It’s fair to say that life as the CEO of a successful and fast-growing tech company can be pretty jam-packed, as Tisski’s very own founder, Anna Assassa, knows only too well!
As a mother to two daughters – not to mention a proud ‘fur mum’ to three dogs – Anna works hard to balance her time between leading a company with Microsoft Gold Partner status and achieving her professional and personal goals, all while ensuring she doesn’t forgo quality time with her family and some well-earned downtime.
So, what exactly might a typical day look like for award-winning entrepreneur, Anna? Let’s take a look…
As it turns out, making the most of her mornings is one tactic that helps Anna fit as much as she can into any one day.
“I like to get up early and head out for a morning run as frequently as I can,” Anna said. “I’ve recently been working on a 16-week programme and my aim is to be able to complete a 10k run in less than an hour.”
Even if she doesn’t have any morning exercise scheduled in, Anna still chooses to wake up early and in usual circumstances it wouldn’t be uncommon for her to be travelling around the country visiting Tisski’s valued clients – not without stopping off at her local coffee shop and picking up a skinny latte first, though!
“I drink a lot of coffee,” Anna laughed. “It’s never much past 7am when I swing by Starbucks for my first cup of the day!”
On a non-travelling day, Anna’s first hour or so in the office – or settled in to work from home, as the majority of Tisski employees do – will be spent reading and responding to emails and handling anything which may have been escalated to her during offline hours.
“When it’s your company, you’re responsible for the smooth running. If a senior or strategic member of staff can’t make it to work, for example, it’s my job to understand if this will affect, say, the delivery of a project and do what I can to ensure that doesn’t happen,” Anna explained.
As well as this, Anna will spend some time in the morning reviewing the company dashboards, looking over any projects that have been secured and gaining insight from financial forecasts to understand what Tisski can expect to turnover in the month that lies ahead.
Perhaps rather predictably, Anna’s calendar is often full to the brim with meetings, whether that be with clients, board members or senior team members who report directly into Anna herself – usually a good mixture of the three.
“I wish I had something more exciting to tell you, but I do attend a lot of meetings throughout the week,” Anna joked. However, with her enthusiasm for her job and her team so apparent, it’s clear she doesn’t find this boring at all; she’s just concerned it’ll be boring to hear!
With Tisski being a Microsoft Gold Partner, Anna speaks to senior members of the Microsoft team on a regular basis, including the company’s partner manager. Plus, with the likes of the MOD, HS2 and NHS Business Services Authority counted amongst Tisski’s valued clients, it’s fair to say that meetings can be quite interesting.
Regular sales updates enable Anna to stay in-the-know when it comes to projects on the horizon, while RAG (red, amber, green) meetings help her stay up to date with ongoing projects and their progress. Anna also hosts ‘Open Blend’ sessions with those who report to her, offering mentoring and guidance, as well as a chance to discuss professional and personal goals.
Keen to ensure that Tisski holds onto its family feel despite its growth rate, Anna likes to get involved with internal projects, too, but the meetings she enjoys most actually revolve around the strategic planning.
“I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I just love planning and spending time thinking about what we will do as a company and how we can achieve what we want to achieve. There’s something rather exciting about thinking ahead to what the future might look like.
“I’m really passionate about the tech side of things, too. Tech is always evolving so it’s great to talk about where it might lead us. At the moment, I engage in a lot of conversations about AI and what it might bring to the public sector, which is really important for Tisski given that we have several public sector clients.”
A huge supporter of a flexible work environment, it’s incredibly important to Anna that Tisski employees have a good work-life balance, and the company’s work from home policy exists to enable staff to spend more time doing the things they love most and Anna makes the most of this herself, whenever she has the opportunity.
When Anna isn’t wearing her CEO hat, she thoroughly enjoys spending time winding down with her two daughters, aged 17 and 19, and her husband, and just like many of us, is partial to a glass of wine on a Friday evening and a binge-watching session on Netflix; she’s currently working her way through historical fiction, The Last Kingdom.
An avid dog lover, Anna spends a lot of time with her three dogs: two Goldendoodles (a combination of Golden Retriever and Poodle) and a miniature Dachshund. “Having three dogs is certainly a big commitment. They spend a great deal of time running around and they love playtime. I wouldn’t be without them.”