VP and General Counsel, Ancra Group and Director of Heico Global Compliance the Heico Companies LLC Warrenville, IL
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My Xiaomi wristband vibrates to let me know it’s time to wake up. Sometime in the following 20 minutes (after a possible reminder or two), I get up.
Grab a can of V8 Spicy Hot, a Diet Coke, and a granola bar and settle into my reading chair. After texting my wife Nina good morning (she’s two hours away — a 3L at Notre Dame Law), I spend 30-45 minutes reading Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. I rotate between novels and nonfiction (history, politics, business, social science, sports, travel) to keep my brain flexible and open to new ways of thinking about things.
Get ready for the morning while listening to the Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast.
Drive to the office. Depending on upcoming travel plans, I listen to either more podcasts (The Jordan Harbinger Show, hosted by a law school classmate; The West Wing Weekly; FiveThirtyEight Politics; MGoPodcast; Rebel Force Radio) or Pimsleur language CDs in Portuguese, Italian, or Spanish.
The whirlwind begins. As general counsel to 18 of our company’s businesses, each day brings a different combination of requests, needs, suits, agreements, meetings, questions, and challenges — rarely mapped out. This morning, I interact with 10 of those businesses and our finance department to move items forward (a mixture of in-person, email, and phone interactions). During brief micro-breaks, I flip through Mandarin flashcards on my iPhone in a futile attempt to slow the loss of my vocabulary.
Review and then exchange notes with my global compliance manager to tie up a draft of our refreshed third-party diligence questionnaire. Brief check-ins with our systems specialist and contracts administrator to ensure I’m not bottlenecking anything and that they’ve got the direction/support needed.
Eat a peanut butter sandwich at my desk while reviewing some ACC Network Leadership Council materials and checking a few go-to news and sports sites.
Review, confirm, and supplement travel plans and details for upcoming visits (Pittsburgh, PA; Pelham, NH; Porto Alegre, Brazil) to a few of our businesses. Spending time in-person with each of them is challenging, but I make it a priority.
Drafting. I sink into documents and emails that I couldn’t handle during the morning flurry (or which require a bit more dedicated “think” space in my brain).
Check-in call with a business group executive vice president, who in addition to being an internal client is also a friend and a mentor. Receive updates on a few changes our businesses will be experiencing.
Meeting with the global compliance manager regarding our upcoming compliance training schedule and rollout, as well as a few strategic initiatives we’re pushing forward. She’s been a fantastic addition to the team, and my goal is to provide support while empowering her to “run with it.”
Strategic think time — I briefly check in on my priorities for the week, month, and year, and whether I need to take or schedule any action to keep them on target. I set a few priorities for tomorrow, then think a bit about a particular challenge with one of my businesses and how I may be able to come at it differently to improve results.
Respond to emails and calls that have come in through the afternoon. A drop-in catch-up with our holding company general counsel to discuss the 2019 budget, confirm alignment on a sticky lawsuit, and generally catch up on other moving pieces.
Head home. Decompress by jogging a few miles and quickly eat a simple dinner of Jimmy John’s. Call Nina to chat about our respective days and upcoming calendars; looking forward to seeing her again this weekend.
Briefly check email to see if anything has come in that can’t wait until the morning and catch up on personal correspondence (texts with friends, emails regarding upcoming Michigan Law fundraising activities, etc.) and social media. Play around with a few flight schedules for trips we’re thinking of taking in the coming year.
Watch an episode of The Americans on Netflix (yes, I’m late to the party).
Back to the book, with a can of Around the Bend Vera Pistachio Cream Ale.
Alexa tells me it’s time for bed. After I finish the chapter, I heed her advice.