Maurice Dowell

president, Dowco

Photo courtesy of Maurice Dowell

When it comes to eating breakfast and being healthy overall, Maurice Dowell recalls an old saying he remembers hearing.

“Someone said we spend our lifetime losing the same 15 pounds. That is so true,” says the president of Dowco in St. Louis. “My solution is to adopt healthy lifestyle choices, and one of them is eating breakfast. Usually fruit and yogurt; occasionally baby carrots at my desk. I tend to nibble at the office. However, I will do eggs, spinach and juice at home. I must have my coffee.”

“Interestingly enough, if I’m cycling in the morning, I will do two boiled eggs and take an Uncrustable with me and protein bars.”

Here’s Dowell’s average day.

Mornings are quiet where I feed the Koi and prep my cat, Freddie, for his day.

My commute is nine miles, so around 10 minutes. I usually make phone calls while traveling, listen to my current audible, NPR or enjoy reverential quiet. Lately, I’ve opted for the latter as I’m out of the house in less than an hour.

Generally, I arrive at the office at 7:30 in time for our morning production stretch. I enjoy heading to the shop to see what’s being worked on and connecting with my mechanic. Arrival time is when I link up with the people in the field to get their feedback on day-to-day activities. A couple of days a week, I work from home or have irregular hours. This flexible schedule allows the leaders to lead without my intervention and gives me the space I need to plan.

I live by the reports, so dashboard reviews and conversations with leaders keep me abreast of daily issues. I believe that a manager can effectively manage up to three direct reports, so I stay in regular touch with these members comparing notes and reviewing our monthly goals.

I have three coaching sessions a week, one with each direct report. I also have a sales and marketing meeting – usually Zoom – and our weekly leadership meeting. So formally, I am involved in five meetings, averaging one a day.

All of our meetings have agendas, and we submit our reports before them to keep the discussions focused.

For lunch, I shoot for 11:30 to avoid the rush if I’m meeting someone. I book 90 minutes; otherwise, I will eat at my desk. Lunchtime is a window to catch up on social media or allow my mind to drift, something we all need.

In most cases, I visit crews and clients or work from home the rest of the day. Afternoons are an excellent time to prepare for other meetings, plot strategic objectives or work in my yard. I’ve been known to meet others for a bike ride or take a nap.

Out-of-office time is flexible. There is no designated leave time; however, my commutes are primarily a time of reflection. I tend to detour to inspect a job or if I want to see how our crews are performing. Phone calls, audibles and NPR are where I’m engaged as I commute.

I am a social biker and enjoy my afternoon and evenings with friends putting in the miles, then going to grab something to eat afterward.

I don’t have do-not-call hours, as my schedule is so elastic. Social media and other app media come twice a day to minimize distractions. Emails and texts go directly to me.

I know what time I’m supposed to be in bed to get eight hours. I need more discipline to make it happen. I read or listen to YouVersion, the Bible App, a Ted Talk or my current Audible before falling asleep.

I don’t usually work from the office on the weekends. I spend time working through projects or focusing on an issue such as H-2B or seasonal changes.

For therapy, there are many other weekends where I take three to five days and escape to visit friends or family. That is my favorite way to recharge.

May 2022
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