Each and every day holds a renewed opportunity for success. Not every day can be memorable and filled with milestones, but even a wet and rainy Monday means you are one step closer to reaching your goals.
I approach every day like it is full of possibilities, which is formed and evolved from tried and tested routines that help me stay focused and on task as well as spend time with my family.
It has taken me many years to refine my day and it is something I wish somebody had impressed the importance of upon me when I was younger. A positive work/life balance, coupled with energy and drive will always give you the best propulsion system for moving any business or career forward.
This is how I break down my day.
Get up. Lace up my trainers. Inhale a double espresso. Head out for an hour’s walk.
My morning walks have always been a sacred ritual in my day. No matter where I am in the world, I always make time for it. They afford me the greatest opportunity for uninterrupted thought about my business objectives of the day, week, year.
Arrive home and check my phone messages, emails, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and action any feedback emails with the relevant internal managers.
I’ll then review my appointments for the day. I like to get my head around what’s on my agenda, who I am scheduled to meet with and the nature of what’s to be discussed. Having a firm fix on your daily priorities is essential because, if unanticipated issues arise (which happens all the time), you’ll be in the best placed position to make a call on what should take precedence over the other.
Over a bowl of cereal and a second double espresso, I’ll scan the news online to see if there are any issues in the media we should weigh in on with comment or an opinion piece.
Having a public voice on matters that impact the public interest, our members, and the accounting profession is an essential responsibility for our organisation, Australia’s largest accounting body.
Even if you’re not active in the media, it’s essential to keep across what is happening in the market and current events to help you recognise trends and edify your future decisions.
Read more: Stop setting yourself up for failure with your to-do list.
Shower, shave and then I’m out the door.
Phone conversations with my two COOs on my way into the office. An early morning call with my direct reports is an essential start to my working day. It allows them to flag any issues I need to be across and gives me an opportunity to delegate responsibilities.
Catch-up with my EA about future appointments and any reshuffling that might need to happen due to unexpected events of the day. Then, more often than not, I’ll meet with the leaders of our policy and communications team to be briefed on a forthcoming interview or flesh out an opinion piece or press release.
Let the back-to-back meetings commence! Through experience, I know how essential it is to be completely in the moment during every meeting. It’s the most efficient way of finding solutions to issues or generating new ideas with focus.
Lately, a lot of my meetings have been focused on the launch of our organisation’s new financial services subsidiary business, CPA Australia Advice Pty Ltd. As you might imagine, launching a new business occupies a lot of time and requires a lot of attention to every detail.
This experience has really hammered home to me the importance of bringing together the right skills and personality mix when it comes to any project, particularly those set to revolutionise our business offering like we’re on the cusp of doing.
Another double espresso and a banana.
Often I’ll have a lunch event to attend or speak at. My speaking engagements range from CPA Australia member events to corporate functions, university campus guest lecturing about career development to policy and regulatory focused roundtables with key external stakeholders.
Public speaking is central to my role. It helps to personalise our brand, make us accessible, which is a common expectation in the world we do business in today. As the leader of a business, our board feels it’s imperative for me to be our organisation’s greatest brand ambassador and business development manager.
Meeting people face-to-face to deliver messages about our business, our position on certain issues, is such a powerful way of keeping our organisation relevant. I’ve developed many beneficial relationships for our business this way.
More internal and external meetings, things to sign-off on and quite often a media interview of some variety. With politicians’ hesitancy to articulate any holistic policy plans, lately my media commitments have been especially busy.
Film my responses to career-related questions from students and young people posted on our organisation’s online mentoring community, The Naked CEO website.
As a former teacher and parent of seven, mentoring young people has always been a passion of mine. It’s also a great way for our organisation to engage and build relationships with young people via a medium they use every day. From a business benefit perspective, this is about maintaining brand relevancy and personalisation with future generations of leaders.
Put in a call or text the chairman of the board to inform him of any strategic matters. Having a close and open relationship with the board is essential for any CEO, and, like any solid relationship, mutual trust and respect is the key.
You may be interested in: The work-life balance myth.
Often I head for dinner with an external stakeholder from the corporate or public sector; otherwise I’ll have an event to attend. It’s important to regularly meet or catch up with people in a more relaxed environment. It’s all about building and maintaining relationships. A conversation over a meal is always a great way to get to know someone on a more personal level, which, in turn, creates better business relationships.
I catch-up with my wife. We call our 15-year-old son who is a weekly border at school. After the fullness of the working day, I find focusing on priorities outside of work is a great way of re-energising my mind and perspective.
One last scan of my emails then, with a bit of luck, I turn out the lights.
This article was republished with permission from GQ Australia and first appeared on their website.