A Day in the Life of...
We all have our work routines (editor’s note: mine looks like coffee, coffee, meeting, meeting, meeting, coffee)–but ever wonder what someone else’s day looks like? Take a peek inside the daily shenanigans of our team members and learn what a day in their life looks like for them. What you learn may surprise or inspire you.
Our CEO, Javier Sanchez
End of Day
I spent the last few hours of the day catching up on reports and emails. I look at emails throughout the day, but anything that requires more thought or review, I generally move to a “Review” folder and address it when I have a window of opportunity. At the end of the day, I either try to knock a few emails out, or put them on my “to do” list for the next day. I also quickly check my calendar to see if I need to be here at 7 am, or if I can waltz in at 8 am.
I usually try to leave by 6 pm, except on days when my boys have baseball practice. On those days, I leave by 4:30 pm, because I want to be there for their practice, and because I am the assistant coach.
New Product Review with Paul
This was an impromptu meeting. I normally take a walk to the engineering department to see any new samples made–and as I was on vacation last week in Hawaii (I try to go once a year, work-life balance is something I encourage at JL), there was quite a bit to review. While there, Paul [Manager of Product Engineering] and I had a discussion as to how a key customer meeting went the prior week. In this conversation, some changes to the requested product were mentioned. We agreed that we would discuss further with other departments at a later meeting, one that was already scheduled for that day.
Weekly TB with Lisa
Weekly meeting with Lisa [Executive Assistant]. This is a meeting I have every Monday morning where we recap what my week is shaping up to be. Sometimes I have her reschedule or cut some of my meetings. Also, I may have her schedule meetings throughout the week that are above and beyond my regular touchbases with certain department leads. She also updates me on her projects. As I just got back from vacation, she also brought me up to speed on major events that I might have missed while away.
In general, I don’t like having too many meetings. I like touchbases with key people, and meeting if there are specific action items. I find that a lot of meetings don’t lead to any real decisions or action. My mind sometimes wanders during meetings (editor’s note: see the “On Note-taking” section below), but sometimes something will be said that triggers a thought on something I need to follow up and I’ll jot it down. I usually like to let people talk in meetings first and then I’ll jump in. I found through the years that if I chime in first I can sway someone’s thinking, and sometimes I want to really know what someone thinks regarding an idea or problem and their take on how to fix it.
Production Capacity Review US v MX
A meeting about capacity that was scheduled prior to me leaving for a week, held on Teams with James [VP Strategy/GM], Randy [CFO], and Johnny [COO]. Pre-COVID we had very few remote meetings; now at least half of them are via Teams or Zoom. While I appreciate the efficiency of being able to meet without having to log travel time, I still prefer face-to-face meetings–we lose the human touch if we rely too much on virtual sessions. We discussed transitioning some customers from our US facilities to our MX facilities and timing. This meeting was important since the timing of this transition is fast approaching.
Lisa will usually ask me if I want something in particular for lunch. Most of the time I just have her pick something that the group may want (editor’s note: we provide lunch for our leadership team). On occasion, I will ask for something in particular. Mondays, I usually like something light. Today, however, we had BBQ (Lisa’s idea, not mine). This was a new place Lisa wanted to try. Needless to say, it will only be ordered again on days that I am not here, since I found it bland–it needed a little kick. I forced myself to eat some of it since I was a bit hungry, and a Snickers bar wasn’t going to cut it.
Meeting with the Legal Team
This meeting was scheduled while I was on vacation. It needed to happen last week, but since I was gone, we had to schedule it as soon as possible, as it was in preparation for a mediation happening tomorrow. We also discussed strategy on some pending employment matters. I touch base with lawyers on occasion. Unsurprisingly, I dread them, but they are necessary.
Weekly TB with Heidi
This is one of my standing touchbases–usually, the department leader brings me up to speed with what’s going on in their world. With Heidi [Director of Product Development], depending on what’s going on, we may talk about product strategy or about specific customers, if we have projects in the works for them. If there is product to review, toward the end of the hour, we’ll walk downstairs together and review the samples. There are times we get done early and we’ll just talk about business in general or some book we both read.
Right now, I’m reading The Gambler (a biography on Kirk Kerkorian) and Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait. Both these books were easy reads. The Gambler was given to me by Jaclyn [Director of New Business] and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I knew very little about Kerkorian….who knew he had so much to do with what Las Vegas is today? Usually I read at night, in bed, or on the plane when I travel. Sometimes during lunch. I read all the time and prefer biographies or books on companies. I find that most companies follow similar paths and usually see our company in one or another of the stages that I read about. I reflect a lot when I read, so it takes me a long time to read a book, but I apply a lot of it to our company. Books about companies who successfully navigated transitions I find useful, as we too are a company in transition, and the books help me address some of the challenges.
This was a continuation of the impromptu meeting I had with Paul this morning. Heidi, Camelle [VP Sales], Jane [Director of Quality Control], and Paul joined. We went into greater detail regarding some changes a customer asked for the bed program we want to launch with them. We discussed their concerns and gave some feedback on possible solutions. We discussed whether these changes should be implemented for all beds or just for the customer’s program and agreed to explore a little more and then decide in a week’s time. (Edited to add: we decided to make the changes just for the customer, rather than across the whole program.)
Seat Transition Meeting
This was an important meeting to discuss transitioning the “recipe” of our seating from one combination to another. This transition has been in the works and was just a final touchbase to make sure all departments affected are clear on the details and impact, and to discuss any concerns. It seems that everyone and everything is on target for the September 1st transition. A couple of customer concerns were brought up, and we discussed how to address those concerns. All-in-all, it was a good meeting.
Unscheduled Seating Conversation
Afterward, we all walked downstairs to try new seating on another product that we're transitioning as well, due to a different set of concerns. We are not quite there yet on this new seating, and we left with some details that need to be worked on before we finalize it.
On Note-taking and Doodling...
Obviously the doodling is done in conjunction with my note-taking, and while my notes are meant to help me retain things said in meetings, I don’t necessarily go back to them all the time.
Doodling is something I’ve done since elementary school. It helps me focus and listen better. At times I just let the pencil guide me but other times, for whatever reason, I have something in mind that I just start to doodle. Usually I doodle faces or random 3D boxes, but there are times I’ve drawn shoes, fruits, and other random things. Faces are always male–for whatever reason I can’t draw women, they end up looking like men with long hair. At times the faces will start looking realistic and they resemble someone I know, unintentionally.
Anyone who knows me knows I love U2. This music is easy to listen to and can become background music. Music helps me relax. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to some music. I have art behind my desk that depicts not necessarily my favorite albums, but albums that bring a certain memory of my formative years. I listen to music for the sound, but I love music that conveys deep meaning or speaks to me or to my personality. “Two Shots of Happy and One Shot of Sad'' by U2 is probably the song that speaks to me the most, as well as “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush.