June 7, 2023

“My life is my work. My work is my life.” 

So says Damola Adamolekun, former Wall Avenue whiz turned CEO of casual-dining restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s. Within the midst of the distant work revolution, staff worldwide have been combating for a greater work-life steadiness, pushing again in opposition to employer mandates to return to workplace and advocating for four-day workweeks. Even international celebrity Rihanna lately expressed that discovering “steadiness is sort of not possible.” 

However for Adamolekun, work and life have by no means been separate. “I by no means actually have been an individual that separated work and life,” he tells Fortune. “It mixes.”

That is likely to be as a result of the 34-year-old has so much on his plate. He’s one of many few Black CEOs main a significant U.S. firm; there are solely six black CEOs within the Fortune 500, and solely 8% of C-suite executives are Black, based on a 2021 Washington Put up evaluation of the 50 most dear corporations. And Adamolekun balances working the helm together with his job as a associate at Paulson & Co., the hedge fund that acquired the Asian-inspired restaurant chain in 2019.

It follows a profitable profession in non-public fairness, the place Adamolekun labored at prime corporations, together with Goldman Sachs and TPG Capital. He says he devoted his finance period to “working on a regular basis,” even on the weekends. 

“I believed it was enjoyable. So it wasn’t like I needed to go in on a Saturday,” Adamolekun mentioned. “It was like ‘I acquired stuff to do, and I wish to knock it out, or I wish to take a look at one thing.’” 

It’s not not like the lifetime of many financiers and CEOs, who’re identified for logging after-work hours to get the job carried out. He says he nonetheless works on the weekends and may generally be discovered checking emails by the pool. 

Though Adamolekun has by no means prioritized discovering a work-life steadiness, he acknowledges that work impacts individuals otherwise. “It’s a person factor,” he says, including that you need to separate the 2 if work is worrying. That’s why he encourages staff to construct in “buffers,” taking a time off on a Tuesday or Wednesday since weekends are often busy on the restaurant as a consequence of increased demand.

However for him, regardless of all of the pressures of being a chief govt, “work doesn’t stress [him] out.”

Adamolekun gave Fortune a sneak peek into his every day routine, which kicks off at 4 a.m. sharp. 

From a.m. runs to p.m. cigars

4:30 a.m.: Adamolekun’s motto: “Early to mattress, early up.” 

He begins his day with a seven- to eight-mile run, which he says helps him really feel much less harassed and extra relaxed. The cardio train routine stimulates his “calm, relaxed, autonomous nervous system,” Adamolekun says, not like the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers your physique’s fight-or-flight response.

There’s a motive you are feeling good whenever you work out, he provides: “You’ll really feel higher the entire day. You’ll be smarter, you’ll be sharper, you’ll be extra energetic.”  

6:00 a.m.: After his run, Adamolekun showers and prepares to go to P.F. Chang’s headquarters in Scottsdale. 

Earlier than hitting the street, he takes a couple of minutes in his residence workplace to assessment the chain’s efficiency numbers from the day past, checking to see in the event that they aligned with the corporate’s expectations. 

7:00 a.m.: Adamolekun arrives on the headquarters, a 20-minute drive from his home, and casually meets with the COO and CFO earlier than leaping right into a day stuffed with conferences. His schedule is full of inside and exterior conferences. 

In between conferences, Adamolekun manages emails, prioritizing probably the most important duties to make sure staff are being met with well timed approvals to maneuver ahead with their work. 

6:00 p.m.: When the day’s conferences are over, Adamolekun clears his inbox and heads residence. However his workday doesn’t precisely cease there. 

Because the CEO of a significant restaurant chain, Adamolekun isn’t any stranger to mixing enterprise with dinner, usually assembly with colleagues and connections after the normal nine-to-five workday ends.   

As he places it, “It’s a hospitality enterprise, so a number of dinners are concerned.” 

On the events when Adamolekun can go straight residence with none post-work affairs, he relaxes with a cigar on the patio, ending his day the identical means he begins by activating his parasympathetic nervous system.