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 Steve Carrod – CEO and Co-founder of DMPG about his working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
Whatever time my youngest son sneaks into my bedroom. Normally this is somewhere between 5:30 – 6:30 am.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
Depending on what type of exercise I’m doing for the day, I will either have cereal – oats and wheat – and fruit, or I will also have a few rounds of toast and jam as well.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
Most mornings the routine is to grab a coffee and a banana first. I then head out for some exercise with my eldest son. We alternate between a run/ride – I run – or a hiit class. After this, I grab a shower, eat breakfast and help my wife herd the children into the car to get to school. I will then be at my desk between 8:00 – 8:30 am.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
I always think about what I want to achieve that day. This is really important to me; I need to ensure I achieve something substantial or a set of small things. If I don’t manage to achieve my goals I’m normally distracted in the evening and struggle to shut off work thoughts. I don’t normally write these down as I’ve been following that routine for so long.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
Generally speaking, I do it based on impact versus deadline. If something has a significant impact and a short deadline then this will get done first. The other factor I have is people. As I’m mostly in a role that requires me to make lots of decisions – more so than lots of client tasks – I need to make sure I’m not a bottleneck for anyone in the team. As such, I will always try and jump on to a call and chat with anyone in the team when they need me, regardless of what time of day that is!
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I do have meetings, but only when there is a clear purpose or outcome. If I don’t understand what the purpose or outcome is then I will always query it before being part of it.
Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?
I try to avoid this; when we had an office (pre-pandemic) we also implemented a policy whereby people should avoid eating at their desk unless absolutely necessary, for example, if it was impact or deadline related. I think it’s important to have some clear and true breaks from the working day. It also gives me a chance to spend a bit of time with my wife who works from home as well right now. We don’t get a great deal of time together given that we both have demanding work schedules and three young boys to look after.
When does your working day finish?
It never really finishes, but I try and stop looking at my phone or laptop at least one hour before I plan on going to bed. This is normally between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm, and for the most part, I’ve become quite good at this. There was a point in the early days where I would be up until 11:00 pm – or later – working, and then trying to go straight from the laptop to my bed. Unsurprisingly, I had pretty bad insomnia!
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
By always trying to achieve the previous day’s goals. If I can complete the day feeling like I’ve achieved something to progress the company and myself, this will help me create a new focus for the next day.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
The mobile app connected to my Tesla. Apart from the fact that you can do some cool things with it, the feature I really love is that I can see exactly where the car is and what state it is in, such as driving or parked. The reason I love this so much is because I know at any point in time when my family is in that car and I’m not, that I can see where they are and take comfort in knowing they are safe.
I love technology that makes things more efficient and/or makes things safer. This includes the Tesla App, Ring security system, and Hive home automation system. I hate technology that causes us to disconnect from reality, such as social media like Facebook.
How do you switch off?
Exercise. My wife thinks I’m some sort of robot because I can never sit still and will wake up and launch straight into a highly detailed conversation about something. Exercise – running or cycling mostly – is my way of switching off and shutting down. Some of my best ideas have come to me while on a long run. It also has the benefit of tiring me out enough to slow my mind down for long enough to fall asleep in the evenings.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My dad always used to say to me – ‘do as I say, not as I do’. I can’t begin to tell you how much this annoyed me as a child. I think it had such an effect on me that my mantra for everything now is ‘do as I do and as I say’. I strongly believe that to be a good leader you must lead by example. How can you ask someone to follow you if you’re asking them to do things that you’ve either never done or have no idea how to do; what value are you adding in that instance!?