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 Mike Cluskey – MD of Go Shred about his working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
I am usually up and about between 6.30 and 7.00
What do you typically have for breakfast?
Belinda (my wife & co-owner of Go Shred) and I usually start the day with a pot of Yorkshire Tea, some fruit and cereal or a couple of slices of toast. Once a week we have a bacon or sausage sandwich as a treat, always with HP sauce.
What’s the rest of your morning routine before you start work?
I like to start the day with a shower and shave, I have been tempted during lockdown to grow a beard, but so far resisted the temptation. We then have breakfast and discuss the day ahead and anything that requires particular attention. This usually starts with our home life, then turns to Go Shred.
First thing you do at the start of a workday?
I always read my emails first, we get a lot of online orders through overnight and I pick out any complex ones that do not fit our smaller packages and work on those. I then move on to either working on analysing the sales pipeline and going over our Google Analytics and Adwords account. When the office starts coming alive, I make sure everyone is OK and ready for the day and by then our vehicles are all on the road doing their collections.
How do you prioritise your work?
We are a fairly small company, so prioritising can be quite fluid. We operate very much on treating all customers equally, so it is important we do not prioritise any one client to the detriment of others. I am quite old school so I have a notebook I carry with me and obsessively write tick-lists, carrying forward anything still in progress from the day before. As new tasks come in during the day, I use asterisks to mark anything as urgent so I have a visual stimulus.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
Well, this is a tough one to answer at the moment, as meetings are much more fluid and all online. I have worked in large companies with a very corporate structure before starting Go Shred, so over the years I have grown a healthy suspicion of meetings, but I do see this as a positive. Whether I am organising a meeting or attending someone else’s, I always ensure there is a firm agenda beforehand with a goal set for the conclusion. This can be difficult on collaborative projects where secure shredding is only an element of the meeting, but my partners in these particular projects are very much like-minded and we tend to be as concise as possible within a firmly set timespan.
Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?
I usually go and check as the vehicles start to arrive back at the depot to tip off the confidential paper for secure processing, this gives me the opportunity to ask the operatives if they have had any problems or if they have any operational needs. I try to eat healthily for lunch, but it is tough and I typically end up with a garage sandwich and a snack, but I always try to drink at least two litres of water a day and a big bottle of water is always taken in at lunchtime.
When does your working day finish?
I am usually finally done by about 7pm, working from my home office to finish up everything from the day and get things in order for the next day.
How do you prepare for your next day’s work?
I carry forward the unfinished tasks from the day to a fresh page in my notebook ready for the morning after, making sure any urgent communications we need to make with clients, suppliers or contractors have been done. I fill our social media aggregator with either our own news/material or outsourced articles we commission for our business.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
I’m quite old school so this would have to be my laptop, I also love the freedom the cloud has given me and our staff: being able to work anywhere without the need for an expensive, flaky and complicated infrastructure. It allows us to be super agile and be able to do so much more work so we can compete with competitors that are way, way bigger than us.
How do you switch off?
I am Chairman of the Yorkshire Academy of American Football so enjoy empowering our staff and volunteers to help young people get into the sport, but unfortunately, Covid has deeply affected this and all my old activities. For now, I do enjoy watching Leeds United’s adventures under Marcelo Bielsa and – as I spent a long time working in the Film, TV & Music industry – I love to watch great TV and films and listen to all sorts of music from Hip Hop and Rock to Northern Soul. I also like the odd Belgian Beer.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
From the Governor of the Bank of England to the Window Cleaner – everyone is winging it.