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 read books.
Many successful CEOs are avid readers. They read a variety of genres, from autobiographies to fiction to business books. Most of the ultra successful CEOs even go so far has to having their book list on their websites. One of the best and well-know examples of this is Bill Gates, who keeps his booklist available for anyone to read.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. The have a set routine.
They wake up around the same time (if not the exact same time) every single day. They do the same things for the first 60-90 minutes of each day. This gives them a consistency which helps settle their busy minds.
5. The 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.
6. They exercise and meditate.
These habits saves them huge amounts of time on the back end. For example, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, makes 20 million a year. It costs his company roughly $54,700 each day he misses work. So staying healthy is important to not only Dimon, but the company as a whole. Regular exercise and meditation can keep your mind and body healthy.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. They don’t use electronics before bed.
Research shows that artificial light from some devices interferes with your sleep. Arianna Huffington, the digital media mogul, states that her bedroom is device-free zone. Her book, Thrive, it is a great book and goes into great depth about this habit.
10. 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.