The 6 a.m. CFO: How MSH’s Landon Cortenbach Starts His Day

Cortenbach shares how he begins his day with meditation, the Robert Frost quote that inspires him, and his favorite leadership lesson.
July 28, 2022
The 6 a.m. CFO: How MSH’s Landon Cortenbach Starts His Day

Welcome to our new series, the 6 a.m. CFO, where finance chiefs share how they jump-start their days and engage with the tasks in front of them. In this series, chief financial officers will share when they start their mornings, begin their workday, and, of course, their caffeine of choice. They also share best practices on how they structure their mornings for maximum productivity and offer lessons in leadership. (We also ask their favorite numbers because, why not?) 

In our debut, MSH CFO Landon Cortenbach shares how he begins his day with meditation, the Robert Frost quote that inspires him, and one thing you wouldn’t know about him from his business bio. Cortenbach was also a featured speaker in CFO’s recent webinar on workforce management. Download the executive summary here.

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This case study of JonnyPops’ success highlights the unusual financial and operational strategies that enabled rapid expansion into a crowded and highly competitive frozen treat market. 


  • Global Advisory Firm offering talent acquisition, talent advisory, technology consulting services and a SaaS platform for commercial use in 2023. 

  • Founded: 2011 

  • Size: 201 – 500 employees

  • Growth: 35% YoY growth since 2020 and running Adjusted EBITDA margins of ~20%

Weekday wake-up time and the first thing I like to do: 6:05 a.m. Wim Hof breathing exercise, listen to affirmations (recording of myself saying them on Think Up app). Coffee. Get ready. Twenty mins of meditation and breathing before I start my day.

Time I send out my first email: Between 6:06 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Workday start time: 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

First dashboard I review: Revenue run rate, daily/weekly cash flow.

How I spend the first hour of my day: Since my brain is most effective the first couple hours of the day, I usually spend the first one to two hours tackling the most complex task I have on my plate.

How I structure my morning meetings: I try and keep meetings light in the a.m. and stack them in the afternoon to take advantage of my effective brain time. 

Mid-morning snack of choice: I fast until lunch.

Best advice for writing an effective email: Keep it simple and concise. Focus on readability so the info is easy to consume. 

Most noteworthy items in my workspace: Standing desk and an airplane picture in the background (no clue what kind of plane, but I should probably learn it).

Favorite quote or mantra: “The only way around is through” — Robert Frost

Something important to know about me you wouldn’t know from my business bio: I emit laid-back vibes but am secretly relentlessly competitive. 

Favorite number (and why): 24 — it was my baseball number in high school and college and the number of one of my all-time favorite baseball players, Ken Griffey Jr.

Favorite leadership lesson: The power of a team > the power of an individual.

Favorite app on my phone that is not related to business (and why): Headspace. Meditation has increasingly become a huge part of my life and has been a game changer to calm my mind.

When do you take time for learning? Any bit of free time I have. Usually when I take walks mid-day.