With the same 24-hour days as everyone else, successful CEOs seem to have a universal ability to do it all.
While they run the show at some of the biggest companies around the world, we can’t help but wonder how they would run their own day?
In their work with high performing CEO’s of fast-growth companies, Edward Sullivan and John Baird of the Velocity Group noticed one thing: Building a highly-successful company is the result of some fairly predictable executive habits.
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all routine for success, there’s a number of similarities in the habits of C-suites across the board.
Here are 5 things top CEOs do daily:
#1 They start their day right
Whether it’s by exercising before work, meditating for a few minutes while their coffee is brewing or reading the headlines while chewing their toast, many go-getting CEO’s have a morning routine that sets them up for a good day.
Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, told The New York Times, “I get up at 4:30 every morning. I like the quiet time. It’s a time I can recharge my batteries a bit. I exercise and I clear my head and I catch up on the world.”
Billionaire John Paul DeJoria, the co-founder of Patrón tequila and Paul Mitchell hair products, starts every morning with five minutes of quiet reflection. “The very second I wake up, I stay in bed for about five minutes and just be.”
#2 They read…a lot!
Warren Buffet, billionaire and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, spends 80% of his day reading. In his documentary, Becoming Warren Buffet, he recommends that people try to read at least 500 pages a day. “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest,” the 88-year-old magnate says.
Even the younger generation of CEOs, like Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, have acknowledged the value of reading and even publicly taken up the challenge of making it a habit.
#3 They work with plan
One of the 7 habits of highly effective people, which author Stephen M.R. Covey identifies, is that they have the ability to put the first things first. There are often so many priorities in massive organisations that it is difficult for people to determine what the major focus should be. Which is why CEO’s should be able to prioritise and compartmentalise daily tasks.
Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, has a memo system for example that helps him keep up with all his responsibilities without getting sidetracked throughout the day.
#4 They “keep thinking” and stay creative
In a recent Fast Company poll, 60% of those surveyed said that creativity will be the most important leadership quality over the next five years. And perhaps no one exhibits the power of creativity better than the tech titans from Silicon Valley.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says that creativity is about people who “keep thinking” until they get it right. For Cook and other giants like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Oracle’s Larry Ellison, creativity is essential to lead their employees to innovate new products and come up with solutions to problems that may not even exist yet.
Jeff Bezos says he tries to get all these high-IQ meetings in before lunch to make sure he’s fully present.
#5 They end their days well
“The best decision I ever made was committing to getting eight hours of sleep a night,” Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post, said.
In her book, The Sleep Revolution, Arianna writes that once she started giving sleep the respect it deserves, her life improved in pretty much every way. This came after she fainted from sleep deprivation and broke her cheekbone in 2007. “Now, instead of waking up to the sense that I have to trudge through activities, I wake up feeling joyful about the day’s possibilities.”
This post is sponsored by Volkswagen Touareg and produced by BrandStudio24.