Balancing the Grind with Richard Elstone, Partner at Amrop Carmichael Fisher

Richard Elstone is a Partner at executive search and assessment firm Amrop Carmichael Fisher, and also the founder of Executive Interview Coaching.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’m a partner at Amrop Carmichael Fisher and I am also the founder of Executive Interview Coaching.

I have over 30 years’ experience in executive search, focusing on appointing executives across all leadership disciplines from CEOs and their direct reports (CFOs, CIOs, Chief People & Culture, Chief Marketing Officers etc.) as well as their direct reports such as General Managers etc.

In my executive coaching role, I guide and mentor executives that are looking to make a change in their career, guiding them on their resume and their executive interview skills.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I typically start the day at about 8am and usually work through until around 6pm. I try to fit in my executive coaching towards the beginning and the end of each day and then the rest of the day is spent on executive search activities, such as headhunting candidates, talking to my network for recommendations, interviewing and talking to clients.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Since March, I have done all my work from home.  I know industry colleagues who have moved interstate since the pandemic and still work the Melbourne market from their new locations.  If COVID has taught us anything this year, it’s that we are able to work from anywhere.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Is there such a thing as work-life balance?  I’m not sure, but I must say that since working from home, I am working more hours, but when I stop I’m home, no more commutes, which has given me back 12-15 hours per week. 

I like to go out to lunch with my wife on Fridays and I am able to walk my dog 2-3 times a day now I’m home. Is that work-life balance to me? I guess it is!

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Client meetings have gone from face to face to Zoom video conferences, as have interviews and coaching.  I’m no longer commuting! 

Because I am working from home, we now have a dog too.  Our previous dog hated being alone during the day and because of that we would not have got another pet until one of us gave up work.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

There are numerous books that I think are good to read, Good to Great by Jim Collins is one, The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner is another and if you are thinking of getting a new role, read The New Leader’s 100 Day Action Plan by George B. Bradt, Jayme A. Check and John A. Lawler. 

Everyone should read Eat That Frog by Brian Tracey and a fascinating recent read was Hit Refresh by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella

Podcasts. TedTalks of course and then The Mentor List.

 7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I love my MacBook and all my Apple products which get refreshed every few years (iPad, iPhone).

 8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I would love to read how Winston Churchill managed it during World War II, probably with the help of a whisky between teas!

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Do something you love and it won’t feel like work.  Try and work out how you can use your current skills to develop something that you could call your own, a side hustle if you like, it will help both with income and your current role too, mine has!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.