My Working Day – Fergus Bailie – CEO at Bailie Group

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, 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? Business Leader spoke to Fergus Bailie – CEO at Bailie Group about his working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

That depends where I need to be.  On days when I’m working from home or in our head office it’s normally about 7am.  I’m not one of these ‘up at 5’ animals but I’m reasonably good at getting up anytime that begins with an ‘s’.

What do you typically have for breakfast?

I know this isn’t healthy but I’m not a big breakfast eater.  I don’t really wake up hungry.  Glass of water and a coffee and I’m up and away.

What is the rest of your morning routine?

Well, it’s certainly not doing my hair!  I try and spend a bit of time stretching to counteract sitting during the day and I like to spend some time reading the news, particularly business updates from various places around the world.

What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?

I make a list!  I have always been in the habit of, on a Monday, identifying everything I want to achieve that week, and then aligning that to our longer-term plans.  Then, each morning, I convert that into my to do list.  It keeps me on track and focused, allowing me to think about what’s important, as well as giving me a sense of achievement at the end of each day and week.

How do you prioritise your day’s work?

As above — I always start the day with a list!

Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?

I don’t think meetings are a waste of time as long as they have a clear purpose.  If people don’t know why they are there, or they have nothing to contribute or gain, then they can be.  Meetings with a focus can be a good way to share information and ideas, gaining insight from others.  I definitely prefer getting together in person, rather than emails.

Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?

I try and have a break for at least half an hour.  Away from a desk and a screen.  During lockdowns I would go for a walk with my wife and kids.  It’s a good way to take some time out during the day and it clears the cobwebs.

When does your working day finish?

Again – depends what is on and where I am.  I try to finish up around 6 so that I can be around my wife and kids for a few hours before they go to bed.  They are still primary age, so I don’t want to miss time with them when in a few years they won’t want to hang out with me!  I do tend to dip into work again in the evening once the kids are in bed – as I enjoy working in the peace and quiet without the distraction of calls and emails.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

Not strictly a gadget, but you will need to prise my Pizza Oven out of my cold, dead hands.

How do you switch off?

During lockdown I decided to do a few things I haven’t done before – I bought a piano, and I’m learning that (via an app!) and I’ve also taken to making my own bread.  I have to be pretty careful about how much I make as it’s so tasty that I’ll soon be one of those people who needs to have the roof winched off their house just to get out! So, to counteract this I run, swim and cycle but have yet to be dragged into a triathlon.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

From my Dad – ‘nothing is ever as good as it seems and nothing is ever as bad as it looks’.