A week in the life of… Debbie Nicol - Gulf Business
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A week in the life of… Debbie Nicol

A week in the life of… Debbie Nicol

Dubai-based business en motion consultancy’s managing director discusses her weekly schedule and why she is glad to be her own boss



It is an early kick-off for a daylong leadership workshop facilitation. I check that resources are set to go, the technology is working and I’m in ‘the zone’ by 7.45am.

After a long day, at 5pm, it is time to say farewell. I record the outcomes and send an email to the attendees. At 6pm I have my mandatory ‘self space’ for 15 minutes to regroup my thoughts, check my phone message bank and reintegrate with the outside world.

It is early to bed with a smile on my face knowing the desired outcomes will have been achieved.


I have an early executive coaching session today. It is one that needs to be completed before the client’s office is open. Their wish is my command. I log into the global community to see how many best practices have been shared. I then release the next task for the week.

After this, I conduct a second round of meetings regarding a collateral update. Then I link back to last meeting’s minutes to gauge progress.

In the evening, I have a couple of Skype calls – 7pm with Google (yes, they are still supporting my adwords campaigns) and at 7.30pm with Sofie in Denmark regarding the change project.

After a hectic long day, it is time for a walk on the new beachside track at 8.30pm. I need to let my body and mind go.


Mid-week starts with an early morning swim and a climb up 30 flights of steps. After all there are only 20 days left until my Mont Blanc circuit trek. But I’m back in business mode by 10.00am. Ah, I enjoy the flexibility of being my own boss.

I complete three venue checks for the launch of a year-long leadership intervention. I also create my to-do list for office:

a. First draft proposal for organisational development framework. Put it in diary to send out on Thursday – ruminate for two days.

b. Login again with international online community.

c. Scan local industry news and forums – add to list of blog ideas.

d. Make decision on exhibition involvement. Which stand? Speaking slot required? Team assistance on those days?


We have the second milestone meeting in preparation for a merger – are we on track? I revisit the project schedule and identify any slips. I also consider the final iteration of the team based learning course.

At 4pm, I meet Shirley for the final stage of my licence renewal. I remember to take three cheques and the required documents.


It’s a back-to-back meeting day and I start off with a banana smoothie and pomegranate bites (no coffee). First I meet with the new stationery supplier to discuss how we work and what we need. Next is a lady I connected with through LinkedIn. We discuss what is she looking for in her new ‘dream job’. What’s the alignment to our services? Who can I link her up with?

This is a coordination of schedule dates for consultancy ‘guaranteed’ time. And finally I meet my graphic designer and digital advertising guys. I take the early evening yoga class to edge into the weekend.


I am heading to Oman for some action – four-wheel driving and trekking and an overnight camp where I can study the stars. I also manage to find a quiet place for half an hour to recap the weekly summary checklist questions:

  • What percentage of this week was transactional and how much was transformational?
  • How did the actions this week align with strategic priorities?
  • How much activity did not support positive movement towards vision?
  • What, of significance, should I stop doing, start doing and keep doing next week?


After a lovely outgoing, I’m back in Dubai by 3pm. I throw the camping gear in the wash, get my car washed, check emails, revisit next week’s schedule, restock my kitchen and fall into bed with another smile on my face.


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