Day in the life of
Cassidy Turley's New York Tri-State region prez hardly ever sits down — in part because he doesn’t have a chair at his desk
4:45 a.m. I get up at 4:45 at my house in Bedford, N.Y., and take my two dogs for a walk before I do anything else. We have an English Springer Spaniel named Macallan, like the Scotch, and a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix — a rescue — called Scarlet. My wife, Lisa, refers to her as a “Chi-Pom.”
5:15 a.m. I work out in the basement. It’s not a gym; it’s a concrete slab at grade, and I have an old bike and elliptical machine, and a little TV. I work out for 45 minutes, to the point where I’m getting a bit of an endorphin rush.
6 a.m. I’ll get my coffee, and wake up my wife and two kids — twin 14-year-old boys, Brooks and Andrew. Waking them is like taking a grenade, throwing it in their room and running. No breakfast. Some days I take the boys to school; on other days I grab a train around 6:40 so I can get into the office [at 277 Park Avenue] at 7:45. On the train, I write in my notebook all the things I need to do. I’m getting to that stage of life where I’m starting to not remember stuff.
8:30 a.m. Most of our meetings start at 8:30. Our tri-state staff is about 420, with about 150 here [in New York]. Fifteen of them are senior level. But I like to figure out what’s been going on with our junior-most folks, whatever issues are on their plate.
10 a.m. From 10 to noon, I am pretty focused on my client work. I’m doing about five to 10 deals a year. My clients used to include tenants like NFL, Disney and Mobil; now I have Guggenheim Partners and GFI Capital Resources Group. In December 2011, Guggenheim leased 200,000 square feet at 330 Madison Avenue. They relocated there from 135 East 57th Street.
Noon Lunches are out a few times a week. This week I was at Lexington Brass on 48th Street, to meet a guy from Cushman & Wakefield I’m trying to recruit. In 2012, we hired 70 people, and this year so far, we’re at 35 new hires. [Lexington Brass] is not overly stuffy. I had chicken paillard. I try to eat relatively light. No heavy starches, because it will make me tired.
2 p.m. In the afternoons, I dedicate a few hours to my national role [within the company]. I’m now helping to plan a convention in Nashville in September. Tenants will come from around the country. The focus is on the impact technology is having on people’s work habits.
4 p.m. I have a bad habit at four — I go downstairs and get a bag of potato chips. And then I’m back up here. … I got rid of my desk chair two years ago. In our society, too many people have their faces plastered to screens for no ultimate benefit. I can stand at the desk for only about 25 minutes [before getting tired], so I’m forced to walk around, interacting with people. … I also have a headset, so I can walk around and do my calls, although a great man once said to me, ‘You think you’re multi-tasking, but you’re just being rude.’
6 p.m. I try to get the 6:43 train, but tonight I’m going to the bar at the Four Seasons hotel to meet a guy who manages the real estate assets for an insurance company. He may need help with a project. I like the hotel’s beautiful modular construction, concrete blocks that were plugged together. I’ll have a glass of red wine or a beer. Scotch is for Friday or Saturday nights. If I’m stuck [in the office] at night, I like to scribble sayings on my walls, like ‘More organizations die from indigestion than starvation.’ I try to change them every month or so, because things get stale. When I ran the New York Marathon in 1986 and I was crossing the bridge into the Bronx, there was a woman in her 90s with a little hand-scrawled sign that said, ‘Face your fears, and you will win.’ You know how you have epiphanies in life? That was one of them.
7:45 p.m. Typically I get home around 7:45. Dinner is usually in the oven. I talk to my sons about what happened that day, what’s going on with their schoolwork. The messaging I give to my young employees is similar to the messaging I give to my kids — courage, honor and truth.
9 p.m. Around nine, we’ll find something on the TV that they want to watch. They like [the A&E reality series] “Duck Dynasty,” which is actually pretty funny. That’s really the only screen time they get. They’re not on Facebook because I have banned it in the house.
10 p.m. I’m addicted to “Mad Men.” I started my career in advertising. The show really gets the details right. When I was 22, on the first day of my first job, my boss called me in at four and said, ‘Go over there, open the cabinet.’ There were two glasses and vodka. I poured myself a drink and had a seat.
11 p.m. No later than 11, those lights are out, and we’re asleep.