Being a CEO is a tough job. Handling all those information, people and administration demands great self-organizational skills. We asked CEOs from different sides of the world what their daily routines look like and we are sharing their responses with you. What do you have in common and what do you do differently? Read their answers and find out yourself.
Andreas Kitzing, Germany Founder and CEO of Sponsoo – the Sport Sponsorship Marketplace
07:45: Alarm rings, I check my emails and read the headlines of the 5 most important German newspapers on my cell phone or the iPad.
08:10: I get up, take a shower, and go to work by bike (30 min).
09:00: My team starts arriving at our office. We briefly go through daily tasks on an individual level and start working. I answer emails that delegate work to my team or to anyone external.
11:00: We have meetings to discuss strategy, sales, product development, or other stuff.
12:00: Lunch, either with my team or with someone I want to network with.
13:00: Back to work – I try to work on some tasks where I don’t just delegate, but actually need to do the work myself. E.g: Writing sales concepts, calling up customers or investors, doing marketing stuff, defining new product features, etc.
16:00: Short break to refresh my mind and get some energy.
16:20 Back to work. Check up on what the others did, give feedback, help them if they have questions, etc.
18:00 Networking event in the evening (maybe once a week) – or just staying in the office, working. Too many networking events are a waste of time, but from time to time it’s a good way to make new contacts. Usually, people will try to sell me all sorts of stuff, so my main task is to say “no” (Note: That’s actually the same story all-day, just that in our office I have to say “no” by email or phone).
20:00 I go home by bike and have dinner with my girlfriend. We talk about our days. If my girlfriend is not at home in the evening, I just stay in the office.
22:00 I work some more from home. Since I’m too tired to do any creative work, I do boring stuff like accounting, finance, or administration.
between 0:30 and 2:00: Time to go to bed.
Hope that provides some insight. Generally, as the company grows, the CEO doesn’t have to do that much work himself and spends more time managing his team and making strategic decisions (which is a good thing).
My heart is beating too fast, and it won’t slow down.
It’s 3AM, and I can’t sleep. Again.
I get out of bed, and I walk to my office. I am shivering even though the temperature in the house is 72 degrees – nerves. I turn on the computer, and I check my email.
No email from the new investor like he promised. Why can’t these guys do what they say they are going to do? Why?!?
3:30AM: I head back to bed. At least I didn’t wake up my wife. Maybe, now I can get a little sleep before the alarm wakes me.
5AM: The alarm goes off. I had just fallen asleep, and now it goes off!
OK, get up and go workout downstairs. The exercise will do me good. I am shivering as I walk downstairs.
6AM: Finish the workout. Shower, shave, have my protein shake, read the paper, and answer some emails.
7AM: I kiss my wife and daughter goodbye, get in the car, and head to work. Even the bad days are good, but I don’t know how good this one is going to be…yet.
7:45AM: In the office. I respond to emails and make some phone calls.
9AM: Meeting with a potential investor, a legend in the VC industry. He says to us, “I hate high-margin businesses!” That might be the stupidest thing we’ve ever heard raising money.
I just smile and continue with our presentation. There’s no hope in hell we’re getting his money.
10:30AM: Phone call with another investor. “Brett, we should have a term sheet for you by the end of the day.” How many times have I heard that?
“Great,” I respond.
11AM: Operations meeting. Dave and Shoba are just killing it. Demand keeps increasing, and we are meeting it.
12PM: I really want to talk to someone inside the company about my fears and concerns. It’s oh so tempting when you are down, but you can’t go there. I’ve got to take a walk, leave the building, or do something. I can’t share my worries with the employees.
I decide to go for a walk around our “campus.” It’s 75 degrees outside and I am still shivering. I wish the shivering would go away. It won’t.
1PM: Traffic meeting. Review with Mary, our PR person, the status of our various advertising and marketing campaigns, and our collateral development. The beautiful thing about today’s world, unlike the bingo-card world I started my career in, is that you can measure everything – and we do!
3PM: Company meeting. Remember, Brett, you need to say what don’t mean as well as what you do mean. The team will fill in the blanks if you don’t.
The meeting goes well. I update everyone on the status of the fund-raising, sales, and new product introductions. The team, as usual, had great questions.
5PM: I’m in my office. Someone on the executive staff let me know that a member of his team was worried because I frowned when he asked a question about how sales were going.
5:45PM: I check my email. There it is.
Subject: Term Sheet
You are responsible, as CEO, for the lives and wellbeing of your employees and their families. It’s not about you. It’s about them. I have to find a way.
7PM: I pack up my briefcase and head home. Traffic usually thins out when I leave the office after 7PM, but I check Waze just in case. Good. I can take 880 to 280 to get home tonight.
7:30PM: Home. My wife, daughter, and I have dinner. My wife and I help our daughter with her homework after dinner.
9:15PM: My daughter just went to bed, so I catch up on email and work that needs to get done.
11PM: Bed. I know I will fall asleep quickly. The question is will I stay asleep?
3AM: I wake up from my nightmare: we couldn’t close funding. My wife is sound asleep next to me.
I am shivering even though it is 72 degrees. I hate the shivering. God, do I hate it.
I get up and go to my office, and turn on the computer to check my email.
Stuart Lansdale, Singapore
CEO at RoomFilla
My experience goes something like this;
6:30AM wake up and emails from overnight while eating cereal
8AM good morning to different staff and ensure everyone knows what they are doing for the day
9AM look at notepad from night before, work on assigned tasks
11:30AM take something to eat, brief walk and clear head
12:30PM back to working on tasks
3PM exercise time
5:30PM DotA 2 game (hope to win, if I lose then I’m pissed for another day :))
6:30PM back to tasks
8PM check on the team and what has been done, start making plans for the next day
9PM continue to work on tasks
11PM talk with the overnight team, drop anything on them that I would like done by the time I wake up, fill in spreadsheets with key numbers and revenue that came in, bookings, etc.
12-1AM Bed. Try to get at least 7 hours sleep don’t always manage it.
That’s a pretty typical day.
There, you’ve heard it. We hope that you’ve got some useful tips. More on this topic coming soon.