Close-Up: 24 hours with ... Simon Francis, Saatchi & Saatchi

Name: Simon Francis
Job: Chief executive officer EMEA, Saatchi & Saatchi
Professional mission: Nothing is impossible
Personal mantra: Be the best you can be at everything, all the time

5.30am A stalker is outside my house. He's been there a lot recently has Arthur. He's come to take me to the airport.

6.30am Fortified by a bacon buttie in the lounge, I set to work on e-mails. Some interesting ones beginning "Let me introduce myself" and end with "you will not regret setting up an office in Chisinau, with me as your inspirational leader".

7.00am Read Financial Times. Great piece about the African economy. Reminds me to talk to clients about their requirements before my South African shareholders meeting.

8.00am Air traffic delays over France. Bury my nose in Reach for the Sky - The Story of Douglas Bader. Inspirational. Makes an adman who is trying very hard, feel pathetic. Must try harder.

8.30am One more bacon roll and I'm going to die.

9.30am Touchdown. Take calls. Do e-mails.

10.00am First meeting. Client warily assesses a "meedja" man in adland. To his surprise, I don't spit in public or offer him a game of darts.

11.00am Address agency. Fantastic people, smart questions. The same wherever I go. Feel invigorated by the raw power of the network.

12.00pm Hayley, my PA, calls to tell me that I'm missing my wife's birthday due to travel commitments. Feel faint.

1.00pm Lunch. Begin to get to know the Saatchi & Saatchi France chief executive. Happy to find another warrior poet in charge. Promise to help on his key issues.

3.00pm Meet journalist. Interested on views on scam ads. Put forward my views more vigorously than I intended. I don't like photographers.

5.00pm Budget meeting. Tell them to get a business strategy and then a financial plan to deliver it, not the other way around.

7.00pm Airport. Buy snowglobes.

7.05pm Corpse.

8.45pm Pathetically grateful to see my stalker after long day. Talk stock cars and previous Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive stories. Wonder what Arthur will say about me in the future.

9.30pm Otto the dog comes to greet me, then my lovely wife. Eat. E-mails.

10.00pm Bed. Vivid dreams of flying spitfires against an evil enemy who have taken on the guise of heads of competitive agencies.


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