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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 June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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