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MVP Diaries - Joe Griffin

Ready for another legendary community member and MVP? Here we go. This time, we got the one and only Joe Griffin. He was one of the first people I met and aspired to because of his great mix of technical knowledge, business acumen and down-to-earth sociable personality. He sees people's potential and genuinely believes in them. That means something.


Let’s remember that after all, the MVP Diaries series started because:

  • it can be daunting sometimes, just by the strict award definition, to aspire to the award,

  • we are human after all, and anything can hit us: from imposter syndrome, not demystifying MVPs' normality, and the hardships they face navigating the same 24 hours each day,

  • people may not have the right support or mentors to explore new avenues and get their unique story heard


Say Hello to Joe Griffin


There are so many things to know about Joe, who joined the MVP Program in 2020. Four years of contributions and impact, that says a lot! He keeps busy producing content and speaking about his developer journey and Power Platform implementations.


Before we dive into his journey, let’s get an intro straight from the source:

“My name’s Joe Griffin, and I’m CEO of proMX UK, a Microsoft Inner Circle partner within the proMX group of companies. I love getting involved in the Business Applications technical community and was very fortunate to receive the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award from Microsoft in 2020 in recognition of my contributions. When I’m not blogging or tinkering, I enjoy reading, playing video games, catching up on the latest films/ TV, and learning as well as studying history.”


You can keep up with Joe on LinkedIn, X, the CRM Chap blog, or GitHub. Let’s see what made Joe’s journey into tech and the community so unique.


Origins: How did you discover your passion for technology and what was your first project?


“After leaving University, I fell into my first job as an administrator and started to work my way into IT. I first started to learn SQL Server and the SQL programming language in my spare time before getting involved in my first Dynamics CRM project as part of an internal rollout. From there, I was hooked.”


Award: What are some of the most rewarding or impactful experiences you have had during your time in the MVP program? How did they change the way you learn and interact with others?


“The interactions with community members have been the most fulfilling. The Business Applications community is indeed full of some of the most genuinely lovely and welcoming people you could meet, with plenty of opportunities to network, learn, and have a great time. Being able to share my knowledge and learn from others is the key element that keeps me continually involved in it.”


Real talk: How do you balance work and personal life? Do you ever have to deal with imposter syndrome, and how?


This is where I truly admire Joe for being concise and clear on setting his priorities in life:


“I set clear boundaries, work hard, and then play hard too. I get as much work done as possible during the working week, and then I can switch off completely during the weekend.


Video games help a lot with this kind of disconnecting, as well as occasionally travelling and holidaying in various parts of the world.”


Giving back: How do you support and uplift aspiring MVPs or Community members? How can we drive new perspectives, for example those with neurodiverse superpowers? Feel free to share your personal superpower stories.


“I'm mentoring several community members on their current MVP journey by arranging regular check-in calls and advising them on how best they can contribute to it. As part of this, I always strive to be welcoming as well as open to anyone who is approaching me. I truly think this is important in order to help broaden who is involved in the community and also as part of the wider MVP programme.”



Fun: If you had a WWE-style smackdown between 2 Microsoft products, which ones would it be and why?

"Microsoft Dataverse and SharePoint, because you know that Dataverse would win every time ;)"


Side note here, but this is the second time we get this answer! A clear echo of the long-standing community debate.


Reflecting and learning with a smile:


Learning from each other brings us all closer. Here are my top five thoughts from what Joe has shared with us:

  1. Being approachable is important: Joe is one of those people who will sit down and talk to you, help, and give honest feedback no matter what. All of us can find something in this mindset, as it can makes us better community members, consultants, or leaders.

  2. Seniority is an opportunity to pave the way for others: Joe is the CEO of his company and a long-standing MVP. He leverages his platform and experience to provide opportunities for others and showcase new talent. This is an important lesson for all leaders out there, whether they are or are not people managers; we need opportunities created, not just egos boosted.

  3. The community gets richer with diverse perspectives: The MVP community has become more diverse in the last few years by combining technical skills with community passion and advocacy. Bringing in those new stories expands our collective knowledge and makes this path more accessible to those earlier on in their journey.

  4. Sharing your journey is as important as tech talks: One of the talks I have enjoyed the most by Joe is where he talks people through his Power Platform development journey and sharing practical tips to navigate the field professionally. People were excited to get this hands-on guidance when other talks are about tech implementations and not how to master the required business skills.

  5. Setting boundaries for self-care: There is always a harsh truth around work-life balance. Joe showed us how sticking to your hobbies that make you switch off is necessary. Let’s all remember, leisure is NOT a nice to have; it is rather essential to our wellbeing.

 

A massive thank you to Joe for joining the MVP Diaries series. Cannot wait to hear your thoughts and AHA moments which inspired you.


So who would you like to hear from next?

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