Dean Checkley talks ‘My Working Day’ with Business Leader
A consummate professional, boasting a vast and varied career portfolio in the telecoms and broadcast industry, Dean Checkley has a very respected role here at Flomatik and further afield. Since being appointed as our company’s CEO in April 2021, he quickly emerged as a focused leader, balancing strategic and operational change initiatives with a personable attitude, to drive the company’s growth.
In his recent quickfire Q&A with Business Leader, he shared more about the day-to-day routine that sets him up for success. If you missed the original article, you can catch up here…
What time do you wake up?
I wake up at 06:45 every single day, even on weekends. Damn routine!
What do you typically have for breakfast?
Muesli with banana and raspberries.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
On weekdays, I wake up my son, let the dogs out, make a cup of tea for myself and my wife, wake up my son (again), prepare my breakfast, and watch Business Breakfast while enjoying my muesli. After that, I feed the dogs and get ready for work.
Weekends follow a similar routine, but instead of waking up my son for school, I do the same but for his weekend job. Then, I head out on my bike for a 20-to-40-mile cycle.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
Have a strong cup of coffee and review my emails. Depending on diary commitments, I will also do quick soundbite catch ups with my direct reports.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
It’s really hard to prioritise my workload, because every day can bring its own set of challenges. However, having a fantastic team around me enables me to be flexible, and allow my focus and attention to be directed elsewhere when needed. As we delve into Q4, my attention will be drawn towards the budgeting cycle and validating the business’ three and five-year strategy.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
Having face-to-face contact can never be a waste of time, in my eyes. It’s so important that we all invest our time to engage and connect. We have scheduled weekly and monthly meetings that have a purpose and an agenda, but I can often get drawn into ad hoc meetings too. I find the more spontaneous sessions to be very creative, energised and focused, as they are often called upon to address an immediate situation.
Do you have a working lunch or do you take a break?
When I’m in the office, I try to ensure that I have lunch with my colleagues. We often congregate around the central kitchen island to eat lunch and share stories. It’s a great way to connect on a personal level and to check the temperature of how your team is feeling about things, both on a professional and personal level.
If I’m working from home, I often sit down with my wife and reflect on the morning we’ve each had. It’s important to take that time away from your desk, or your working day can quickly become one long, monotonous series of tasks. Decompressing our brains (a little at least) with proper breaks is always important.
When does your working day finish?
Officially, it ends at 17:00, but this can vary depending on the current situation and demands.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I review my diary towards the back end of the day, to ensure I’m prepared for any meetings that may be scheduled. Other than that (call it unconventional), it tends to flow organically. Planning for this fluidity might seem daunting, but I firmly believe in the power of adaptability. No two days are ever the same as a CEO. Embracing the need to pivot at a moment’s notice is what keeps me at the top of my game.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
As a keen cyclist, it would have to be my Tacx Smart Turbo Trainer. With this indoor equipment, I can ride my bike in the winter without getting cold or wet. And, because it has features to simulate genuine outdoor activity — Road Feel, Dynamic Inertia and Descent Simulation, for example — you experience the changes in the virtualised road surfaces and climate. It’s an amazing bit of kit for sure.
How do you switch off?
Road cycling is my time. It’s where I can decompress, quieten the brain down, and temporarily forget the ideas and troubles that circle in the head. Cleaning the cars is another way that enables me to de-stress and switch off, which my wife and son are always happy to be recipients of. Clean cars are coming up, folks!
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Have trust and faith in yourself. Look in the mirror periodically and know that what you have achieved is through your hard work, and sometimes a bit of good luck. Don’t doubt, just do!