These leaders are changing our world for the better. We find out how they get the job done.
Meakin attended The University of Bristol where he read Economics and Politics. After graduating, he worked at Mitchells & Butlers and OJM Advisory, helping him jumpstart his career as a commercial director at Maplin in 2012. Soon after, he became the CEO in 2015 and has helped make Maplin what it is today.
A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Meakin, how he gets it all done…
Before we opened our Support Centre in London, it would be a 4:15am start on a Monday morning to drive up to Rotherham from my home in Wiltshire. Since opening in London, I now wake up at 6:00am to get to the office from the train station in Kemble.
This gives me a little over an hour of uninterrupted time to clear my emails and focus on the day ahead.
Although with 4 children and a wife, I am fighting an increasingly losing battle over controlling the playlist.
I have an iPhone 7 with a Griffin Survivor case. A complete must for someone that is permanently taking the phone out to take pictures around Maplin shops and dropping far too regularly!
I meet a LOT of people each day. The start of the week tends to be Support Centre based with a weekly Trading Meeting and regular monthly meetings with the top 30 managers in the business.
Beyond that, I try to spend at least a day a week out in shops to talk to colleagues and customers. If I had to make a guess, I would say that I meet with, on average, 20 people a day.
I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho when I left university on the recommendation of a friend of mine. What underpins the story is the necessity of listening to your heart, following your dreams, and appreciating what you have rather than always focusing on what you want to do next.
From a more business-focused perspective, Jack Welch’s 4E’s of Leadership really resonates with me. As a leader, I believe it is important to have huge energy, to be able to energise an organisation, to be able to execute and have the edge to make the tough decisions.
Omni-channel retail is absolutely all about people — be that colleagues or customers. If you don’t enjoy being around people, don’t bother working in retail! If you like people, then the other area that is increasingly important in retail is understanding data.
I would recommend spending time as an analyst. My time in consulting has been invaluable in making me a better retailer.
The train home allows me to clear emails and finish off the day. I try not to work once I arrive back home in the evenings around 7:30pm, this is time for my family!
That said, we have landed a number of new trial concepts in recent months so I can’t help but read the summary emails each day on performance before heading to bed!
My BMX bike, I had hours of fun at home on it!
I don’t really have an idol; however, I would like to meet with Jeff Bezos to understand how he ensures that Amazon continually innovates. The moves that Amazon has made into adjacent sectors and the innovations within retail are phenomenal!
I am a firm believer that omni-channel retailers will ultimately be the most successful. The internet is brilliant if you know what you want to buy but it is harder for consumers, especially in technology, if you are not sure on what to get.
Retailers that offer consumers the ability to shop through whatever channel they choose to and provide great service through knowledgeable colleagues and services that complement product purchases will be successful.