In order to be successful one has to have dreams and a clear vision. The vision then needs to be acted upon. No amount of action can be sustained without forming a habit, and successful CEOs all have habits that help their actions be more consistent.
1. They ask questions
One of the best habits to develop is the habit of asking. This habit should be practiced and continually refined. Successful CEOs not only ask questions, they ask the right kind of questions to get the answer they need. “In business, the big prizes are found when you can ask a question that challenges the corporate orthodoxy,” says Andrew Cosslett, the CEO of the InterContinental Hotels Group.
2. They wake up early
Show me a CEO that wakes up late and you will show me a mediocre CEO. Successful CEOs are early risers, according to Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin. Waking up is a habit that needs to be worked on and maintained. Waking up early gives you quiet time–time to reflect, write, read or workout.
3. They manage their time
Successful CEOs protect their time. Time is the only non-renewable resource. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault, schedules a strict hour and half meeting for non-operational meetings.
4. They are motivators
All successful CEOs have the ability to motivate their employees. They find different ways to motivate different employees. Some CEOs, like Brad Cleveland (CEO of Proto Labs), motivate by identifying employees goals, asking them what they need to get their jobs done and get out of their way. Others like Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automatic, allow their employees to work from anywhere they want to work from; which allows his employees to pursue their work on their own time.
5. They take time for themselves
They make time for themselves to walk, relax, meditate, mentor and reflect. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, has stated that he blocks 30-90 minutes in his calendar just for personal time, coaching and reflection. The point is that they control their time, the time and or days do not control them.
6. They network
Successful CEOs network for a variety of reasons. They are consistently on the prowl for new talent, for new smart people they can add to their team. The best and most trusted avenue for this is through their network referrals. They also network with their fellow CEOs to bounce ideas off of and to receive or offer mentorship.
7. They Minimize Distractions by Only Checking Emails (and Social Media) Twice a Day
Tim Ferris is famous for suggesting this in his book, The 4-Hour Work Week. Reading and answering emails doesn’t make you productive. If anything, you’re just being responsive.
To minimize distractions, Ferris recommends checking email twice a day: 11 AM and 4PM, or after you’ve completed at least one critical item in your to-do list, and once more before the end of your workday.
8. They Donate
Successful people allot time to give back to their community by working with charities, volunteering and donating. Tom Corley, author of Wealthy Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, states that 73% of the 233 wealthy people he studied for 5 years volunteer 5+ hours a month. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, all donate to different causes.
Not rich? No problem. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen, help at the nursing home, or teach kids to read. Many times, your time and the pleasure of your company is enough.
9. They Deliberately Practice and do Hard Work
Serena Williams wakes up at 6 AM to practice tennis, and she’s been doing that since she was a kid. Even her after-school routine revolved around practicing the sport. Dallas Mavericks owner and famous Shark investor, didn’t take a vacation for seven years when his company was just starting up. That’s dedication.
You can find shortcuts for everything in life, but you can never sidestep the hard work required to build the foundation of your goals.
10. They Don’t Break the Chain!
Have you ever heard of the calendar method supposedly created by Jerry Seinfeld?
Get a big calendar and a red marker, then mark “X” on each day you work on your goal or habit.
In two weeks, you’ll have a long chain showing your progress. It will motivate you to keep going, too.
To turn these techniques into actionable realities within your organization, please make time in your schedule for a free, one-to-one consultation with Simon. Call us today at 440-385-6737!