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Day In The Life

Welcome to a day in the life with Roubler General Manager, Grant McIvor.

Want to find out what makes our boss a boss? Read on!

A Typical Work Day

So, Grant, what does your typical workday look like? 

I have always loved sleep. Sleep is often seen as a luxury, and some leaders talk about how little sleep they need, often as a badge of honour; in these conversations, I would be the outlier. But times are changing, and a growing body of research shows that good quality sleep is a priority for those seeking health, well-being, and performance. I know this because if I get behind on sleep, my performance is impacted. But I digress… 

It’s 50/50 if the alarm wakes me or I wake before the alarm. I’m a morning person; not everyone is, which is fine. I’m up at 5:15 am (ish) to start my day. I’ve been asked before: how do you get up so early? It’s simple for me: go to bed early. 

I like to start my day working out. This sets me up well; the blood is pumping, I know I have invested in my health, and my stress levels are managed. If I sleep in, I feel worse than if I get up. The following breakfast routine is a melee as the family prepares for the day. Most mornings, I will have my super smoothie (secret recipe) for breakfast, plus a black coffee, and then I am good to go. 

The commute can vary. It may be upstairs to the home office, a drive into an actual office, or a flight across oceans to a regional office (a bit longer!). I don’t mind a commute, as I often use it to think, catch up on podcasts, or call people, especially my Mum!

As one would expect, my workdays are varied. I have always sought to review and optimise my system of work continually. My system includes a robust approach to capturing things to do and ruthless prioritisation. I know from experience that I am better at deeper work in the morning, so I prioritise that work there. I use my calendar to block time, not just for meetings but also for doing and thinking. As the end of the day approaches, I know my deep work power diminishes, so the focus switches to more tactical/operational work. 

Broadly, I can break what I work on in a day into several themes: 

Connecting with: 

  • The Team: There are catch-ups with the team, my direct reports, other leaders, or individuals/teams. I see connecting with the leaders and team as one of the top priorities for a CEO. I have a view across the business, so I can help connect the dots. I also need to keep this view updated by connecting across the business. 
  • Customers: This can involve talking to current customers who are happy or those who are a bit unhappy due to service/product issues. Meeting with prospects is also a great way to hear from potential customers. Meeting customers in real life is one of my favourite activities in a post-pandemic world. 
  • Partners: Most businesses have a network of partners, and Roubler is no different. This can be a key supplier, integrator or referral partner. Investing in these relationships and hearing how other business leaders are approaching things is excellent. 
  • Business Cadence: operational reporting, pipeline reviews, board reports, finance reviews, etc., keeping the engine tuned and humming. 
  • Reading, Listening, Thinking: This can be a tough one to prioritise. However, I try to block out time to read and listen to relevant industry/leadership business articles and news. I take this and the information from my connecting activities into thinking about the business, macro conditions, and how these feed into strategy/tactics. 

Around 5-6 pm, the end-of-day “routine” starts to kick in: time with the kids, dinner, dishes, washing, cleaning, bed routine, etc. 

We are an international business, so I often have meetings to catch our folks in other time zones, but I rarely do much work beyond that. By this stage of the day, doing work has diminishing returns, and I learnt long ago that the evening is better for me to rest.  

As bedtime approaches, the sauna is my final retreat; 20 minutes in a lovely hot wooden barrel is a great way to end the day. If I’m super on form, I will also get a yin yoga in. Then, it’s time for a few pages of fiction before sleep kicks in.  

My general rule of thumb is no food or work 2 hours before sleeping. It’s not always possible, but it has benefits, as we all know what it is like to see a triggering email or chat message just before (trying) to go to sleep!  

Well, that’s my “typical” day. I believe everyone should find what works for them, as we all have different rhythms. I find it fascinating to hear how others structure their days.  

“When I get a chance, I love to hang out at the beach “. Pauanui, New Zealand.

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