Boss It Like

How To Boss It Like… Jeremy Waite, Evangelist at IBM

By Oliver Smith 21 July 2016

These leaders are changing our world for the better. 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. From Lord Jim Knight to Anthony Fletcher and Jeff Lynn, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Jeremy Waite, IBM’s European evangelist, who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.

Waite has long been a marketing supremo in the tech space, having worked for Phones4U, social media specialist TPG, Adobe and Salesforce as head of their European digital strategy, Marketing Cloud.

Earlier this year he joined IBM as their strategic marketing evangelist for Europe.

Outside of work he recently published his second book, From Survival to Significance, and is working on his third, UBERNOMICS.

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Waite 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?

Up at 6am. Quick spin on my bike around Richmond Park. Make coffee (V60 filter with bourbon infused beans from Gentleman Baristas).

Catch up on news with Bloomberg, BBC News, Flipboard and Twitter. I listen to a podcast (a16z / Tim Ferriss / Mitch Joel) on the way to work.

More coffee. Desk by 8:30am.

What apps do you use to be more productive?

Cycling keeps me productive in the morning. Whiskey helps in the evening.

Cycling helps clear my head, and think about what I want to achieve in the day ahead. To save time I use IFTTT and to manage information I use Pocket to tag content that I need to work on later.

I tried Evernote but prefer a notebook and a nice pen. (Tim Ferriss’s podcast is better than any app if you want to be more productive).

What smartphone do you have?

Space Grey 64GB iPhone 6 Plus.

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

Very hard to say. I have recently started work for a VERY large organisation so I meet a lot of new people each day.


My job also involves speaking to marketers at conferences, so that could be a pretty big number. I love meeting new people which is why I love Jeff Weiner’s (CEO LinkedIn) advice:

“The value of your network is greater than the value of the products or services that you provide”

What book have you read, either recently or in the past, that has inspired you?

For the last 2 years I have read 1 new book each week.

I can’t do audio books or kindles but had had some success learning to speed read. At the moment I am reading the brilliant Think Simple by Ken Segall.


For anyone who’s job includes trying to explain complicated things in a simple way, it’s essential reading. Best book I read last year was Zero-to-One by Peter Thiel.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in their career, that you wish you had been given?

Go and work for the best company, not the one that offers you the sexiest job title.

Early in my career I turned down a job at a brilliant ad agency, because I had the chance to be a “creative director” for the family business. The best companies recognise talent very quickly, so great people move up pretty fast.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind down routine?

I work US hours so I can be talking calls or emails until quite late.

Whenever possible I try to not look at a screen after 9pm as it stops me sleeping and read books instead. (There is science somewhere that shows how the white light from a mobile device, stops you sleeping because the screen stimulates your brain too much).

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