Welcome to The 6 am CFO, where finance chiefs share how they jump-start their days and engage with the tasks that are in front of them. Today, Media Place Partners (MPP) CFO Jason Balk shares his casual morning routine, why he skips breakfast, and his love for 90s grunge rock.
MPP, like many digital advertising agencies, faces constant innovation and a need for a hyper-agile workforce. Balk’s leadership led to tripled revenue per employee. Read more about Balk’s impact on MPP here.
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Weekday wake-up time and the first thing I like to do: I am not a morning person. I wake up around 8 am, take a shower, check emails, and head to the office.
Coffee, tea, or other morning beverage choice?: I usually drink water most of the day. I’ll sprinkle in some unsweetened tea for some caffeine when I need it. Never was a coffee drinker.
Workday start time: 8:30 – 9 am
How I usually spend the first hour of my day: Responding to emails, prepping for meetings, commuting.
Time I send out my first email: 8 – 8:30 am
Best advice for writing an effective email: Quick and concise. Do your homework and be sure to read the threaded conversation so you are responding to the latest email.
First dashboard I review: Our internal KPIs in NetSuite. Specifically, Cashflow, A/R, and A/P along with other indicators depending on timing.
How I structure my morning meetings: I try to avoid morning meetings (see question one).
Mid-morning snack of choice: Intermittent faster (16/8), so no food before lunch.
Leadership and Inspiration
Favorite quote or mantra: “Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.” — Henry Ford
Favorite leadership lesson: Never be quick to judge. Always put yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand their perspective.
Something important to know about me that you wouldn’t know from my business bio: I am a huge music fan. I love the 90s grunge era and have a soft spot for 80s music.
Favorite number: 6. Al Kaline. My baseball uniform number.
Most noteworthy items in my workspace: Pretty minimal. Some family photos and monitors.
Favorite app on my phone that is not related to business: WeatherBug. Never know what to expect in Michigan.
When do you take time for learning/reading? During downtime, I will find myself catching up on the advertising and tech industry. AdExchanger and First Round Review are a few of my favorites. I tend to do most of my research as the day/night is winding down and my kids are in bed.