Often people ask me what my ‘average day’ looks like – if there is such a thing! Being the CEO of MCCI would be extraordinarily complicated if not for a range of technologies that allow me to operate fully connected from just about anywhere on earth. In the sometimes manic realities of business ownership, I also take great care not to lose sight of the balance I must have to be God-centered in what I do in business, at home and at play.
It’s so easy to become a business “animal” without that connection. It’s so easy to become defined by your job and forget your true purpose as you work and interact with staff, clients, friends and colleagues.So with that in mind, this is what a typical day is for me – starting with the most important predictor as to the quality of my day:
- Wake up and meditate. I’m an early riser. I meditate for 30-45 minutes each morning when I start my day, just before I head out the door. That means I hit the hay extra early each night to make sure I have the time to do that daily - so I’m refreshed, my head is clear, I’m reconnected to the Big Guy up there and ready to take on the opportunities and challenges of the day!
- Look at my email and check my schedule just before I drive off – so I’m thinking of my responses and ‘to-dos’ as I drive to work. (Keep in mind I receive 100+ quality emails each day if not more.) Technology allows me to squeeze in maximum efficiency during the day, between meetings and on the phone. More than once I’ve been found in my car (in a client’s parking lot and even in my own driveway at the end of the work day) working on my iPad. My assistant Lisa makes sure drive time has conference calls booked, thanks to my hands-free OnStar system in my GM car. I use voice-to-text technology to quickly respond to voicemails and texts.
- Have 1-3 client meetings or conference calls per day. Even though MCCI has very strong executive and project leadership staff, I like to personally connect with many of our clients to reinforce my stewardship of the firm, the values we hold dear, and our interest in mutual satisfaction about our business relationships. It’s also good to be a sounding board consultatively so MCCI’s clients know I’m available to offer confidential counsel regarding the strategic and operational challenges they inevitably encounter. I still connect, even when I’m traveling to our clients in New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Phoenix.
- Have one or two relationship-building meetings per day (in addition to my client and employee-based meetings). In fact, on average I have 10 or 11 relationship-building meetings per week; I think the success of a business is determined by quality trust-centered relationships you build - whether they’re clients, prospects or just business and community friends. I’d say that I have a network of about 1,000 - 1,200 that I truly communicate with regularly. These aren’t just colleagues, they’re my friends. I can honestly say that I am one or two calls from meeting with others I don’t know because my relationships are based on earned trust – so my friends are more than willing to connect me with their relationships. MCCI does very little advertising, so the relationships we uphold and word-of-mouth about our firm is invaluable.
- Go home, eat dinner and reconnect with home. I generally get home by 6pm – I put discipline into making that happen, otherwise – well, you know how it goes. My wife Barbara and I catch up and hang out with our two dogs - Argus is a golden retriever and Chubbs is a yellow lab. They’re both career-changed Leader Dogs (from Leader Dogs for the Blind; they both have allergies so they’re “retired”). In fact, we’ve helped or raised over 100 Leader Dogs, mostly German Shepherds for Leader Dogs. (Our 3 kids are long ago out of the house, grown and married – plus two granddaughters!)
I would say that day-to-day, about 95% of my time is booked from the moment I wake up until I get home. As I indicated earlier, technology, organization and discipline make it happen. I rely almost entirely on my iPad, my Droid phone and in-car technology. I LOVE Google Voice to quickly respond quickly (and accurately) to things wherever I am.
So that’s a typical day in a nutshell! What do you do to keep your day balanced, yet productive and efficient?