Boss It Like

How to Boss It Like… Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes

By Kitty Knowles 17 March 2016
Blake Mycoskie, founder of ethical shoe company TOMS. Pic: TOMS.

Britain’s business leaders are changing the world. In our weekly series we find out how they get the job done.

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world. Mondo’s Tom Blomfield, Tinder’s Hermione Way, and Babylon’s Dr Ali Parsa seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, the ethical shoe company, that give away a pair of shoes every time you buy a pair.

Myscoskie is undoubtedly a productivity guru, and in the past 10 years his charitable business has given away 50m shoes around the world, as well as funding sight-saving surgeries, safe drinking water, and creating jobs in disadvantaged communities.

Now the $300m Myscoskie is on a new and even bigger mission to help create an army of socially-minded businesses through the TOMS investment fund.

Read more: TOMS’ Blake Mycoskie is using his millions to build a band of benevolent businesses

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Mycoskie how he gets it all done.

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

Most days, I start around 5 am with either a circuit training work out, meditation or a surf. The key to a happy day for me starts with the workout. I need physical exertion to feel healthy, focused and engaged. It keeps me sane, peaceful and happy.

Then I like to have an hour with my wife Heather and my son Summit having breakfast, and am ready to totally focus on work when I arrive at 10 am if it’s a weekday. I do not drive and I use an Uber so I can catch up on morning emails on the way to office too.

When I am travelling to new cities and countries, I generally start my day with a run. It’s a great way to see and experience a new place.

What apps or methods do you use to be more productive?

The best tool I have for efficiency is always carrying a journal, and as simple as that sounds, one of the things that is most exhausting for a human being is remembering things.

When I don’t have my journal, I use Evernote to keep track of all my ideas and to access my notes from everywhere. The rest of the time, I journal.

What smartphone do you use?

I have an iPhone 6s Space Gray 128 GB.

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day?

Everyday is different. I’m always exploring and meeting new people who inspire me.

When traveling to conferences, visiting a giving partner, or one of our regional offices (for example Amsterdam, London or Hong Kong), I get the chance to meet a lot of people like our EMEA General Manager, Helen Thompson and her team.

When I’m in the office, I spend a lot of time with our HQ crew (particularly our CEO, Jim Alling, CMO, Susy Korb and my brilliant assistant, to name a few).

I like to get up, walk over to people, and find out what they’re working on: I’m often inspired just by seeing so many different types of projects going on at once to drive this vision forward.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night?

I usually work until 7 or 8 p.m. I’m not a late-night person so I try to designate certain times throughout the day for emails so I can spend quality time with my family and friends at evenings. I unwind by going home to Topanga to be with my wife and my 15-months old son to really cherish every single moment I can with both of them.

In the summertime, I leave early and go sailing almost every day. A lot of the time, I’ll invite employees to go with me, or I’ll bring friends. It’s my way of staying connected with my social group in L.A. I’m out there sailing and entertaining people and having a good time.

Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a business leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.