Maddison Rawson-Webb is the Head Of Marketing & Consumer Growth at CredShare, a platform for managing all of your staff and company credentials in one place.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
If I had to summarise my career it has been about using the marketing tool kit to solve business problems.
I’ve always been focused on technologies or services that act as double-sided marketplaces (across food delivery, real estate, workforce management and more) The challenge of balancing priorities across each side of the marketplace has always kept me excited about what I was working on.
The leadership roles have been my favourite because I’ve had the opportunity to solve meaty problems for the business but also empower others to contribute to the solutions and love what they do.
Now leading Growth Marketing at a tech startup- CredShare – I’m working really closely with product design and development so I’m even getting to predict and solve business problems from the get go. I’m really loving that side of what I’m doing right now and looking forward to getting things to a stage where we can begin adding more marketers to our internal team.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I love the flexibility in working from home in that I can claim more balance in my day. Having my whole life in the one spot, and no time wasted on a commute means I can be more focused on my energies.
I’m really passionate about removing the unnecessary barriers between people and their best work and I think remote work has allowed for a lot of progress in that area. I’m keen to influence a greater push towards changes in workplace experience and am really excited about the opportunities employees and leaders will have to work in a way that is most effective for them.
For me that’s not always achievable – deadlines can crop up, or there are fires to put out – but for the most part my productive weeks are the ones where I have achieved a nice balance between deep work, relationship building, working or exercising outside and I haven’t trashed my house in the process!
A day in a week like that might see me get ready then head down the street to the local cafe to grab a coffee. I come home and make myself a smoothie and chuck on some washing before I sit down to deliver on my first chunk of work. My best deep work is in the morning so that’s usually a strategic document, a design brief or spit-balling a solution with the tech or sales teams.
Lunch is usually a walk along the river with the dog, or once or twice a week I get to pop out to lunch with a friend. The arvos are often stacked with meetings, reviewing workflows or email journeys, or WIPs on a specific improvement project.
I have a tendency to hyper-focus when I’m really enjoying a piece of work – so there are a lot of days when I’m working later than I would expect my team to – but most evenings I get the chance to head to the gym, go for a kayak or hang out with my husband before dinner.
Instead of being in an office where there are other people, I get to crank music as loud as I need to to focus OR if I get stuck on a train of thought I can bash a few bars out on the piano to reset my thinking. My dog is here with me and I can wear whatever is comfortable. It’s a great environment for me to focus on what’s important and deliver my absolute best work.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Probably answered this one in the above – but mostly it means I’m not losing daylight to commuting, I’m not spending time and effort compromising on who I am or what my needs are to fit the expectations of an office environment – and my dog is a lot happier with me around.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I grew up thinking there was some moral imperative to give 100%, 100% of the time and if you weren’t doing that at work you weren’t trying hard enough.
After struggling with burnout several times throughout my career I realised 1) that it’s just not possible and 2) that as a leader I have the opportunity to help others unlearn this thinking while still delivering work they can be proud of.
They say you can’t serve from an empty vessel, and that’s the approach I try to take with myself and with my teams. It’s a constant negotiation between work, your responsibilities to your household activities that are restorative, like seeing friends or spending time in nature, and activities that build you up like exercise and travel.
Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and creative rest are all required for you to be fit to produce great outcomes at work and I believe that good leaders create a culture that makes space for this. I won’t say that I’ve ever found a real balance across these areas – I’m always too far in one segment and it’s usually work, but it is a continuous and conscious pursuit.
Things that have worked well for me or with those I have lead:
- Leading by example – don’t push through illness. Show others that it’s ok to take the space to get well
- Recognise that employees are people FIRST. Be truly flexible around when and where their work is done. Set expectations about delivery and then allow them to meet those expectations in whatever way they can. Life happens so making them feel like they need to beg for time to go to the dentist or pick their sick kid up from school is unnecessary
- Truly value health and wellbeing. The most impactful benefit I have ever seen is a whole business paid day off each month. By giving people additional rest, you reduce unplanned absences, increase productivity and retention and see people more engaged. At the end of the day it ends up saving you money.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Following a redundancy last July I had the space to think about what I loved and what I needed to continue to be successful and the list looked something like this:
- Remote work ~4 days a week is crucial for my best work
- Get a standing desk – sitting all day is more exhausting than you think
- Book activities for the end of your day a couple of times a week. Don’t give yourself the space to sacrifice your restorative activities because you feel the need to work longer.
- Work in different environments. If my husband has to travel for work I go with him where I can. Other times we can extend a weekend away to work somewhere by the beach or with lots of trees.
- Actively look for places to show your value outside of your profession – help a neighbour, cook a meal for a friend, volunteer or join a sports team. You are not your job.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I love to read articles but struggle to make time to read books because I always feel like I should be doing something, and then if I do start reading I am easily distracted.
But when I’m travelling or on holidays I love autobiographies, because they give me insight into how other people view the world and solve the problems in front of them.
Bob Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime and Nick Offerman’s Paddle Your Own Canoe are two all-time favourites. On the topic of balance – resilience is a key piece to master so for that I’d definitely recommend The Resilience Project by Hugh Van Cuylenberg.
This is also an opportunity for me to plug the work of a dear colleague and friend and suggest that everyone should check out the Rebranding Branding podcast
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I hate emails. They’re not immediate enough, they’re always wordy and they lack emotional and social cues that would make them far more contextual. Slack is my absolute favourite thing to use in my work life because it solves those problems and helps me get things done.
It’s an odd one but I need my SodaStream – another thing that’s not always accessible in an office environment. I’m shocking at remembering to drink enough water – which funnily enough is important to staying well and avoiding burnout – having access to a steady stream of carbonated water helps me chug down more than what I need.
The F45 app is a key one – it allows me to book myself into a workout that I am largely accountable to and it removes any and all barriers because it is so easy.
Seriously though, I’m pretty flexible in my tech use – as long as you don’t make me use Microsoft anything.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
To be honest I actually don’t believe anyone has a right to work-life balance right. The wellness industry can’t fix burnout – it’s a societal problem.
Until we get a 4 day work week, fix the gender pay gap or solve the unfair distribution of unpaid household labour, then we’re always going to struggle to find balance. There are things leaders can do to address this locally but it can’t all be up to the individual.
We need to recognise that people draw and spend energy in different ways, so Mark Wahlberg’s workout regime or Elon Musk’s daily routine aren’t going to work for most people.
The only famous person who I think could potentially have something worthwhile to say is model and actress Jameela Jamil. She’s upfront about the help she has in her day, she is honest about the challenges facing women and she actively calls out the wellness industry that seeks to capitalise on the people who are struggling to find balance in their lives.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Be kind to yourself! Remember an empty vessel cannot serve. Time spent working won’t make you your best self, but time spent on yourself will make you your best at work.
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