BY Michael Fleming

DATE: 11 JUL 2019

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Surviving Life on the Road

With 17 years as a litigator, seven as a partner in a private practice and over a decade of experience at Kissing With Confidence, Michael is ideally placed to be Head of KWC Legal.

Michael has delivered business development, pitching and presenting skills to lawyers all over the world to the highest levels. As a firm believer of ‘working hard and playing hard’, having a positive mental attitude is vital in managing the huge amount of time spent out on the road. Michael talked us through how he survives life on the road… with some input from KWC's CEO Russell Wardrop.

Q: What top three things will you not leave home without?

Michael: It’s perhaps not that exciting (but dental hygiene is important – Michael says with a big smile) so I’d say my electric toothbrush, floss and interdental brushes.

Russell: Pants, socks, credit card (though only two of those are essential).

Q: How many days a year (roughly) do you spend away from home?

Michael: I used to add them up, but that can get so depressing! I’d say about 100.

Russell: yup, around the same. I never count them and love every single one.

Q: Have you learned to pack light? Any tips? 

Michael: No – I always over-pack! As I’m usually away for several days at a time, I’m normally checking in a suitcase anyway so I might as well take the stuff that I need to make life easier and more pleasant.

When I’m working in London, as I stay at the same place, they keep a bag for me which has toiletries, running shoes, casual jacket etc. So if I’m in London all week I don’t need to take so much stuff with me. It’s different if I’m travelling around a variety of cities in a week and/or doing some international stuff.

Russell: “Less is More” Mies van der Rohe. Your wee black case is a Tardis and has enough room for a whole week’s worth of stuff (no hold baggage, ever). There is nothing you cannot get, pretty much when you need it. M&S in central London opens early and have so much underwear they sell it cheap.  

Q: What do you most dislike about being on the road?

Michael: Loneliness – I’m an expressive extrovert. I miss my wife and my children. Plus the travel can be very challenging – for example, London at rush hour in the summer, wearing a suit, on the tube with a suitcase!

Russell: I’m an introvert so there’s not much I don’t like… talkers on planes?  

Q: Do you need to have a certain mindset when you’re on the road?

Michael: For me, it’s about finding the right balance of getting your head down and just getting on with it but also taking the time to lift your head to take advantage of your surroundings (which can often be completely new).

Russell: Nope, though I do need to remember to phone home occasionally.

Q: What do you miss when you are away?

Michael: My wife, son and daughter. Having space is a big one as the hotel rooms can be really small. I always look forward to getting back to my stereo system, motorbike and kit car.

Russell: My 55 inch telly, which is visible from my cracking kitchen overlooking the garden and the location for creating outrageous frittata for The Snip, whom I miss when I am away.

Q: What’s your favourite place to visit and why?

Michael: Definitely Barcelona! It offers the perfect combination of culture and architecture with beautiful beaches and crystal blue water. I’ve been about seven times – twice with work.

Russell: as an architect, I love urban spaces and buildings and the built environment. Rome, Paris and Barcelona are always worth another look to compare and contrast their cultures, but London is the best place in the world (apart from Arisaig in the north west of Scotland) and I never get tired of visiting. Which is just as well as I am there every other week.

If you ever get tired of living a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square and having Covent Garden, St James’ Park, Soho, Chinatown, Leicester Square, Southbank and The Strand within walking distance there is something up. 

Q: What three cities are on the hit list to visit – either for work or pleasure?  

Michael: Top of the list would be New York. There’s so much to see and do. I had some work there with a Law Firm for the first time last year. I also took my son over for a boy’s weekend and then stayed on to do some work.

Second on the list would be Copenhagen. I did some work there recently. I didn’t have time to explore but I would really like to. I’m interested in their culture and whole approach to life and work. The Nordic countries always come top of the annual World Happiness Report rankings. There’s a really strong sense of social support, freedom from corruption and I find it all very interesting.

And last, but definitely not least – Glasgow! I’m a massive fan of my home city even though my work takes me away from it every week. It’s developed so much since I was a young boy growing up here and it continues to evolve and thrive. Lots of bars, restaurants, shops, concert venues, museums and galleries plus the people are really friendly. 

Russell: Hong Kong for the Neon and the food, New York as I’ve only been there briefly for work and Athens for the obvious.

Interested in finding out more?

Kissing with Confidence creates Rainmakers, Pitchmakers and Teammakers. Why not contact Michael or Russell and ask them how they can assist your business.

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