Claire has worked in the advertising industry for over 18 years working on some of both England and Australia’s most iconic brands telling their stories and returning significant commercial impact. Currently a General Manager at TBWA\Melbourne, Claire is fiercely passionate and dedicated to the sheer strength of imagination, original ideas and their power to solve big business problems including work in the areas of LGBTIQ+ and women’s financial equality.
Career & Background
What inspired you to do what you are doing now?
I was never supposed to work in advertising. My background was in the sciences. I am however more gut led than data led which wasn’t necessarily the right balance for a life of academia. I saw an advert to work at TBWA that talked about the high jumper Dick Fosbury and the fosbury flop and how he disrupted high jump with that method and I was hooked. My gut has always led me everywhere (backed up by data.)
What was your journey and where are you headed in your career right now?
Your favourite food for thought
I haven’t been at a career crossroad so haven’t read any specific books but below are 3 books that helped me with perspective:
1/ Thinking fast & slow – Daniel Kahneman – it will help you understand how you think rather than give you answers. Honesty alert – I haven’t actually finished it but regularly dip in and out as it is more like a text book.
2/ Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell (or another of his called The Tipping Point) – essentially these are about small things making a big difference
3/ Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson. This is a wonderful biography with unprecedented access following Steve Jobs until his death. He interviews hundreds of people in his life and you get a sense of his motivations and drive. A man of total control in his life, Steve Jobs wanted no control over this book and never read it so it is a genuine portrayal of brilliance and ultimately, mortality.
Podcasts / Thought Leaders
Note – These are all British podcasts but with global appeal!
1/ Desert island discs – Guests share the soundtrack of their lives and choose eight tracks, a book and a luxury to take on a desert island (that they are never coming back from)
2/ High performance – Guests from sport, music, business, arts or entertainment share lessons and non-negotiable behaviours they employ to get them to the top and keep them there.
3/ The rest is politics – Hosted by an ex-labour spin-doctor and ex-conservative MP it offers an insider’s view on politics at home and abroad, while bringing back the lost art of disagreeing agreeably.
What drives and inspires you
What are your core values?
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My boys aged 3 and 5. They never stop asking ‘Why?’
You as a Mentor
Why have you decided to become a mentor?
I didn’t have any mentors early in my career and now know the value they would have offered; the listening, the advice, the different perspectives.
What are the top 5 skills or qualities you bring to mentoring?
- Asking powerful questions
- Willing to be vulnerable