My Working Day – Alex Inglot – Commissioner for ESL Pro League
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? We spoke to Alex Inglot, Commissioner for ESL Pro League, about his working day.
What time do you wake up?
That really depends on my four year old daughter! Generally we shoot for 7:30am but if she wakes up beforehand, I like to join her in the kitchen for a pre-game chat.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
I usually go for Fruit and Fibre with milk. Nothing too fancy as my daughter can get quite creative with her requests and that can take more time. If she comes up with something tasty, I’ll make enough for the three of us (including my wife).
What is the rest of your morning routine?
Apart from getting us both dressed, teeth brushed etc, I like to squeeze in a scan of Twitter (I’m just not going to call it X) and The Times to see if anything important or interesting crops up. I may not have the time to read everything I bookmark, but will usually find a window in which to finish them during the rest of the day.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
Check my desk calendar (which is where I flag whole or multi-day events), my phone calendar (which is where I keep daily appointments), my Asana (which tracks my pre-planned To Do List) and use them to scribble down an aggregated To Do list for the day. The idea is that nothing slips through the cracks and priorities are set. That’s the idea anyway!
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
That first 30-60 mins in the day are critical for me as I create my aggregated To Do list and that will allow me to cross reference what I thought, in the past, would be a high priority, and see if that still stands now that we have reached today and other things have come in from stage left.
Respecting the priority of matters, while ensuring flexibility and reactivity to changing contexts is part of what makes a good leader. Because you have to justify the decision to yourself, your family, your superiors and your team. Stand by it, defend it and get buy in for the decision and consequences.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
Since my VP Operations is in Berlin and my 16 Member organisations are spread across the world (from Cologne, to Sao Paulo, to Copenhagen, to Kiev, to Seattle etc), I need Zoom Working Groups, Meetings and one-on-one calls, planned and scheduled around time zones and their other circuits and games to supplement the in-persons we manage to do at events in the CounterStrike calendar.
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
Depends. I try to squeeze three physical lunch breaks a week (some combination of gym work and padel at my local club in Stratford). The other lunches may have work, or calls and I am happy to do so. But if there is no gym, padel or calls, then I will try to soak up sun in a park somewhere (tricky with London weather!).
When does your working day finish?
Technically I leave the office at 6pm so I can have dinner with the family, talk about the day, and help with the bedtime routine. Occasionally, the job creeps in since some of my Members simply can’t connect earlier in the day (Im looking at you Seattle and Dallas) and I need to make sure that they get just as much input and attention as any of the other Members in more “Europe-friendly” timezones.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
The two calendars again are glanced at to make sure I dont need to be at a conference in Manchester or preparing to fly to visit a team in Oslo or have a call very close to my daughter’s school drop-off time. If there is no need to panic, I let tomorrow wait until tomorrow.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
The obvious answer is my phone. Calendar. Emails. Whatsapp. Twitter. Podcasts. Camera. Esport and sport business publications etc. All at my fingerprints.
But I also love my padel racket, even though I still haven’t found the one with the technology to guarantee I can hit every X3 smash cleanly.
How do you switch off?
A few ways. Padel is one way to get away from it all and focus on each match completely. I also enjoy doing puzzles. It feels like just the right level of concentration to block out other thoughts. And story-telling with my daughter. She loves books and crafting stories out of pictures and prompts. Playing “yes and” with her and encouraging her imagination is a great way to track how her confidence, creativity, and bonkers is developing.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
“Seek mentors and be a mentor”. I think I was raised in quite a blinkered mindset, which prioritised academic progress over social skills. But bespoke advice can’t be found in books or YouTube clips. Today, I have a handful of mentors in different parts of my life, professional and personal, and can’t speak highly enough of any of them.
But equally, I try to put myself out there as an advisor (to the best of my ability) to those who feel I might be able to offer some insight, advice or support. It is super rewarding when your advice pays dividends for them.