Successful Business Leaders’ Habits

In summary:

Entrepreneurs look for behaviors that have a history of delivering results. However, most of the advice they hear is outdated and ineffective.

NetSuite looked into the behaviors of famous business executives to see if there were any techniques we hadn’t heard of before, then compared them to studies and views from other business professionals.

The behaviors listed below promise success for both you and your team, from batching your calendar to reviewing a shortlist of goals before bed. You may begin practicing them right now.

Some individuals make their success appear effortless, even accidental, yet there is a discipline and work ethic that underpins an excellent professional performance beneath every polished veneer.

While there are many idiosyncrasies, oddities, and lucky breaks that can contribute to one’s good fortunes, most successful individuals have a set of habits that help them prepare for the serendipitous confluence of preparation and opportunity.

If you want to be a great entrepreneur or develop your corporate career, you should research the behaviors of famous business leaders. Instead of cookie-cutter routines (Get a good night’s sleep! ), try something new. Exercise! Create a routine! ), you’ll need to develop actionable habits that provide results.

Related: Successful entrepreneurs know things that you don’t.

The behaviors listed below are from some incredibly successful business executives, and they’re all backed up by additional experts, scientific studies, or both. If you want to advance your profession or move your firm to the next level, consider incorporating them into your life.

1. Meditation

For years, yoga and meditation have been part of my everyday life. Competence and effectiveness are hugely impacted by our ability to stay focused and make calculated judgments. Many of us operate with an “always-on” attitude, and our attention is constantly divided between any number of competing priorities. I find that yoga and meditation help me stay focused, help to eradicate background noise, and allow me to think more clearly and make better decisions. ” — Sampath Sowmyanarayan, Chief Revenue Officer, Verizon Business 

2. Focus

I learned a long time ago that it’s too easy to let tasks pile up – whether they’re documents to read, emails or phone messages to return, or even decisions I need to make – pile up, even as new tasks roll in. My philosophy is to only handle an item once. I do my best to answer emails or address problems as they come in, as quickly and completely as I can, before moving on to the next task. That way, I’m able to ensure my days remain productive – while also helping those people who work with me to stay productive because they’re not waiting for me to answer their questions or make a decision.

3. Innovate

I learned long ago to embrace new technologies – from securing information to communicating with clients and colleagues, to document production and review. While new technologies can often appear to be frightening or off-putting, I find that when appropriately integrated and utilized, they offer more time for client connectivity and enhance our delivery of higher-value problem-solving services, enabling us to reduce the labor intensity of commodity-type work and processes. — Dave Sorin, Chair of Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Companies Practice @ McCarter & English

4. Spirituality

“I pray every day. I enter my day humble but confident in my ability to execute the mission of the organization I represent with excellence while providing value to those that invest. Lastly, I am self-motivated, determined, and if something has been done before, then I can do it as well. ” — John Harmon, Founder, President, and CEO of The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

Propelify is an innovation festival that brings together innovators for presentations, technology, exhibitors, drones, investors, and a good time. Propelify will take place on October 6th, with a jam-packed itinerary from morning to nite, viewing the New York City skyline from Hoboken, NJ.

The event, which aims to bring together innovators for lectures, technology, exhibitors, drones, investors, and fun, will include 80+ incredible speakers and provide participants with opportunities to network with some of the country’s most well-known companies, investors, and founders.

Related: The Characteristics and Qualities of Effective Leaders

5. Become a “deep practitioner” in a business skill.

Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia, suggests immersing yourself in certain business expertise until you master it. He’s an award-winning internet celebrity who has personally sent each of his over 170,000 tweets.

Vaynerchuk stated on his blog that having a strong understanding of the social media environment acquired from the direct experience provided him a big advantage when he was building his business VaynerMedia. It enabled him to deliver outstanding service to his clients, which now include Chase and AB InBev.

According to business instructor David Finkel, establishing your own unique expertise may help your firm stand out from the competition and allow you to charge premiums for goods and services. Most importantly, knowledge enables you to have a thorough understanding of the issues you face and provide better solutions for your clients.

Gary Vaynerchuk attributes his media agency’s success to his in-depth understanding of social media.

6. Audit your 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Here’s another piece of advice from Vaynerchuk: The period between when you finish your workday and when you go to bed is the white space in which you may advance your career. Staying late at work or “building up your cooking blog” are two examples of productive ways to spend this time, according to Vaynerchuk.

Whether you’re looking to advance in your current work or launch a new business, the hours after your “day job” end are the best time to build value.

Daymond John is a “Shark Tank” investor. According to John, retaining your day job while starting a new business is a good idea. The logistics may be beneficial to your mind: According to the findings of a 2011 study published in the journal Thinking and Reasoning, your creativity may be better in your younger years.

Related: Why Leadership Motivation Is Important?

7. Take a “fake commute.”

Make it a regular practice to give yourself the time and space to think creatively. This involves traveling around in the car for Spanx creator Sarah Blakely. According to CNBC, she has a “fake commute” that allows her to drive about Atlanta for 45 minutes before heading to work. After all, it was while driving that she came up with the term Spanx.

You may also employ creativity-boosting activities to generate game-changing company concepts. Try getting some exercise, going outside, doodling, or taking a power nap, all of which have been shown to increase creativity. Business leaders such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are reported to go for a stroll to clear their heads.

8. Batch your week.

Blakely has “think/creative” days on Mondays and meets with her product and creative teams on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She utilizes Wednesday for meetings and Friday as required, she told Inc.

Batching activities has also been shown to be productive for other entrepreneurs. Erik Schweikardt, CEO of Modular Robotics, schedules all of his meetings on a single weekday. Anna Wood, the CEO of Brains Over Blonde, divides her week into time blocks for writing, emailing, errands, cleaning, and other activities.

According to research, switching between activities disrupts the brain’s information-gathering and digesting processes. Maintaining an undivided focus on a job can boost productivity.

According to the American Psychological Association, the mental expenses of switching activities might take up to 40% of your working time. A preferable option is to achieve a condition of deep work, as described in Georgetown professor Cal Newport’s book of the same name.

Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, sets out two days per week for meetings with her product and creative teams.

Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, sets out two days per week for meetings with her product and creative teams.

9. Listen for as many minutes as you speak.

Richard Branson isn’t certain that he knows everything. According to his daughter Holly, the business magnate is always listening and learning. Branson’s need for input might be linked to his life aim of making the world and its inhabitants a better, happier, and healthier place.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Business Leaders Should Delegate

In an organization, this practice of listening may be quite beneficial. Researchers Guy Itzchakov and Avraham M. Kluger write in the Harvard Business Review that effective listening leads to increased trust between employer and employee, more work satisfaction, and more innovation.

There are six keys to being a good listener, according to the authors: Don’t you think you should give it you’re all?

10. When ideas arise, write them down. Then, take action.

Branson has been doing this basic yet powerful habit since he was a youngster. The Virgin Group has certainly served him well, with over 60 businesses servicing 53 million people and generating over $16 billion in yearly sales.

Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor, has conducted a significant study on goal-setting. In a 2015 study, she discovered that writing down objectives rather than just thinking about them led to a greater rate of achievement.

According to Matthews’ research, adding action commitments, discussing objectives with a companion, and providing regular progress reports boosts the rate of achievement even more.

Richard Branson has long argued that jotting down notes, recommendations, and objectives is beneficial.

11. Read everything.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk, among the world’s most famous company entrepreneurs, take reading extremely seriously. Every year, Bill Gates reads 50 books. Buffet believes that he reads and thinks for 80 percent of his workweek.

Musk is believed to have read the whole Encyclopedia Britannica by the age of nine and believes that reading taught him how to construct rockets.

It’s no secret that reading encourages lifelong learning. Furthermore, having more information may immediately benefit you in your personal and professional life: Mark Cuban attributes his ability to stay competitive in the ever-changing technology business to his habit of reading up to three hours each day. From newspapers to email newsletters, he takes in “everything [he] can.”

12. Ruthlessly prioritize.

In her business operations, Arianna Huffington, the creator of HuffPost and CEO of Thrive Global, emphasizes the necessity of ruthless prioritizing.

According to Huffington, relentless prioritizing is “constantly asking oneself what is necessary to be performed today,” minimizing distractions until the job is completed and refusing to be concerned if “non-essential” activities must be addressed tomorrow.

This sort of prioritizing, according to Huffington, allows her to put an official end to the workweek, freeing up time for out-of-office activities. While most of us intuitively understand that these activities are important for pleasure, research shows that building a life outside of work adds to fulfillment on both a personal and professional level.

Arianna Huffington “ruthlessly prioritizes,” allowing for out-of-office activities like hanging with her daughters.

Arianna Huffington “ruthlessly prioritizes,” allowing for out-of-office activities like hanging with her daughters.

13. Trust your gut.

Former CEO Howard Schultz was bold in his belief that Americans would pay more for high-quality coffee and perceive the coffee shop as a social meeting area, similar to how they did in Europe when presenting the concept of selling coffee beverages—rather than simply beans—at Starbucks stores.

By trusting his instincts, Schultz was able to sow the seed for his Starbucks empire, which now has over 22,000 locations globally.

A gut feeling is a type of predictive processing framework, in which the brain makes decisions based on stored knowledge, memories, emotions gained from experience, and other factors. Despite the fact that we must examine the veracity of our assumptions and be aware of the risks.

The bottom line

legendary corporate leaders achieved and maintained their prominence via practical habits, not magical fairy dust. A general arc may be seen in the habits: To begin, make sure you’re on top of your game by becoming a “deep practitioner” in a business skill and auditing and batching your week.

Then, by listening carefully and concentrating on the positives, spread this leadership to others. Make sure you’re always learning and improving through reading and creating room for new ideas.

Each new objective should be written down, reviewed often, and action actions should be prioritized ruthlessly. Trust your intuition in the implementation.

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