Excerpt from Memoirs of a Fortune 500 Executive

Meet Robert, a Fortune 500 Executive.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a successful business executive for a Fortune 500 company? Meet Robert, a man with extraordinary drive, who was President and Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest manufacturing companies in the United States. Walk with him as he describes an ordinary day in his extraordinary life.

Working Morning

The alarm blares at 4 a.m., signaling Robert to wake up and start his day. Then, he briefly catches up on business news while drinking his trademark half cup of coffee. “Why only a half cup?” Robert chuckles, “I like my coffee hot, and a full cup gets cold before I finish it.” Afterwards, it’s off to the racquetball club for a 5 a.m. match with colleagues. Working up an intense sweat, Robert plays raquetball to win, just like he plays to win in business.

Arriving at the office at 7 a.m. before any of his coworkers, Robert takes advantage of the quiet time before phone calls, meetings and plant tours consume his day. In a mere hour, he reviews a stack of resumes for hiring a new vice president, outlines a proposal for reducing production costs on a core product and prepares an agenda for a business acquisition meeting.

As his coworkers arrive to work, Robert walks the corporate halls and makes a point to greet everyone by name. Upon his return to his office, he is met with a half dozen phone calls and over a dozen internal memos to digest and respond to. To stay on top of communications, Robert addresses them immediately to clear his schedule for the busy day ahead. On this day, he discusses ideas for reducing production costs with the plant manager and corporate engineers. Later, he attends a service awards recognition ceremony, and shakes hands with all production personnel as they walk to the cafeteria for a celebration with cake and coffee.

Working Lunch

Lunch never appears on Robert’s agenda; instead, he nibbles on cookies and crackers all day.  Along with his engineering team, Robert travels to a vendor’s plant to view new equipment that they determined will reduce production costs. Back at the office, he meets with his senior sales and marketing team to discuss the company’s display booth at the next corporate trade show. Having a little fun with creative ideas adds some levity to their day.

In the early afternoon, Robert attends the monthly purchasing committee meeting to review conditions affecting the prices of raw materials. Robert then meets with the senior finance and accounting staff, led by the chief financial officer (CFO), to review financial results, cash projections and manufacturing efficiencies, and to analyze the effectiveness of promotional and marketing spending. Robert ends his day with a briefing with his administrative assistant to summarize that day’s events, and his schedule for the next day.

Working Dinner

Robert’s day doesn’t end at work. That evening, he and his wife enjoy dinner out with a few senior managers and their spouses to promote team spirit. While mixing a bit of business with pleasure, Robert feels it’s important to foster good personal relationships.

Working 24 Hours

If Robert’s lucky, he will grab a few winks of sleep before his 7 a.m. flight to the West Coast the next morning. However, he will be mostly running on adrenaline. As he sums up himself, “The pace is always fast. The work is always demanding. The hours are always long. The vacations are always short. The challenges are always motivating, and positive results are always celebrated. Yet, I always find time for my family and for fun.  It is quite a balancing act that requires extraordinary time and energy. Most people think I am a nut job, but I am loving every minute of it.”