My day in the office typically starts at about 08.30 and ends about 18.00 The activities of the day generally fall into one of 3 categories (i) Planning (ii) Reporting and (iii) Problem solving.
Typically the day involves lots of meetings - these can range from meetings with other members of the management team, to meeting with investors, existing and potential customers, lawyers, accountants and bank managers.
Generally speaking these meetings revolve around getting and providing updates on the progress of the Company compared against the objectives set out in the Company's business plan. Often times these meetings will inform the next iteration of the business plan itself and the strategies the Company must employ to achieve these objectives.
During busy periods I would often take work home in the evening and at weekends - but as I said earlier I am getting better at achieving a proper work/life balance.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
The role of the CEO is multi-faceted. I am tasked with providing leadership and a vision for the company and to establish sound principles of management to enable the company to fulfill this vision. This requires me to have familiarity with all aspects of the business and manage these functions and resolve any conflict which arises.
I am required to be the voice of the company to shareholders, press, customers and suppliers. I have to set targets for the company and ensure that these are met. I am required to plan and manage all strategic, regulatory and legal issues within the company.
Finally, I have to report regularly and clearly to the Board of Directors of the Company and appraise them of the Company's progress and plans.
What are the main challenges?
We are a small company and we need to be able to react quickly to survive in a challenging and competitive commercial environment. From a personal perspective this means constantly ensuring that all the team "are singing from the same hymn sheet" and that everyone is focused on fully realising the commercial opportunity which presents itself at the time.
This can be challenging particularly in a research based company where sometimes ruthless decisions have to made with respect to dropping certain lines of experimental investigation.
The coolest thing is working with such a fantastic, hard-working, enthusiastic, energetic and intelligent team. We are a small company, based in Ireland and we are performing truly world-class research which will have a significant positive impact on the bottom line of many of the major pharmaceutical companies who we list as our customers.
Another cool thing is the nature of the work we do constantly changes in that we are always working on new projects with new customers which keep us challenged and excited.
What's not so cool?
For me personally, the long hours sometimes take their toll - I need to constantly remind myself to get the work-life balance correct.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
Having a scientific background has definitely helped me. I think it is always easy for a scientist to enter the commercial world than a commercial person to enter the scientific world.
Having this background enables me to get a good overview of the company and see where and how everything fits together. This really enables me to plan the company strategy in the most effective way possible.