Typical 24: Guy Chiswick, Webloyalty
Human Resources

Typical 24: Guy Chiswick, Webloyalty

19-02-2018-guy-chiswick-webloyalty

 

Name: Guy Chiswick

Job Title: MD, Northern Europe

Company: Webloyalty

Location: London, England

Years’ experience: 20

 

  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    When working in London, I aim for 8am but in typical London style, it usually ends up being 8:30am due to trains. But, lucky for me, I’m not always desk-bound. I often start my day out of office, meeting with clients and potential prospects. Alternatively, if I’m travelling, I’m at my second office: the airport, by 6am.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Extremely, and variation is one of my favorite parts of the job. As MD of Northern Europe I manage multiple markets and get to experience all the variation that cultural diversity brings. On another level, my job varies with the three sides it has.
    One side is the commercial facing side, which involves new business pitches, client optimization and brand promotion. Another is the customer facing side; I spent time working with the central customer facing teams to ensure we have the best customer experience in place for my markets. Then, the final side is the daily problem solving that comes with the job.
  3. Is your job creative?
    Retail is a creative and fast paced industry, so as a company we’re always thinking of original ways to adapt to the changing demands of consumers. My job itself is surprisingly creative. It involves a fair amount of problem solving and deal making which I believe always need a creative approach in order to structure compelling solutions. As well as working closely with Webloyalty’s digital and brand teams, I collaborate creatively with third party agencies to create content, market intelligence and research reports to speak to the market.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    As the biggest market, managing the UK typically takes up the majority of my time, however as I head up Northern Europe my time is also divided between Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland. How my time and focus is split between markets really depends and varies every week and month.
    Within each market the commercial side to my job tends to take up the biggest chunk of my time, as I focus on bringing in new business and client optimization. The internal focus is probably next up, in terms of internal management of the matrix organisation. Additionally, travel can take up a lot of my time – and sitting in airports unfortunately!
  5. Do you personalize your desk?
    I try and avoid clutter at all costs – for me, it’s a constant battle to keep a clear desk! I think computer screens cover a large aspect of desk personalization these days. A lot of the things that people used to have pinned up on their desks are now just contained on their homepage. That being said, although my desk isn’t personalized, I’m not ready for hot-desking yet!
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    I’ve always had a creative streak. As a child, I wanted to be a graphic designer/designer but then found myself drawn towards the commercial world, studying business and economics instead. Now I utilize and channel my creativity into business situations: whether it is a creative approach to deal making or a pitch to new client, or how we manage the business! I believe that in every business process you go, you need to think creatively in terms of how they might work.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    Like many people, I have a little OCD about me! Before I leave the office I, check everything has been put away and that everything lockable, is locked. Growing up in a pub, it was often my job to lock up the doors at the end of the evening and I often forgot to lock doors and windows - my Dad programmed a check, check and check again process into me.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    It’s a culmination of both really. But what I enjoy most is working collaboratively with teams of people to get things done.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    When I’m working in our office just off Oxford Street, London, I’m normally logged on my phone as soon as I get on the train at 7am. I usually try to zone out as I get off the train between 7pm and 7:30pm. However, it’ll be more than this if I’m travelling or attending an event. Although the travel and events can mean I’m often working long hours I’m lucky enough to be looking after interesting markets, working with fun and engaging people and travelling to beautiful capital cities. I get to eat and drink in some nice places with great people as part of my job and for that reason I count myself fortunate!
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    More on emails than calls – without a doubt and lots of meetings. We’re now in world where email is our lead communication tool, which wasn’t the case when I started working in 1997. Phone calls are a dying breed unfortunately.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    I use LinkedIn a lot, and Twitter a bit. Try as I might, Twitter hasn’t consumed me in the way I expected it would. I think as a platform, LinkedIn is far more attuned to what I need it for, which is getting in touch with people, checking backgrounds or details and sharing articles I’ve written. With LinkedIn you can go deeper, easier. With Twitter you have to be constant. To put it simply, LinkedIn is like having a meal and Twitter is like constantly snacking, and it sort of gives me indigestion.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    I enjoy getting things done, working with teams of likeminded, enthusiastic people. I like the travel, along with the variety of cultures and people that come with it, as well as solving problems and commercial puzzles. I also love working in the retail industry. Online retail is dynamic, it covers everything: it has breadth, variety and pace of change.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    We have an office radio and Spotify account. We like to mix things up switching between office playlists on Spotify. From a little bit of Classic FM to start the morning, to 6Music and XFM and everything and anything else in-between.   
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    Unfortunately, most of the time I’ll be eating a sandwich or something convenient at my desk or on the move! But wherever possible I enjoy dining out with colleagues, contacts, prospects and partners. I like trying out new places in London, but I often find myself back at St. John’s for their legendary bone marrow and parsley salad.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues?
    I like to grab drinks and lunch with my colleagues whenever possible. When I’m travelling, I try to go out with the teams I’m working with and in London we have regular drinks as well as a fortnightly Friday lunch. On top of this we also have our Christmas and Summer party, alongside charity days including a Christmas fundraiser that raised over £500 for The Connection at St Martin in the Field’s homeless charity. It saw us all singing carols at Piccadilly Circus tube station!
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    I’ve never been happier to see the back of the monthly flatplan process at Haymarket. The process involved me sitting down at the end of each month and cutting out every ad (for the company I worked for at the time), before sticking them into place on a flat-plan, page format. I then spent hours moving them around to make sure everything fit. I’m relieved that no one has to do this job anymore as it’s all done digitally now!
  17. What is your last ask of your day?
    At end of each day, I always review my to-do list. I ask myself what did I get done today? Did I get through the list of things I needed to do, and what do I need to do tomorrow? I like to have clarity on what I’ve achieved that day – or not!
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    Food, drink, family and exercise, when I have the energy. At the moment, it’s mostly HIIT or a cycling in preparation of Ride London 100 in July.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    I really try not to but the reality is I often find myself checking. The worst is when you make the fatal mistake of checking your email before you go to bed at 10:30pm-11pm. When you do that, there’s no going back!
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    Yes, where necessary. I find your head can get filled with so much noise through the day. If you go home, have dinner, and then go back and look at things for just 30 minutes you can often get quite a lot done. It gives you clarity of thought you don’t often get amidst the day to day noise of the office.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    Take more risks and work out the growth sectors of the future. I had a conservative approach to things when I was 20 and stuck with traditional media companies, so I’d tell myself to take more risks, both calculated and uncalculated. You have nothing to lose, and actually if you do lose when you’re younger, you aren’t losing much.
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    A Formula 1 racing driver. Now, I think that would be fun.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    I started with pen and paper, scribbling things against the questions and then proceeded to type it up. I still find writing things down much easier.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    I have one device that does it all. I gave up on the two device thing years ago and in doing so gave up the ability to separate work and home for the convenience of having one device.

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