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10 Habits of Successful CEOs That You Should Adopt

10 Habits of Successful CEOs That You Should Adopt

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Featured photo credit: Palantir CEO Alex Karp/Eric Millette for Forbes via forbes.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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