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How are you feeling now on a scale of 1-10?
Today is a good day. A solid 8 I think. Sitting at my desk looking out at a sunny (but cold) day helps a lot but knowing I have successfully navigated the morning by getting the kids fed and ready for home school before starting work is good.
Who was the last person you spoke to before me?
I was on a group call with Land Rover. Both Gallagher and Land Rover are partners of Premiership Rugby and we were trying to make some plans post lockdown. One of the benefits of my job is I get to talk to with people who support sport and its values.
Are you working from home or the office? If both, what’s the split like?
I am 100% from home. Currently there is a nationwide lockdown so as much as I’d like to get out to Gallagher’s regional offices and the Premiership Rugby clubs, that will need to wait until restrictions lift.
How have things changed since Covid? How has your employer adapted?
I actually started my position during lockdown so it’s hard to draw comparisons. But Gallagher has done a great job adapting, creating Covid-secure workplaces and ensuring 100% of colleagues have the capability to work remotely. Everyone is working from home again during this latest lockdown, while remaining connected which helped me greatly when I started.
“Changing careers from rugby coach, where there was close personal contact every day to business development director and establishing new relationships while working remotely has been challenging. Life and work are intertwined more now than before and I’m taking more time to talk on a personal level to colleagues.”
Where do you work? What’s the environment like?
I do have an office in the house but I had to relocate when the schools closed as it is next to the ‘classroom’ for Chloe and Lachlan (twins, 7) and Elliott (3). Our eldest Josh (12) works in his bedroom, as do I. It is a little quieter but I get visitors from time to time offering me cups of tea.
Who do you share your ‘home office’ with?
At the moment Leann, my wife’s job is teaching the kids. She does 90% of the home schooling which I think is a lot more difficult than my job. I couldn’t imagine the stress of working at the same time as helping with all the class work.
Who are you looking out for at the moment?
My mum in Australia primarily. She lives by herself and although she works, she lives quite far from the nearest town so we check in with her quite often.
How have you changed as a manager? As a person?
As a manager I have had to adapt. Changing careers from rugby coach, where there was close personal contact every day to business development director and establishing new relationships while working remotely has been challenging. Life and work are intertwined more now than before and I’m taking more time to talk on a personal level to colleagues. Especially those that are finding it more difficult during lockdown.
How do you run a meeting?
I haven’t had to run one yet in my current role. If group calls count then I would say I’m still learning.
What does your daily routine look like? How do you run your job and your life?
Usually start at 0530 with a run or go to the gym (if open). If I am really busy I catch up on emails or admin instead. 0800 is getting everyone ready for their day then I tend to do a 9-5 while working from home.
Early mornings or late nights?
I’m better in the mornings but I’m happy to pick up things when the kids are in bed.
How do you cope with stress? How do you focus?
Exercise has always been a part of my life and after playing rugby professionally it is a habit that has stayed with me. It helps me with my mood and gives me time to think about what’s going on at work and at home.
How do you unwind?
I cook. Usually I bake cakes. I’m not a master baker but my 4 customers are easy to please.
Who do you consider your mentor to be?
I don’t have an official mentor but I have two people who I would consider would be. Vern Cotter who is now coaching Fiji, helped me as a person and as a coach. If I need honest feedback, I know where to get it. Much like Simon Waine, my manager at Gallagher, who is helping me adapt to my career change with his wisdom and knowledge.
Who are you speaking to next?
My kids when I go downstairs for some lunch. After that I will be speaking to some of the Premiership rugby players who are currently on Gallagher’s athlete transition program which is helping them prepare for life after sport.