Headstart: Management – A week in the life of Brian Mackie


Kicked off with a joint planning session chaired by myself, to set March priorities for the debt collection team. This took up most of the day.

One of the pleasures of contract working is the variety. This assignment is particularly interesting, as it is the lynchpin between two very professional organisations, operating in a complex and dynamic market sector.


Spent the morning analysing performance statistics for the previous week.

Had a working lunch with my counterpart in Vertex and his operational management to review the results.

The afternoon taken was up by preparation and submission of a weekly report to npower Direct, and responding to an abundance of emails and phonecalls.


Attended a morning meeting to discuss customer service performance, and to agree following month’s targets.

Chaired the weekly Vertex/npower formal partnership meeting in the afternoon.

In the early evening, attended npower/Vertex contract launch party, with presentations by both npower Direct and Vertex directors to all Vertex staff working on our contract. This went down very well. Travelled down the M6 to Solihull in preparation for an early morning Thursday meeting.


Up with the break of day for a fortnightly review meeting with npower senior operational management to brief them on performance and planning.

This also provided the opportunity to get my timesheet signed off! A somewhat mundane but vital aspect of interim management. Headed back up the road to Vertex and reached Knowsley by 3pm. Caught up on messages, emails etc.


An accounting problem highlighted by npower finance department demanded urgent resolution requiring me to re-schedule most of my Friday appointments.

We cracked the problem by the early afternoon, thanks to tremendous support from the Vertex systems team. The rest of the day was spent specifying a work request to Vertex for a systems fix before heading off for a well deserved weekend refresher!

– This position with npower Direct Ltd is Brian Mackie’s second interim management placement by Robert Half International.

Related reading