A Day in the Life of – William Lloyd-Hayward

William is Group Chief Operating Officer at Brighstar Financial & Sirius Property Finance. Here, he tells us all about the day to day responsibilities of the role and managing work/life balance.

I lead on the Group wide departments covering Finance, Compliance, Governance, Technology, Human Resources and Operations

What does your morning routine look like? 

A typical morning is finalising any prep work for my meetings throughout the day so that any relevant documents or papers are ready for each meeting. I catch up with my direct line reports to check on any issues they need answers on. I will typically spend the first part of the morning dealing with any external requests for information before then moving into the different meetings that will take me up to lunch.

What does a typical afternoon look like?

I will typically have a daily briefing with our CEO on any key decisions I need final sign off for, or agreement on. I will complete all the authorisations and approvals I need with my direct line reports and teams, then spend the later part of the afternoon either in further meetings, drafting any key documents we require for internal or external projects we are working on, or scoping proposals for different teams within the business.  

What do you find to be your most productive time of the day?

My time in office from 8.15am to 9am is my best time, I am free from phone calls and a need to be in meetings which helps me to prepare for the day. I also try and spend 3.30pm to 4.30pm at my desk, making sure that I have covered all the key e-mails and actions of the day.

How do you manage your time to ensure you have a good work / life / home balance?

It is about having strict timings on yourself – don’t allow slow creep, where you might reply to e-mails super early in the morning or late at night. Set your boundaries and enforce them yourself, which manages the expectations of key colleagues so they know the times you are around. The balance is always best struck when you have things on your personal life to look forward to as well – a night out, weekend break or holiday, so if you can – do!

What is your favourite part of your working day in your role?

The interaction with my team and the wider business, solving a problem that has arisen or helping to avoid one happening – that is the most satisfying part.

What does a typical dinner time look like in your household?

Dinner is usually around 6.45pm each night. I occasionally share the cooking duties, but my husband is a far better at it than me, so prefers to cook – and that is probably best for both of us!

What do you do to unwind?

My big target this year was to get off my phone and starting reading books again. Since the start of January I have stopped reading my phone on the train to work or back home, and picked up a book instead. I am now on book 18 half way through the year and loving the time away from the internet, social media and e-mails. That, and a visit to the cinema to lose yourself in a movie.

If you could give one piece of career advice what would it be?

Spend your day with a notepad – I never go into a meeting without one. Always take notes and if you don’t know, ask. Absorb as much information as you can. And, whilst it is a second piece of advice, love what you do. Not every day will be great, some will be tough and you will make mistakes, but love the job you do and people you work with and everything else comes from the hard work you will naturally put in.

How important has your support network been in helping you through your role?

It has been key. Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, who support you and guide you, as well as making sure that at home you have the people to be a voice of reason or calming influence is essential. Building and maintaining that network is difficult sometimes, but it is vital.

Does your job require a degree?

No – I left school with A-Levels in 2007, went straight to work and haven’t looked back since. I would say I am quite proud of my journey in the years since.