are a great leg up, but showing passion and comfort by way of owning failure is A+++.

In the words of John Dewey, “education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”
What’s next on your #learning agenda?

Education IS life isn’t it?! I also love what Nelson Mandela said ‘education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world’. My own #learning agenda currently looks a bit full. I am gaining my coaching qualification with the Neuroleadership Institute & having some fun learning (and making plenty of mistakes) on how to launch a business. I am also doing a 2 month mental fitness training with Positive Intelligence to help me better manage my own mental approach to launching a business and hopefully to use it as a great tool for the benefit of others. Top of my learning list is #just-be-a-kid spending precious time without any agenda, playing, creating and learning from my 3 wonderful children.