Developing Habits of Successful CEOs: 10 Key Practices
Every successful entrepreneur has a clear vision and is always striving towards achieving their dreams. But it’s not just about having a vision; it’s also about consistently taking action towards it. To achieve this sustained level of action, one needs to develop habits that are aligned with their goals. Successful CEOs understand this very well and have developed habits that help them accomplish their goals more efficiently. In this article, we will discuss ten habits most successful CEOs possess that set them apart from the average business owner.
1. Reading Is Their Favorite Pastime.
Most successful CEOs are voracious readers. They regularly read books on various topics, including business, autobiographies, fiction, and self-improvement. Many successful CEOs maintain a list of their favorite books, and some even publish them on their website, such as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. Reading helps CEOs challenge their mindset, gain more knowledge and insights, and develop new skills to implement in their business.
2. Asking the Right Questions.
Asking questions is one of the most important habits of successful CEOs. They are always curious, and they ask the right questions to help them gain insights, clarify their doubts and make better decisions. Andrew Cosslett, CEO of the InterContinental Hotels Group, believes that the big prizes come from asking the questions that challenge the conventional wisdom of their industry.
3. Early Bird Gets the Worm.
There is a saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Successful CEOs understand that waking up early is the first step towards productivity. Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, believes that waking up early is a habit that one needs to cultivate and maintain. Waking up early gives you quiet time for reflection, writing, reading, or exercising.
4. They Follow a Set Routine.
Successful CEOs follow a set routine, waking up at the same time every day and doing the same things for the first 60-90 minutes. This consistency helps settle their busy minds and give them a sense of purpose for the day. Following a routine helps reduce decision fatigue and frees up mental energy for more important tasks later in the day.
5. They Prioritize Their Time.
Time is a valuable resource, and successful CEOs protect their time vigilantly. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault, schedules only 90-minute meetings for non-operational meetings. By doing this, he can save time and keep himself focused on more critical tasks at hand.
6. Exercise and Meditation are Their Daily Ritual.
Regular physical exercise and meditation help successful CEOs maintain a healthy body and mind. Poor health can have a significant impact on productivity, and keeping fit can save on sick days and increase energy levels. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, earns a staggering $20 million annually, and the cost of his absence is roughly $54,700 a day. So for him, staying healthy is not just a personal priority, it’s essential for the success of the company.
7. Motivation is Their Superpower.
Successful CEOs have the ability to motivate their employees, even during challenging times. They find creative ways to inspire and energize their team, such as identifying their goals, providing necessary support, and removing any barriers that hinder their success. They also recognize that different individuals are motivated differently, and they adapt their approach to accommodate their team members’ unique needs.
8. They Take Time for Themselves.
Successful CEOs understand the importance of self-care and take time to reflect, mentor, relax, or take a walk. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, blocks 30-90 minutes in his calendar just for personal time, coaching, and reflection. By doing so, he is in control of his time, and not the other way around.
9. Unplugging Before Bedtime.
Research has shown that artificial light from electronic devices can interfere with your sleep, which can reduce productivity and increase stress levels. Successful CEOs understand the importance of good sleep, and HuffPost’s Ariana Huffington has even gone as far as prohibiting electronic devices in the bedroom.
10. Building a Network of Contacts.
Successful CEOs build a vast network of contacts, including talented individuals in their industry, mentors, and other successful CEOs. They leverage these contacts to obtain referrals, engage in business partnerships, or receive feedback on their entrepreneurial journey. Building a network is a long-term process, but to become a successful CEO, it’s one of the most critical habits they must develop.
In conclusion, becoming a successful CEO is a long process that requires consistent actions towards achieving your vision. Developing habits that align with your goals can help you stay on track, keep you focused, and more proactive. Adopting these ten habits of successful CEOs may not guarantee immediate success, but it can be a pathway towards becoming a better business owner, leader, and an overall better human being.