Professional Development

4 Habits to Follow to Become a Successful Leader

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Have you ever wondered how CEOs became the leaders they are today? People don’t just become successful due to their education, interviewing skills, or work experience. Along the way, these leaders have learned new habits and developed personal traits that will advance their careers.

These four tips are worth adding to your repertoire no matter where you are in your career journey. 

#1: The Morning Matters

A productive and positive morning can make a substantial difference. You should embrace the time you have, whether you get up a few hours earlier to enjoy the quiet before the chaos or prefer to start your workday early. Try to create a regular schedule for yourself that lets employees know when you’ll start your day, but also when you’re off the clock. Whether it’s in the morning or the afternoon, create a schedule and stick to it. This is especially important for leaders and can help create a work-life balance.

Jeff Braverman, CEO of Nuts.com, says “I try and be religious about the time I leave my house in the morning for work and the time I get back. It helps balance things and ensures I am present, both physically and mentally.”

#2: Set Goals for the Day, Month, and Year

This might sound obvious, but creating a to-do list for your day, your week, your month, and even your year can help you reach your goals better and more efficiently. Start following this strategy now, so that when you reach the top, you’ll have a routine that guarantees productivity.

“Like most busy CEOs, I am most successful when I stay laser focused on my goals. I firmly believe that if you are not addressing your company’s biggest challenges head-on, you cannot thrive,” says Cemtrex Inc. CEO Sagaar Govil. “At the beginning of each month, I make a list of the top five issues I need to address to reach [my] goals. Every morning, I block out time to focus on and tackle one of those issues.”

Set deadlines and stick to them. Being a leader has perks but pushing off responsibilities and commitments isn’t one of them.

#3: Do More, Learn More

We know it’s important to always be learning, but some leaders consider it to be of the highest importance. This can mean expanding your knowledge about your role or field or trying to develop a new hobby outside of work. Doing this will make you more prepared for whatever kind of work you do. When you thoroughly understand your company before you gain a leadership role, it puts you ahead of others and shows that you’re prepared to take control.

Soti founder and CEO Carl Rodrigues says, “Whether you’re a CEO, business leader, or entrepreneur, it’s important that you feel passionate about what you do on a day-to-day basis. When you get home at the end of the day, having creative interests will ensure you don’t feel burned out.”

#4: Exercise Your Body and Mind

In a culture that’s focused heavily on working harder than the next person to get ahead, many people wind up with no time left for other vital parts of life. Many CEOs and leaders say that you shouldn’t neglect yourself, especially when it comes to working out and meditating. Meditation is a practice people everywhere are starting to integrate into their lives. In 2017, 18 million people in the US practiced meditation. This practice can help in lowering anxiety and stress. Overall, it’s a good habit that can give your mind a break and allow you to take time for yourself.

Padmasree Warrior, the CEO of NIO U.S., meditates every night. “It’s almost like a reboot for your brain and your soul,” she says about the practice. “It makes me so much calmer when I’m responding to emails later.”

If you do a Google search on this topic, you’ll find that almost every article mentions daily exercise as a key habit of successful CEOs. Working out, combined with getting up earlier, leads to a productive start to the day, provides alone time to clear your mind before beginning a busy schedule, and is just generally good for your health. When asked how to be more productive, the founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, responds simply: “work out.” He says doing so provides him with four extra hours of productivity a day.

How to Be a Leader

If you aspire to get to the top, these tips are a good place to start. It’s important to know what works best for you, and how you’re going to reach your potential. Whether it’s waking up early, finding a new hobby, or something else, implement it consistently each day, and you’re sure to be on the pathway to success.

Are there any other tips for aspiring leaders that you’d include? Tell me about them in the comments?