10 Habits for CEO Self-Improvement

Manuel Vega

We’ve heard it said that if you do the same thing for 21 days in a row it becomes a habit. With that said, we offer these thoughts on the habits of the most successful CEOs, and suggest a 21-day regimen to incorporate them into your arsenal of success.

Successful CEOs read…A LOT! They read all sorts of books, autobiographies, fiction, business books, humor…the works. Bill Gates and other ultra-successful CEOs even share their book list on their websites. True, poring over trade journals, financial media, and the popular press are an important way of staying current on day-to-day issues. However, if you really want to keep abreast of long-term trends and opportunities, take a page (as it were) from those you wish to emulate and start reading more.

Successful CEOs ask the right kinds of questions to get the information they need. To make this work for you, examine the basics – who, what, when, where, why, and how – and use each uncovered answer to generate additional questions and lead you further down the road to success.

Benjamin Franklin famously said; “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Successful CEOs are early risers, taking time to reflect, write, read or workout. It’s a habit that needs to be worked on and maintained, but it pays off with the one thing you thought you couldn’t buy: Time.

Successful CEOs awaken around the same time every single day. Yes, even on the weekends. Their minds are busy, and doing the same things for the first 60-90 minutes of each day provides consistency and helps keep them settled and on-track.

There are thousands of distractions built into every day, with people at every turn clamoring for your attention. And no matter what you do – even awakening early – you’ll still only have 1,440 minutes in every 24 hours and will need to protect your time. Structure your day so that it works for you, with segments for creativity, operations, financial issues, responding to emails, etc.

Regular exercise and meditation keeps your mind and body healthy. This ensures you’re staying creative, focused, and productive. Remember; you’re not just doing this for yourself, but for the health and success of your business.

All successful CEOs have found ways to motivate their team, providing vision and emotional engagement and empowering employees to act on their own. A successful CEO works hard to build trust, enables others to envision a goal as attainable, and helps them to get things done.

When was the last time you took time for yourself to walk, relax, meditate, mentor and reflect? Regardless of how you measure success, we’ve found the best CEOs block out time on their calendar EVERY DAY just for personal time, coaching and reflection. They control their time and their days…rather than the other way around.

We’ve observed that the happiest CEOs forbid electronic devices to interfere with family or personal time. Drawing a line between work and personal worlds solidifies relationships with loved ones, bringing peace of mind to both. Stopping electronics use at least 30 minutes before sleep helps reduce the interference to your sleep brought on by artificial light from electronic devices.

Successful CEOs are consistently searching for new talent, for new smart people they can add to their team, and for new business opportunities. They network in a variety of venues – professional groups, religious communities, fraternal and social organizations, etc. – and recognize the best and most trusted avenues for these connections is through their network referrals. They also network with their fellow CEOs to bounce ideas off and to receive or offer mentorship.

At Renaissance Executive Forums, we generate learning, experience, connections, opportunities, and exchange among our members, helping each other grow and make better decisions. We gather in peer groups based on trust and commitment in which business leaders make it a habit to share experiences with others in their peer-to-peer groups, supporting each other on crucial decisions, to achieve our goals, and build an extraordinary life.

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