This week we take a peek into the life of our MD Stephen Dracup, who was very busy prepping for our annual Summer Conference.

Name: Stephen Dracup 

Job Title:  Managing Director 


Arrived at the office, caught up on my overnight emails and checked out my calendar for the day – must make sure I know what my commitments are. I also put some music on as I find it’s a pleasant way to start the day. Getting into classical music this year — classical — Debussy on now. 


I’ve just arrived back from a lovely cappuccino with Mark. It’s been a busy week with the Group Away Day and board meeting — so good to review how we both felt those went, review our actions and catch up on some shared actions we’ve been working on for a while.

I have a conference update meeting at 10am with David Pollock, our CEO, and the rest of the conference team. I need to get a final steer on my presentation and timings so that I can get my head down afterwards, write my speech and work on my story board for the slides. So, I’ll spend the next 45 minutes looking at the Away Day actions to make sure I get the initial framework right.


Conference meeting went very well. Much clearer on how I slot in, timescales and content – Hoorah!

Spent a few minutes running through a rough outline of my speech using Microsoft Word and Office 365 with David. It always cheers me up when I have shared a link to the file, and edits I am making turn up in real time on someone else's device — it really is the little things.
Note to self: Must share links rather than send a copy file when likely to collaborate on content.

I then spent 20 minutes discussing some key Away Day Actions and planning in meetings with David. Getting a lined-up diary is vital when you’re as busy as we are, and you need to get things done. (read the book or visit the website:


Just finished working on slide graphic and statistics for my Summer Conference presentation — feedback from our people from the Quarterly Survey regarding growth, performance and culture was especially useful.

I’m about to go and get a bite to eat and continue with key points to mention in the speech.


I had a rocket salad with alfafa beans – lovely (not sure why there was a pudding and chips on the plate as well but would be rude not to eat it). Raring to go for more conference work…


Brief catch-ups with John Pett and Alan Cassidy sandwiched between more conference work.

It turns out this is an odd day for a daily blog as it’s unusual (and quite rewarding actually) to be able to spend a day focusing on mainly one thing.

For what it’s worth, Monday returns to normal service next week with 14 meetings in the day! We run our performance meetings on the first Monday of the month and have one with each Divisional MD and Core Leaders. Tuesday's focus is on Growth and Systems Improvement. No monthly office meeting on Monday though — so that's a couple of hours spared on Sunday as I would normally write it then. Off to see my Mum instead.


Just caught up on Yammer (our group social media channel) — I try to do this at least once a week. I like reading Customer Passion, Gimme 5 Praise and All Company. I try to read all posts and like the ones that are not food related and say hello to new starters and well done to anyone getting a 5* review from customers.

It really gives me a view on who is doing good work out there for our customers and our people, and it is always uplifting to see good news. I love all of the positivity.


Spoken to David about conference slides, we seem to be on the same page so all that I need to do is refine and learn my slides.

Final job of the day — Check the ‘New Opportunities’ folder with Debbie Lucas to make sure I’m up to speed on where everything’s at.

Just finishing off a few things with a view to leaving at 5pm as I have to get home and then catch the train into Manchester as I am off to see an exciting new band called Nothing Pretty.

I know – it’s how I roll, down with the kids and all that!

Bye for now…