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Episode 14, Michelle Spiller, Finance Director, Infomedia

  • Posted 30 Mar 2021
  • Richard Holmes
  • Podcast

Michelle Spiller is a CA PhD qualified finance professional with extensive Big 4, academic and corporate experience. Michelle is currently a Finance Director at Infomedia, a global SaaS ASX listed company. 

I know through recent discussions with Michelle that the environment and strong relationships she has built Infomedia have propelled her into an exciting personal hyper-growth phase of her career.

Underpinned by her philosophy of ‘staying true to yourself’ and ‘people before deliverables’,
Michelle finds strength in being vulnerable and leading with compassion and empathy. 

She has embraced many lessons and learnings in her journey to this point, which I feel may resonate with our listeners.

Transcript Please note that this has been transcribed by AI/Bots so there may be typos and the occasional strange things happening. Richard Holmes 0:00 Welcome to the numbers people podcast in partnership with HPR consulting a leading Sydney executive finance recruitment firm. I'm your host Richard Holmes. Richard Holmes 0:12 Today I'll be talking with Michelle speller, a CA PhD qualified finance professional with extensive Big 4, academic and corporate experience. Michelle is currently a Finance Director at Infomedia, the global SaaS ASX listed company. I know through recent discussions with Michelle that the environment and strong relationships she has built Infomedia have propelled her into an exciting personal hyper-growth phase of her career underpinned by her philosophy of "staying true to yourself" and "people before deliverables", Michelle finds strength in being vulnerable and leading with compassion and empathy. She has embraced many lessons and learnings in her journey to this point, which I feel may resonate with our listeners. Richard Holmes 0:56 Michelle, how are you? Michelle Spiller 1:00 Very well, very well. Thanks. Richard Holmes I've known Michelle for a while now. And I think her journey in life in her career is really interesting. It's a bit different from what most finance professionals go through. Michelle, would you like to tell us about your journey? Michelle Spiller Indeed, and thank you, it's an honour to be here. Look, I mean, it's no surprise that I'm originally from South Africa. And there's a company they call symbols on silk. And it's founded by a lady Linda Schneider. And what they do is they make jewellery, handmade jewellery in Cape Town. Their whole intention is to really create a design that symbolizes a message that truly resonates with the wearer. Michelle Spiller 1:46 Now, because the symbols are on silk, I've always believed that you know, because it's quite timely the kids that at some point, either when you have transformed, or you've embraced the message, or you truly are ready to let go, the Necklace would break. Now I have bought a necklace, which symbolizes simplicity. And the core of it is really just simply be who you are, trust your intuition. Trust yourself. Michelle Spiller 2:18 I had a very, very difficult conversation at work a couple of weeks ago. And as I was preparing for it, you know, I wore this necklace. And it was really a reminder to me to stay true to who I was in my approach to the situation, and how I delivered the message to make sure that I delivered it with compassion and empathy. And you know, that day the necklace broke. And, you know, so why am I sharing this with you? And I guess what I'm saying is that, when you talk about your story, you know, it's so much more deep and meaningful than simply your career path or your history. So I truly believe that every decision that I've made, you know, every opportunity has helped me discover the essence of who I am, you know, whether that be starting my career in Big Four, you know, entering the corporate world, taking a leap of faith, to pursue a PhD purely because I was so passionate about teaching, embracing my love for Pilates outside of work. And I think it's the accumulation of all these experiences that has actually led me to where I am today, you know, and that is at Infomedia working under a CFO that I am truly aligned with and in an environment that truly resonates with me. You know, so when I think of people listening, you know, whatever stage that they are I encourage people to really find out as quickly as possible, who you are. And it helps you show it to a situation at your best, you know, with nothing to prove or defend and carry yourself with a sense of humility, you know because that's when the opportunities and doors open for you. Yeah, that's great, what a great way to look at it as well. It's, it's a good example, you had to start. I think it's like, like, we talked before we started recording this just everyone's got a different journey. And your advice there about be who you are. Don't try and be someone just because yeah, your peers doing well, or perceived to be doing well. You got to you've got to be authentic and true to yourself. It's good advice, I'm sure looking at your career. Michelle, you did this PhD. Richard Holmes 4:34 Because of your passion for teaching, can you tell us more about that? Absolutely. Look, I mean, I think at the time I had just turned 50 we were you know, one of the things we did touch on earlier is having this predetermine plan and path and this was absolutely none of that. It was very unexpected. And in a way that was a good thing because, you know, I went walked into it, sort of with blind faith but the idea of Michelle Spiller 5:00 It really was because you know, from very young, I had a, you know, very, very passionate about teaching and you know, coaching and developing others. And I was at Salmat at the time, and we had just implemented an ERP system. And we're sort of, you know, delivering training across the organization. And it just kind of work that passion inside of me again, and I thought, you know, what, Michelle Spiller 5:25 better time to just dive headfirst and do it. And, you know, it was a phenomenal journey, so much less about the actual, you know, sort of qualification at the end of it, you know, don't take anything from that at all. But it was more just what I gained through that process, you know, truly getting in touch with who I was as a person and discovering so much more about myself, and just growing young, learning how to think critically, and, you know, sort of look at situations holistically as opposed to, to being quite narrow-minded, I don't think I would actually be able to work with my current CFO, if I never had that ability to, you know, kind of think critically and understand, you know, certain concepts or be able to process them. Richard Holmes 6.13 That's really interesting, isn't it? So it's kind of made you more all-round as an individual. Michelle Spiller 6.20 Absolutely. Richard Holmes 6.21 That sounds great. And that's good, I think, excuse me with that example, the fact that you took that risk as well, of doing that, and following your passion, it's something you'll you'll have with you all your life, which is, which is great. Throuhg your career Michelle, A nd who's influenced you the most, because can imagine you've worked with some pretty inspiring people along the way. Michelle Spiller 6.46 I think, you know, I've drawn inspiration from many different people, you know, for very, very different reasons. I must be honest, my husband, Brian is one of them. And, you know, I think because he's just a person who always encourages me to follow my passion or my dreams, you know, no matter how bold or risky they are. And, you know, I mentioned at the beginning that I have a love for Pilates. And, you know, I trained under a phenomenal Pilates instructor, instructor and trainer. And, you know, they, they really, really inspire me, you know, they helped me be more grounded, you know, it's helped me develop my sense of self-awareness. And it truly helps me remain connected in my mind and body, which gives me an ability to think clearly at work, you know, be more agile, adaptable to situations and just more calm and measured in my approach in dealing with people and situations. But, you know, I'd say the person that has influenced me the most, and it's, you know, in a very, very short space of time, but they've had such an instrumental part in my growth. And my journey is Richard Norton, who's my CFO at Infomedia. I think, you know, one of the things like why and most about him is his ability to tell a story. You know, he connects with people through his humour, through sharing his ideas and concepts, you know, he's a true visionary, and he has the most brilliant mind, he's genuinely, personally invested in helping everyone around him be the best that they want to be, you know, so his ideologies or ideas can, you know, they often take me on a journey, they inspire me, enlighten me, amuse me. And more often than not, you know, and it's an accelerated draw, that leaves me spinning. And I'm still very, very much working on my processing speeds to be able to keep up with him. But you know, what, I think, above all, under his leadership, I've really embraced the power of raw honesty and vulnerability. And that truly is what served as a platform for exponential personal growth, you know, such a short space of time that I've worked with him. Richard Holmes 9.01 Yeah. Isn't that interesting the way you've had the career you've had and just in the, in the last few moments of time, you've met someone like that, who's he's been such a big influence on you. It's very interesting how it works. And, and as we touched on before, Michelle a lot, it's all about the people, isn't it? It's the people you work with and connect with and share the same values and ethics, it certainly makes a difference. And so is there one thing you'd wish you'd known at the start of your career when you reflect back on, I wish I'd known that bit of advice. Michelle Spiller 9.31 Yeah, I mean, and I think it bolts off, you know exactly what you were just, you know, what do I wish I'd known I wish I had known that I should make more mistakes, you know, and will help and be more vulnerable. And, you know, we sit Yeah, and in hindsight, that sounds very, very simple. But, you know, we need to encourage ourselves to ask, you know, well, what needs to be true in order for you to operate that way. And it really is Just that sense of self-awareness, because that will enable you to find the right environment that resonates with your core, you know, and it's under that environment and seen, so the landmines Michelle Spiller 10:15 the boundaries, you know, are just broken, you know, and you can grow so fast and so quickly. And, you know, because you feel it's safe to make mistakes. Right away, you know, and as long as you're comfortable, and you learn from them, but you know, that gives you a platform, you know, like nothing else can. Richard Holmes 10:36 Yeah, that's true, isn't it? Michelle? I mean, with, like, making more mistakes, I think, the At the start of your career, it's quite horrifying to think that isn't it? Like, you know, the thought of making just one mistake is, is terrible. Michelle Spiller 10:48 But I think as we go through our careers, and as you touched on in that self-awareness, I think it kind of makes you more as a person isn't, it's about being authentic and standing up for what's right. I really love your point about that sense of alignment as well, I think we've all worked in companies where you just don't agree with the people you're working with, and where they're, where their direction is coming. And I think, whether it's good advice or not, it's probably good to get out and find a company that aligns with the values. It's, I think, you know, as a leader, as well, you know, it's on the flip side, it also applies when you're hiring people into your teams, you know, Michelle Spiller 11:25 to truly trust your guts and, and get a sense of whether you're connecting with this person, or whether they are really the right fit, you know, and you know, we talk about making mistakes, I've, I've made the mistake where, you know, I haven't trusted my gut, and you know, you hire the wrong person. And this thing niggling inside of you, you don't listen. And, and then it really turns out that there is sort of a clear disconnect and misalignment, which is not obviously beneficial for the individual or for you, or, you know, for the company. You know, so it is truly so, so important. And I know, Richard, you use to sort of, you know, I'm listening to you talking some of the videos that you do, you also always focus on, you know, finding the right culture, Michelle Spiller 12:15 you know, for for a person and for a company. And if you don't mind me asking, I guess, you know, how do you go about that? And, you know, what are the things that you look forward to making sure that I succeed? Richard Holmes 12:26 It's timely you're asking this Michelle. So I was chatting with a, we'll get around to answer in a bit, but I was chatting with the guy who owns a sales recruitment company. And so I do finance recruitment, he does sales. And he's all about the personality testing, the behavioural testing all this range of testing to really show you who the true person is, while in the in finance recruitment with culture is about it. I think for myself, it's understanding what they want in their career in their values and ethics are aligned and what they want. Because we meet some companies where it is that kind of like that cliche as it sounds like work hard play hard environment, and some and that works for some people, but for others, it just does it if you have, if you have a family and you evaluate around your family, it's not gonna work in that environment. And but it's, it's just I think, for from itself, it's really understanding where they are in the career, what you touched on, as well as self-awareness, and in just how they're gonna click people have different management styles, leadership styles, and when, when you take a brief you ask about those. And I do put a lot of importance When, when, when companies don't talk about their culture when you meet with them like the culture is a big thing. But you know, people who are people focus and treat people like themselves. And that's the thing when there isn't a set rule like people want to work in the kind of really hard places to put them put pressure on them, and others don't. So I mean, there's the work, work hard, play hard. Some people thrive in that environment, some people hate it. It's, it's, so it's really understanding where you are, where the people are in the career and what the values and ethics are, and just aligning them. But it's interesting as well, Michelle, like, and we've talked about it a couple of times on the podcast about trusting your gut, gut feelings and interesting thing like it's very rarely wrong. When when you look from a hiring point of view, you could hire maybe 100 people, you might get one wrong as a kind of ratio, but it's very rarely wrong. Remember, a quick example for you. I interviewed this lady A number of years ago, maybe 10 years ago, and she interviewed show. Well, it was like she knew everything I was going to ask, you know, everything I was going to ask her. And it was just something about this lady. It was just really bugging me. And I was like it just doesn't make sense. So anyway, I looked at her resume and actually knew a guy who worked with him a few years prior. So I called this guy up and I said, oh, look just informally completely off the record. I've met this person, what do you think of them any and he was like, stay away from her. She's the most toxic person you'll ever work with. And I was just like, I knew it. I just knew something wrong with that. That person but the science behind it like it was just that gut feeling it just didn't sit right. But it's fascinating, isn't it? But I think when it comes to interviewing candidates, it's strange, isn't it? You could interview 10 candidates, and then just one of them just keeps going up, but really good gut feeling about them. And that's, Michelle Spiller 15:22 I mean, it's the fact that you acted on that gut feeling. Like if it's there, if there's something niggling it's there for a reason, you know, push it down, you know, because of another reason or, you know, particular pressure or where you are as an organization, need for the resource, etc. It's far better to get across and to be patient and the right person will come along. Richard Holmes 15:45 Yeah. And I think, I think when we talk about gut feeling, the amount of examples you can think of where you didn't trust your gut, and you went with that person, and guess what it didn't work and in how that extrapolates and makes it even worse for the team for yourself. And you're back to square one few months down the track. And you just think God's never doing that again. But yeah, it's interesting, I think, I think in the people industry, where you're finding the right people, it's, it's hard, like, you can test people, you can do all the site testing, but even then, I know one guy, Michelle, a guy who runs a company, and he is this, it's called Hogan testing. I don't know too much about it myself. So I'm probably the wrong person to explain it. But you get put in a box. And he only ever recruits people in a certain box. So before he interviews them, you get some do these tests, if they're in the wrong box, you won't even interview. And I just think, wow, that's interesting, isn't it? But he said the people in that box have never worked. And he's quite blinkered that they've got to be in that box to meet them. Which is, which is interesting, again, because you don't want everyone the same deal. Michelle Spiller 16:46 Yeah, you have to embrace diversity boards and thinking and I guess that's taking it to another extreme where, you know, there's so many things on any given day that can influence the way you answer something or, you know, can bias you in a certain way. You know, so, yeah, I mean, I think one of the things we touched on earlier, before the podcast is really about, you know, judging people, putting them in particular boxes, you know, without really understanding, you know, the rationale behind approaching a situation or a question in a certain way. So 17:22 it's a bit extreme. Richard Holmes 17:23 It's interesting, isn't it? It's al, like, I think when someone figures it out, it's, it's, I think we've been trying to get the trend for years to figure it out. It's, everyone's got a different opinion on it, and you're obviously doing your PhD, you are academically strong, and you obviously, like learning? How do you? How do you continue to learn in order to stay on top of your all Michelle Spiller 17:48 night? It's a good question, I think the business landscape is really, really changing. Because whilst you're, you know, sort of intelligence and technical expertise are a prerequisite. It's really your behavioural and emotional intelligence, that are far more critical, you know, your ability to read situations, to influence others, you know, and, and others beyond, you know, at this point in your career, beyond the teams that directly report to you, you know, across the organization. And so I think, you know, I've reached a point in my career where whereby I learn from others, you know, whether it's a consultation with an audit partner, you know, interaction with a colleague, or simply, you know, observing someone in a meeting, or in a particular forum, and, you know, I try to draw on the skill set and expertise of the people around me, and I'm comfortable with the fact that you know, I may not be the most technically astute on a particular topic and eat different points. And, you know, I see my job, as, you know, being able to ask the right questions, think critically, you know, connect the dots, and, and, I think, process complex situations and problems in real-time, in order to bring something to the table in, in a particular interaction. But, in all honesty, you know, this is the part of my job, actually, that I'm most curious about, you know, is developing disability and changing your interactions with people and learning through all those observations and, and, you know, whilst I may understand concepts, I actually process situations and problems quite slowly. And, and you know, so my success and my learning is really going to be, you know, hinged on my ability to develop that speed and agility in my purchasing skills. So do your best to learn and to continue to learn and to be Richard Holmes 19:56 honest, and that's right, isn't it? Michelle is it's a continual thing. Isn't it? I mean, you can read these textbooks and go on these courses, but those real-life situations are sort of how do I apply this? experience? Isn't it? And, and, and with when you reflect on you and your career, I mean, what hurdles Did you personally face? And? And how did you overcome them? Michelle Spiller 20:19 Yeah, I think, you know, at one point or outside a couple of points in my career became sort of consumed and distracted by what success means to other people, you know, and, and a sort of, you know, ideal vision of success for a particular career or individual, I think it's a sad state of affairs when you get judged for making a decision, or you do face a roadblock because your career is different. Your path is not the typical career path of someone you know, you know, on progression and to be a CFO, or whatever, you know, it is that they aspire to you. And, but you know, what, I think I look back now, and I say, you know, what, I'm okay with it. You know, I'm really okay with the fact that you know, not everyone is is going to, you know, agree or align to the decisions that you've made. And, and I have no regrets, you know, I followed my passion. I've tried things, have I failed things? Absolutely. But have I learned from it? Absolutely. So I'm okay with it. Richard Holmes 21:26 Yeah. And that's, again, it's that self-awareness show, isn't it? It's, I think we talked before that we put so much pressure on ourselves when we're younger when really, it's just unnecessary, isn't it? So with, with moving to intermediate, what's the biggest area in your current role that you're most curious about? And why? Michelle Spiller 21:49 Yeah, look, I think, you know, goes back to, to what I was saying about your, your interactions with people, you know, so your ability to influence a particular outcome, or a particular person, and where I'm particularly curious is, you know, you, you grow in your career, you manage teams, you know, I'm talking beyond that you reach across the organization or with external stakeholders, and, you know, that really, really intrigues me. And I think the reason why does is that I know, I still got so much learning and growing to do in that area, Richard Holmes 22:27 just listening to you, Michelle, it is it's very people-focused, absolutely continue to improve and develop yourself. Michelle Spiller 22:33 Absolutely. Absolutely. I think, you know, your success as you grow in your career is so much less about the deliverable and so much more about the people. And, and, you know, I think, for me, where I am, and where I aspire to be, is not a particular position, you know, I could say Yes, okay, do I want to be a CFO? Do I want to be, you know, in non-executive directors on board, you know, it's less about the title or the position, you know, for me, I'd love to be at a point in my career, where I can start paying it forward, you know, everything that I've learned, you know, under, particularly under Richards, leadership and guidance, you know, to be able to impart that on other people and watch them grow, and sort of use your success for a greater purpose. And, you know, that's what intrigues me. That's what I aspire to. Richard Holmes 23:34 That's, that's fantastic, isn't it? When you're at that point where you're comfortable, where you just want to give back and watch it when you watch others succeed? Yeah, you succeed yourself. It's going back to finance. Michelle, we look, over the last few years, we've been fairly lean terms of finance, we've heard cost constraints. And if you did have the extra budget to spend in finance, or in your team, how\would you spend it? Michelle Spiller 24:03 It's such an interesting question. Because when I think about this, I can't, as a professional or leader, think about finance and oscillation, you know, always take a step back and consider the organization holistically. And you know, and I guess Whilst this probably isn't answering your question directly, what I would do is divert funds or resources to an area of the business that needs most. And, you know, at some point, or in some situations that can actually come at a cost to finance and, you know, the finance function itself can go backwards, you know, in order to support the operational growth of a business at a particular point in time, and then it makes itself art again later on. So probably a very indirect way of asked that question, but yeah, that's the way I think about it. Richard Holmes 24:59 I think I get a theme here, Michelle, Michelle, in terms of you want to help others. But it's true, it's a good way to look at it look if we had the extra budget, but that's it that that team is struggling, let's support them. And again, their success, Michelle Spiller 25:11 ultimately, you know, nurses have a purpose, it can be many critical projects, you know, that are crucial to the success and reputation of the company overall. And, you know, and we need to support the teams and the parts of the organization that are responsible for those outcomes. Because without that, you know, there is no success, there is no, we're all just a support function, you know, we're a support function for that operational side. Richard Holmes 25:41 No, it's, it's very true. And then just listening to you, Michelle, you people focus culture is a big thing, too, without a doubt what does culture mean to you? Michelle Spiller 25:52 You know, and we've touched on it, the sense of alignment and a sense of belonging, but if I could probably just give some colours to Well, what is alignment mean to me, and, you know, it really is about being connected to a common purpose or a common goal. And it's about understanding and agreeing on the value in what we do, and where we spend our time. And again, this is not considering a particular function in isolation, but the organization as a whole, and running a company with principles, you know, being conscious of the environment, aware of diversity, being customer-centric, and focused. And, and then I think, you know, above all, it goes back to people before deliverables, always, you know, in my interactions with my team, and if they were to listen to this, they'll probably, you know, smile to themselves, because they've heard me say this before, but, you know, alignment is not about appeasing, you know, myself or anyone in the organization, it's not about conceding, you know, on what you want to do, just to do what I'm asking you to do. And because then it goes back to the fact that that outcome is not good for that person or that business, because their heart's not in it. And, you know, that sort of journey and purpose doesn't truly resonate with them. And then doesn't create the culture. Richard Holmes 27:26 And I think, I think when we look at people and teams, and some roles, some teams don't work for some people, and that's fine, isn't it, we've got to get them out there that the wrong position and put them in the right position. It's, Michelle Spiller 27:43 yeah, it's so so true. Like, you know, it's being okay with the fact that a particular environment doesn't work for someone in particular, and doesn't mean that they're not good people. It just simply means it's not the right fit. And, and you touched on it, then, you know, I've had some examples within our team where you hire someone into a particular role. And, you know, the outcome is, is not as you know, sort of successful as you had envisaged it to be. But you see potential in someone, you can see that they've got something to offer, you pick them up, you put them in different environments, and, and to watch them flourish and grow. You know, it's amazing. So all about their environments. Richard Holmes 28:30 It's, it's true, isn't it. And I think I think the environment stems from the leader as well, knowing, knowing that what you just had, and when I reflect on my career, the amount of people put into leadership positions and the team have just deflated, the height the jobs have, they've had poor performance reviews, and go in and the team have never had any mentoring, development, training anything. And they're really good people, but they've just never been shown the way they've been wrong jobs. And they go in and figure it all out, get them to enjoy the roles again, and the teams are excellent. It's how it works. And it goes to your point earlier about, about that self-awareness, not just for yourself, but for your team as well. And when you reflect back, is there any recommendations that you had early in your career or to this present day, which year? Do you think you shouldn't have followed? Michelle Spiller 29:21 I mean, that's it's such a tricky one because there isn't sort of one particular, you know, thing or piece of advice that I wish I didn't follow, but I think it goes back to the point that um, you know, just not being consumed by, you know, what other people think is a success or what other people think the right career path for you is or, you know, being too afraid to make the bold decisions and, you know, there's nothing wrong with having a go at something for trying something new, you know, for breaking You know that, you know, a typical path or sort of career. Because you always gain and you learn something from it so. So whilst it's not really a recommendation I wish I hadn't followed, I think I wish I had spent less time worrying about it. And being okay with that a lot early on has been, I guess. Richard Holmes 30:21 That's it. That's, that's crazy that less time worrying and being been okay with it. It's, I remember I was, I was in my early 20s, Michelle, and one of my colleagues, he got his colleagues, one of my friends, he got this job. And he was about 2324. And he got a BMW convertible company car. And when you're in your 20s, I was like, wow, and also what how do you do that? And I was completely consumed, like, how can he that age, get that. And also, it wasn't bothered about his job was not bothered about the carrier. And I'm not that materialistic. But when I was in my early 20s, I thought, Wow, that is successful. And like, the more I got to know this guy hated his job, he obviously put a lot of salary into his car, he had that choice to do that. But it's a great interesting, like, how you're kind of more anxious about that. And, and, and not to compare yourself to other people, Michelle Spiller 31:12 it's, I think, you've got to find those select few people, you know, and it starts with your family, and the people go here, and it could branch out into your relationships within, you know, your work and outside, but, you know, the right people will always support you for the right reasons. And, you know, you've just got to remain true and connected to that, and focus on that, you know, normally without those people in your life, whatever success or you know, you've achieved means absolutely nothing because you don't have anyone to share it with. You know, so, you know, worry about the people that matter, when you feel overwhelmed. Michelle, what do you do? You talked about you pilates before, but when in the nature of your job, is this ton of pressure and demand? What do you do? What advice would you give? And she said, No, I am a little bit more in seriousness, and, you know, obviously, exercise and, and, you know, Pilates is, is a huge part of my life. And it does give me that sense of calm and helps me to feel nurtured and grounded. And, but you know what, I think overall, it goes back to if you're in the right environment, and you won't be afraid to put up your hand and, you know, shave what's on your mind, share that burden and feel, feel that whatever it is that you have to achieve, you and your team are in it together? You know, because when I reflect on this, I was thinking really hard to say, Okay, well, when was the last time I truly felt overwhelmed. And it was very hard for me to pinpoint a particular scenario. And, and I think it is because I just have, you know, that ability to see, just ask for help, you know, be vulnerable. And you know, the minute you vulnerable, and you let your guard down. And you know, there's nothing to worry about, because you have the support around you. And you've almost like offloaded and shared the burden and cleared your mind in order to tackle or deliver something. Richard Holmes 33:20 Yeah. And that's, that's a great way to look at it, isn't it? It's, I think it's Yeah, we touched on before you people tend to put too much pressure on themselves. And, and you just don't need to be. It's, it's interesting like that. And, and to close out with Shell and knowing what you know, now in your life on your career, what would you tell yourself? Michelle Spiller 33:44 You know, I think it would be building focus on building, more genuine relationships. You know, from very early on, I think, you know, when I was younger, and particularly, you know, you know, quite academic and technical, I would focus a lot on, on exactly what I've been saying is not the most important thing in this whole time, which is the deliverable or your particular outcome. And so, yeah, you know, I think I've now experienced how different your path and growth trajectory can be. And if you have the right relationships, you are honest, you, you find that environment where you can be vulnerable. And so yeah, I would focus a lot more time building the right relationships and genuine and sincere relationships from very early on. Richard Holmes 34:43 I think that's brilliant advice, isn't it? I think, I think sometimes when we're younger are a bit more flippant with the people we meet and the people we work with him. It's to have that self-awareness to keep on building the relationships as well. Hey, Michelle, I think you It's been a great guest. I think you've offered some really good insight and wisdom and advice. And I really appreciate your time. And I think your story is really interesting. And lucky, you're one of the most genuine, authentic people. I know. And I think he comes across in terms of what you do, which is, which is great. So thanks again and hopefully, we'll have you on the podcast again. 35:21 So thanks, Richard. It's Michelle Spiller 35:23 really been really an honour to be here and to have this conversation with you. Thank you. Richard Holmes 35:28 Cheers Michelle. 35:29 Thank you.
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