A Day In The Life of the Executive Vice President at Buckley Oil Company
Executive Vice President, Buckley Oil Company
As the Executive Vice President, Jason works with one foot in sales and the other in operations. Jason is involved in the hiring strategy of the business, as well, leading interviews and talent selections to fill accounting, logistics, sales and operational roles. He remains engaged with each team member on a consistent basis, to ensure support is provided to all processes of the business.
Jason woke up and began his day walking the neighborhood with his chocolate lab, Cruz, while listening to an audiobook. After an hour, the two returned home and Jason took a shower, cooked breakfast, made coffee and took his 7-year-old son to school.
This is a typical morning for Jason on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he starts the day by cooking breakfast, making coffee and heading to his local hockey rink to skate and practice with a handful of his teammates. After practice, Jason will shower at the rink and drive to work from there.
Jason drove 30 minutes to work (in his truck because, well, it’s Texas!) He listened to an audiobook on the drive.
Jason is incredibly intentional with how he spends his time. After examining the value of the short periods between tasks and activities, known as grey space, a commute, lunch break or the 15 minutes between business calls are opportunities to seize and Jason utilizes each of these moments. In doing so, he is able to read 1 – 2 books a week, frequenting ones of his favorite topics being business, leadership, fatherhood, and marriage. He is currently reading Conscious Capitalism and 5 Love Languages of Children.
Jason arrived to work.
He works out of Buckley’s corporate office and their largest distribution plant, in Midlothian, Texas. The facility is fairly new, after opening in 2015 and has a rustic design. he office building sits in front of a state-of-the-art chemical distribution plant, consisting of a tank farm with two dozen 20,000 gallon storage tanks, two truck scales and a warehouse to store finished and packaged goods.
Jason’s office has a view of the plant and sits between Buckley’s sales and logistics departments. He commonly works from his favored standing desk by the brand, Varidesk, and has a separate sitting area for meetings. His office displays personal touches of family photos while also showcasing his eclectic style. You’ll find a replica of his favorite Monet painting and a few deer and duck mounts on the walls.
Jason dropped off his bag, turned on his laptop and hit the floor for his routine walk through the office and plant. He said, “good morning,” to each employee and checked for any urgent requests or questions that required immediate assistance. Recent software changes were the priority of the team, so problem solving, retraining, and redefining roles and responsibilities needed to occur as a result.
Jason lives in his role through a genuine and consistent leadership style. While walking the floor each morning, he nourishes the relationships he has built with each one of his team members. He inquires about families, each employee’s well-being and how he can provide support to the various departments. Jason describes leadership to be comparable to, “tending to a garden or a plant.” He continues to explain, “you cannot take the sum of all of the water a plant needs and throw it on every 6 months or so… you have to ration it and water it daily.” The scale of a leader’s actions matters less than the repetition of behaviors.
Jason called his sales manager and each plant manager at Buckley’s other three facilities to casually converse, check for urgent requests or questions and to hear a general update of what their day/week looked like.
The plant managers oversee operations, personnel and health and safety of their respective plant. Jason boasts about these particular managers complementing their loyalty, work ethic, character and vision to be unrivaled. He views his relationships with his plant managers to revolve around providing service as opposed to management. During their frequent calls, Jason checks for operational challenges such as a truck needing service or any equipment issues. He also inquires about personnel details including the health and home-life of the employees and how assistance can be provided to address any concerns. One of Jason’s largest efforts during his calls with the plant managers is to, “roll them into the folds of the overall corporate body.” With quite a distance between the four plants, Jason extends efforts to ensure the other plants understand their value as an integral component of Buckley’s overarching vision.
Jason opened his emails for the first time of the day and started to delegate, clean out and work through his inbox.
Jason’s Executive Assistant, Jill, was introduced to him through some contacts in the local school district and he has admired her performance in the role from the start of her first day. Jason has recognized his habit of saying, “yes,” to more things that can efficiently fit on his plate on a given day. In efforts to spike his productivity and control more of his time, he relies on Jill to be the gatekeeper of this calendar. She checks his emails for urgent requests, corresponds to customers and organizes meticulously to maintain an order to the chaos—allotting scheduled time to certain tasks removes the demand.
Before this, Jason would reply to emails as soon as messages would populate, keeping him attached to his devices and fulfilling other’s availability expectations at a moment’s notice. Since readjusting, he has improved his productivity and gained an ability to be fully present in his day.
Jason has both hands in any situation regarding personnel and delegates other prudent tasks to be handled by a respective manager. Not only does this allow Jason to remain focused, but it gives his managers opportunities to learn and evolve in their roles through experience.
Jason sat down for his lunch.
He normally eats a quick lunch early in the day to avoid lines and because after a vigorous morning… he’s hungry! Occasionally, Jason will eat lunch with one of the other executives or one of his managers but most often, he utilizes his lunch period for projects or personal development. He spends this time reading, watching TED Talks, or thinking through any current strategic projects/initiatives.
Jason sits on the Board of the National Association of Chemical Distributors and had a call with one of his contacts to discuss the new Sustainability Task Force, where he serves as Chairman.
The mission of the Sustainability Task Force is to improve the industry under the framework of people, planet, profit and progress. The Sustainability Task Force is focused on finding ways to become better stewards of their products and to the community as a whole while committing to constantly assessing where the chemical industry is and where it needs to be going.
To collect data and assess the current state of membership companies, the National Association of Chemical Distributors sends a survey for managers to report on the particular company’s efforts of sustainability. Topics here include evaluating idle time of a fleet of trucks that affects emission gasses, community involvement and education initiatives. Jason and his contact dove into these survey results. Afterward, the two discussed Jason’s upcoming presentation to the National Board in Park City, UT, during February 2020 and about a March 2020 workshop located in Long Beach, CA that Jason will be speaking in.
The scheduling of vendor, customer and miscellaneous calls between 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM is another intentional strategy of Jason’s, aligning with his ultimate motive of maximizing his time and the efficiency of his day. Other calls he takes during this time include unannounced and casual check-ins or handlings a specific customer issue.
Jason took a call with the Midlothian Independent School District to discuss a meeting that he was unable to attend the day prior.
Jason serves as Community Co-Chair of the INCubator EDU Program. INCubator is an entrepreneurial curriculum that the school district will roll out in the second half of 2020. Jason’s role is to help the district tie the entrepreneurial program in with the business community and to help design the workspace to best serve the students in the program. With an innate passion for both children and business, this project was a seamless fit after Jason asked the school district for initiatives he could become involved in.
Jason walked the floor and plant for the 2nd time of the day.
His goal is to walk the facility two to three times a day to check in with everyone; first thing in the morning, once in the early afternoon and once at the very end of the day. Jason doesn’t believe effective management evolves from staying tucked away in the office all day. His walks are important to represent his leadership values and management approach.
Jason tries to reach as many of his people as possible and ends every interaction with a question of, “is there anything I can do to help you right now?”
At Buckley, there is an executive committee of four:
- Executive Vice President (that’s Jason)
The committee meets every Thursday for about two hours to discuss challenges, operations, new initiatives, personnel and financials. Decisions are made during this weekly meeting to set a framework for the committee and to remain aligned in vision.
Success can be evaluated by lead and lag measures. Lead measures correspond to behaviors while lag measures focus on metrics and finances. Jason is focused on lead measures to analyzes his success in his role at Buckley, as he believes lag results are byproducts of behaviors.
Jason spent 30 minutes going back through his inbox to answer, delegate and clean out his inbox once more.
Jason spent an hour and a half making sales calls by phone to current or prospective customers. To compartmentalize his time, he will alternate between the two and focus only on one each day.
A previous mentor told Jason,
“A good leader has to keep their hands dirty.”
Jason believes a leader needs to be willing to get in the trenches of their department and stay up to speed on the challenges and opportunities their team faces daily. He showcases this by spending time making cold calls in search of new opportunities for Buckley or by reaching out to existing customers. Priming his calls to prospective customers is ample research of the company. Jason will visit the website, check on LinkedIn for shared connections and scan relevant articles to support the purpose behind his call and better his chances of landing a new account.
Jason also spends 1-2 days a week in the field, making in-person calls or attending customer meetings and 2-4 days a month at Buckley’s other facilities to spend time working with the operation’s teams.
Before leaving for the day, Jason walked the office and plant one last time to say goodbye and to check in with each department including sales, logistics and accounting.
Jason builds and harvests relationships with departments that report to him and ones that don’t! He does this knowing that partnerships across the entirety of a brand are incredibly valuable from a big-picture perspective of the health of the company.
Buckley’s employees work the typical 8-5 workday and Jason takes it as a testament to the efficiency of the company that everyone can leave on time. He firmly believes that if employees cannot accomplish their responsibilities in a reasonable amount of time and during reasonable hours of the day, there is a poorly designed system in place that needs to be reevaluated.
“Leaders need to protect their employee’s life outside of work!”
Jason sorted through his emails for the last time and created a to-do list for the next day.
Jill sends Jason any relevant calendar invites for him to add to his list, along with an overview of the following day to outline things to focus on. He also includes any self-reflective moments of hindsight to highlight individual opportunities and maintain accountability for his own personal development.
Jason is diligent about leaving the office on time. He is in his truck and headed home by 5:15 PM at the latest. His day is a full marathon, with a wife and kids at home deserving of the same attention he provides to his career.
Jason returned home from work and before anything else, spent ten minutes greeting his wife and kids. After that, he changed into workout clothes. The outfit swap helps him transition from a work mindset to one of a husband and dad.
Jason and his family ate dinner together, as they do every night. He made the most out of this opportunity and dove into the details of everyone else’s day.
Jason’s family plays a huge role in his career and his life. He and his wife are blessed with three, beautiful children; a seven-year-old son, a four-year-old son and a ten-month-old daughter. Jason is equally as intentional with his time spent at home, as he is in the office.
Jason relaxed with his kids while his wife ventured upstairs to ride their Peloton for her evening workout. Jason helped with homework, read with the boys, played with his daughter and performed all nightly activities (baths, brushing teeth, etc.)
Jason’s wife put their daughter down for the night, while he tucked in the boys. After that, he went for another workout. He alters between lifting weights, riding the Peloton and rowing.
Jason took a shower and prepared his clothes for the next day. He and his wife drank a glass of wine and watched a TV show together to wind down.
Their frequented TV shows consist of a hockey game, which Jason promises his wife loves, a cooking show or a documentary.
Jason and his wife got ready for bed spent the next 30 minutes reading before they went to sleep.
Another book Jason is currently invested in, is Bob Iger’s Bio, The Ride of a Lifetime.
After graduating from Texas Christian University with an undergrad in Psychology, Jason landed a role working with his father’s company where they performed sales and sales management training with selection development retention work for large Fortune 500 and 100 companies globally. After Jason’s father retired, Jason began to explore opportunities outside of his family’s company and utilized a close connection of his for any leads. Weekly, Jason and his close college friend who was the President at Buckley Oil Company, met for a casual meeting to discuss relevant topics of their respective fields. During one of their conversations, Jason extended his prospective move and explained his exploration of new opportunities. Valuing Jason’s work ethic and partnership, the President organized an interview for the same day. An offer to join Buckley was extended to Jason and he started within a few days of the interview, as an outside sales rep. From there, he was promoted in 2015 to Sales Manager, then Vice President of Sales around a year later and currently sits as Executive Vice President as of 2019.
What would you advise to aspiring Vice Presidents?
The biggest thing Jason would tell an aspiring Executive Vice President is that businesses get better when leaders get better. Teams need to see their leader exhibiting the same behaviors that are expected, as people respond to what individuals demonstrate rather than dictate.
Jason also advises treating your time more sacred, explaining that everything that is said “yes” to, forces a “no” to something else. Becoming more disciplined about time allows for an ability to cultivate more control over opportunities that would benefit from a “yes.”
The last thing Jason advises for an aspiring EVP is to put the necessary time into networking. To build a circle of connections, the relationships must be built and maintained. A network cannot be tapped into that hasn’t been invested in for months, or even years, prior. Like any genuine relationship, trust and value must be developed over time and through mutual efforts. Networks are to be earned.
Which job do you want to experience next?
Jobs like Jason‘s
About the Author
5 Love Languages of Children, Buckley Oil, Conscious Capitalism, National Association of Chemical Distributors, Texas, The Ride of a Lifetime, Varidesk, Vice President, executive, fatherhood, leadership, reading, time management