Entrepreneurial Spotlight

Moosehead’s Andrew Oland Walks Around the brewery once a day

A lot needs to get done in one day. ‘A day in the life’ follows some of the world’s most innovative leaders, and details how they manage everything from exercise to employee relationships.

This year, Moosehead is celebrating its sesquicentennial alongside Canada. The brewery recently released a limited-edition anniversary ale that was made using Canadian ingredients only, with hops sourced from British Columbia and New Brunswick. Leading the 150th birthday celebrations is Moosehead’s chief executive officer Andrew Oland.

Here, Oland gives us a glimpse of his 16-hour day.

5.30 a.m. Three mornings a week I go to a 5.45 spin class. The other two mornings I do some type of gym-related activity. I’m home by quarter to seven and then I shower and shave. I eat a quick breakfast of oatmeal, frozen berries and Greek yogurt.

8.00 a.m. I live in Saint John, New Brunswick, so I don’t have a commute. It’s 17 minutes—18, if I miss the light. My basic uniform is a suit with a shirt and no tie; I find that the easiest. I’m starting to dress down more on Fridays; I wear a pair of jeans. I don’t keep my jacket on in the office. For 15 minutes, I review the previous day’s shipment. Then, I scan my emails and have quick meeting with my executive assistant, Janet Hunt. She’s a lovely woman. In our first daily meeting, we don’t talk about that day, we talk two or three weeks in the future, so she can set up my calendar.

8.30 a.m. I’ll spend five or 10 minutes with my brother Patrick [Oland], our chief financial officer. Moosehead is a multi-generational family business. My father is the chairman and my other brother Matthew is VP of supply chain. My third brother has his own business in Halifax. I treat Matthew and Patrick as I would any other employee, which is about treating people with respect. But a part of treating people with respect means also providing them with feedback.

9.00 a.m. I have a series of meetings, mostly on Mondays and Fridays. I try to schedule as many of my regular meetings on those days, which leaves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for travel because I travel a lot in my role. I spend a fair amount of time working in the market with our territory managers and meeting with our customers.

10.00 a.m. I have a weekly meeting with each of my five direct reports. I have a file for each of them so if issues come up, (unless it’s urgent), I’ll just put those issues into the file. This just prevents knocking on people’s doors all the time. For daily tasks, I work off of a small list and a big list. I have a small, on-going list which I update with long-term projects, and each day I will make a list of all the small things I have to do. I try to focus on the big list, but it’s tough because typically there is a lot of small things that everyone has to deal with.

12.00 p.m. I eat lunch at my desk; I bring a peanut butter sandwich from home, and that’s what I usually eat every day. Then I have a piece of fruit and a cup of tea. I scan the Globe and Mail for 20 minutes. After that, I’m back at it.

3 p.m. I make a point of walking around the brewery once a day, every day. My office is at the entrance to the brewery. It’s a very old building and that’s just the way it’s set up. So, I do what I call ‘a walkabout’ so that I can talk to people about small issues (if there are any), but it’s also a chance for me to say thank you to someone if I’ve seen something that has been well done. I spend 10 minutes watching the cans and bottles getting filled, labelled and packaged. I find it very therapeutic, and it’s a nice break.

7 p.m. We’re on Atlantic time here so sometimes calls that are at 5 pm don’t start until 6 pm here. That’s just part of the job. If I travel at any point in the week, I finish up the week by coming into the office for three or four hours on Saturday or Sunday morning.

7.20 p.m. I go home and have supper. I don’t look at email at night. My team knows to call me if there’s something important to be dealt with. I’m starting to come down at the end of the day, and the last thing I want to do is think about something work related, when I can think about it the next day.

9.30 p.m. I try do a little bit of a walk, even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes. I like to get out in nature because I can get locked up inside all day, particularly in the winter. By 10 p.m., my head has hit the pillow, and I’m down for the count. I’m one of these guys, I have to sleep and I have to eat.