24 hours With… Nick Foley of Landor

In this 24 hours with, Nick Foley – the Singapore-based Landor president of South East Asia Pacific and Japan – navigates his way through the dreaded weekly finance meeting, a pitch rehearsal and conference calls with Australia, not to mention that confrontational monitor lizard and a nerf gun war with the kids

05:55: Alarm.

06:02: Catch up on the deluge of emails that have filled up the inbox overnight.

06:45: Get the kids breakfast – my son is 10 and my daughter eight. Surely adding milk to Weet-bix isn’t that hard. Am I being a bad parent by not preparing them for the world? I tell myself to resolve this later and just keep going with the morning rush.

06:51: Wifey encouraging me to make coffee. I can do a reasonable flat white and it gives the two of us ten mins to catch up.

07:26: Say goodbye to the kids as they get on the school bus.

07:30: Bike ride to work. Finally, some time to myself. Have to stop for a large monitor lizard walking across the bike path. I try not to appear worried and practice looking fearless to the other cyclists also waiting for the track to clear. Sheesh… big claws on those critters.

08:00: My finance manager is already in the office and has kindly turned the lights and AC on. Once I’ve showered (Grrrr… cold water hose only) I’m at my desk planning for the day.

09:30: Weekly finance meeting. This is always the toughest meeting of the week.  Reviewing revenue forecasts, assessing AR balances and determining whether projects can be moved from WIP to invoicing? Yep, none of us want to be here, but, kudos to the team, we move swiftly through the agenda.

11:00: Coffee with one of my strategy team. These meetings never cease to unsettle me. The guy I’m catching up with is half my age and has double my IQ.  We chat for a while before the moment I dread. He seeks my opinion on a complex matter. I revert to a tactic one of my best bosses at Mars would use. “Good question, Frankie” (Real name not used for fear of inflating ‘Frankie’s’ ego). I respond: “What do you think you should do?” The distraction works, and the ‘brains-trust’ of our office swiftly figures it out himself. Perfect.

12:30: Most of the team head out for lunch.  Some of the newbies still ask me: “Have you had your lunch yet?” As Gordon Gekko once remarked: “Lunch is for wimps.” A handful of almonds, and a litre of water at the desk will suffice for now. 

13:00: Pitch rehearsal. The idea of a pitch rehearsal makes a lot of sense… until you actually do one. My team have had to sit through my introduction to Landor so many times before. Full credit to them for staying awake and maintaining some vague look of enthusiasm. No, wait; that enthusiasm is because we rehearse nodding and looking interested during a pitch. D’oh, I thought it was genuine.

14:30: Quick call with my managing director in Tokyo. Cannes entry deadline is fast approaching. Our team in Japan are seeing if they can buy any extra time to do some final refinements. 

15:00: Video conference with Sydney. Connect with our head of strategy, one of our client service team and two of our clients regarding their brand strategy. Creating a new brand experience is the key focus.

16:00: Phone call with my Australian finance director. Need to look at our latest forecast for the second quarter. Always lots of moving parts with these things.

17:30: Jump on the MRT red line to get to my next meeting.

17:45: Meet one of my WPP colleagues for a beer(s). He’s visiting from Sydney and keen to talk about how our Australian Landor offices can align more with the broader group.

18:45: Taxi back to the office.

19:00: Bike ride home. Thankfully no reptiles as I cycle through the twilight on the East Coast Parkway Connector.

19:30: Heat up dinner as the family ate earlier on. Quietly congratulate myself on having an alcohol-free day.  Hang on, no…. bugger. I had two beers earlier. #fail

19:40: Nerf gun war with my son and daughter. Two against one and I quickly resign myself to imminent defeat, but ensure I go down in a blaze of foam-bullet glory.

19:50: Check the kids have done their reading and then we put them to bed.

20:00: Catch up on emails. Singapore is one of those time-zones that works in waves. At 4pm, emails from the UK stream in and, by about 8:30pm, mail from the US is lighting up the inbox.

21:30: Global call with different Landor regional leaders.

22:30: One last check of the email.  Inbox almost empty.

22:35: Some 10 mins of meditation and then off to bed.


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