What is the typical work day for me? There is none. At least not for me.
Read further and I try to open how I build my days but the thing here is the balance between what you can control & structure yourself and what are the items given to you to accept and adapt. Everything is driven by the target that I am not the one blocking our progress either in small or bigger items. The only thing I say is that in this role in this company it is not possible to set fixed hours for every day coming but flexibility is needed.
I am a morning person to the extreme and I utilize that fully. It means that I start working early and do all possible tasks ready before typical office hours start. That way I can put my full focus on meetings, calls, discussions, and ad hocs throughout the day. And I have no excuse not to be prepared for every known meeting, call or discussion on the day's agenda. I do not let myself get away too easy. I use my most energetic hours (=the early mornings) to take care of the most unpleasant or difficult tasks first. And then towards the end of the day, I move on to more routine tasks that do not require that much fresh thinking or mental energy.
I am cautious when it comes to my own responsibilities. I have a solid to-do list of all identified activities in prioritized order always up to date. And I push hard to keep it as short as possible by doing everything I can as early as possible.
Example: the next QOCO Board of Directors meeting will be on August 17th. I have CEO status materials made already which makes it extremely quick to finetune those followed by progress during the coming weeks. And I have ensured I do not need to compromise any other activity with this known work before the meeting enabling me to keep up with my service level as a CEO.
Another part of this is the only trick I dare to advise others to follow:
Solve quick items immediately, do not leave those waiting. If there is a slack message you can answer, just do it immediately because that serves the recipient best and then you do not need to burden your working memory with that anymore. Do not read slack without the intention to collaborate with your colleagues!
The thing here is that human working memory can keep up 3-5 items and the more you try to store there more it consumes your mental energy. So, use it efficiently, close items or move those to the action point list and forget. Do not forget anything before it is moved to the next phase (the Kanban!).
I am not a nine-to-five person, and it has nothing to do with my current role as a CEO. I process work-related items when I am doing something else, and I process personal items when I am working – but only when my full unquestioned focus is not needed to be efficient in business. I have practiced focusing and closing anything else around me or inside my head away when it is needed but damn it is difficult and double-damn it consumes the mental energy, so I try to build my days the way I need to do that as rarely as possible.
Typically, my mind is clear when I wake up in the morning. Many, many times my unconscious mind has helped me during the night to give clarity to most challenging dilemmas the previous day has given me to solve.
My philosophy as a leader
I love the concept of the Servant Leader, whatever that might mean. I believe in people and truly think if you treat others with respect it will return to. It does not mean that I am not demanding, and I do have a true right to be that. I’ll end it here with a CEO quote I do not remember from whom I heard it and the one that I have been slightly manipulated during the road:
When you are dead you most probably do not know it yourself but only your loved ones feel the agony. When you are an ***hole leader you most probably do know it yourself but still, only your colleagues feel the agony.
That is one good target for life: do not cause agony to people around you as long you can have an impact on that.
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