Close-Up: 24 Hours with ... Stephen Whyte, McCannn Erickson

Name: Stephen Whyte Job: Chief executive, McCann Erickson Professional mission: To grow our clients' businesses Personal mantra: Smoke less, live longer

6.00am Alarm goes off but snooze button is hit within one second.

6.15am Eventually give in to the Arctic Monkeys on the radio alarm and sleepwalk to the bathroom. Shave, shower and wake up.

6.45am Coffee and toast followed by a Marlboro Light out on the patio.

7.15am Get into my car. I'm never too sure if it will start. Today it does.

7.45am Arrive at the office and spend an hour reading e-mails and planning the day ahead.

9.00am The day's meetings get underway. Brian and Simon (our creative directors) and I review a campaign we're about to present to UPS. Happily, we're in great shape. I sense the day will be a good one.

10.00am Meet a client in reception. She's in for an all-day meeting and seems relaxed and positive about the agency's performance. The day's getting even better!

10.15am Go for a walk around the agency, meet people who have joined this week and end up at the building site that is to be our AV facility: Chrome. It'll look stunning but now there's dust everywhere.

11.00am "Chemistry meeting" with prospects who are so concerned about confidentiality that they won't tell us who they work for or even what their names are. I realise that I've got dust on my suit. Perhaps they represent a fashion brand and I've blown it. Perhaps it's a DIY retailer and I've sealed the deal.

1.00pm Lunch with someone we're trying to hire. He's also concerned about confidentiality and looks flustered when the restaurant he's chosen fills up with agency folk.

3.00pm Weekly management meeting.

4.30pm Book tickets to see Walk The Line this evening and catch up on e-mails and phone calls.

5.00pm A client conference call with 12 people in a variety of countries.

6.05pm The UPS team returns to the agency. The client loved the work so they're all smiling.

6.15pm Phone calls, including one from our head of Europe, Rupert Howell, from an airport in Estonia.

7.00pm Christian Hinchcliffe (our marketing director) persuades me to play a quick game of pool. I lose which leaves him very cheerful.

7.15pm My car starts again and I head for home.

7.45pm Arrive home and then head off for Johnny Cash and my favourite food - popcorn.


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