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 Limvirak Chea – CEO and Co-founder of Fixter about his working day.
WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY WAKE UP?
I used to not be a morning person but I have definitely changed across the years.
Now I usually wake up around 7am but never set an alarm clock except if I have to catch an early morning train or flight.
WHAT IS THE REST OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE BEFORE YOU START WORK?
I guess everything changed with Covid-19.
I usually read the news because I always like to know what’s going on in the world. It’s important to keep an eye on it. However, I probably read too much about Coronavirus so I dialled it down after reading pretty much everything I could find in the news for the first month or so.
Then my morning routine consists of pretty much a quick check of my emails and Slack in case anything urgent came up. I then shower, have breakfast with my kids and do the school run (since lockdown!).
It used to be a quick shower and bike ride to the office where I liked to arrive early (8-8:30am), as it’s calmer, but I have adjusted my pattern in the last 3 months! We left the office to WFH mid-March and haven’t gone back since!
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO AT THE START OF YOUR WORKING DAY? HOW DO YOU PRIORITISE YOUR DAY’S WORK?
I’m very data centric, so every morning I look at the daily reports I receive and give my feedback to the team (sometimes via email but mostly through Slack, or I take notes of what to discuss with my management team at my next 1:1 or team meeting).
For me, it’s important to have a routine so I have weekly 1:1s with my direct reports. We also looked at different communication options during lockdown to ensure our communication remains great.
Weekly stand-ups with the whole team are a great way to communicate priorities to everyone and update each other.
WHEN DOES YOUR WORKING DAY FINISH?
In several ways, I usually stop at 7pm to be able to have dinner with the family. But as I like to finish things properly, I log in again after 9pm to finalise things. I’m actually super productive towards the end of the day (4-7pm).
DO YOU HAVE A WORKING LUNCH OR IS IT GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK?
I’m French so having a proper lunch break is key!! I really miss our common lunch area in the office but now I have lunch with my family 🙂
I tend to see working lunch as inefficient and prefer to take a shorter break to then pay full attention to the first meeting after lunch.
Lunch is also when I get to have direct contacts with all team members that I don’t necessarily have direct catch ups with normally and I always learn so much about our business, as we share new ideas. Socialising is very important as knowing your colleagues allows us to work better in a team.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
One of my first bosses taught me to always trust my ‘gut’ instinct. I think this still holds true today and in the rapidly changing business environment it even more essential. As leaders we often have to make decisions quickly and sometimes do not have the luxury to analyse all the different options as thoroughly as we would like.
So, having faith in one’s judgement is very important. I must also add that having faith in the people around you as a leader is just as critical to making the right decisions – hiring the very brightest talent and being a good listener are also essential components of strong leadership.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S WORK?
Very good question. I really try to separate personal and work life, but I know my Sunday evening often consists of starting to think about the week ahead. Apart from that, I usually check my calendar to see if I have an early meeting but I tend to plan for the actual day in the morning. Mornings are usually when I can think of important topics to focus on, be it the next update to the team, the next board meeting, or an important partner meeting.
Nothing better than cycling to work to clear your mind and get your ideas straight! But don’t think I don’t own a car – I just tend to use it for weekends and holidays only.
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?
As an entrepreneur it’s actually very hard to switch off, including evenings and weekends. So I try to read and leave my phone in another room, or do outdoor activities when possible. To be honest my 3 children keep me quite busy, and if you’re around Regent’s Park on Saturday mornings, you’ll see me around watching my daughter’s football training (and chatting with the other dads).