The Top Habits of The World’s Greatest Leaders

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Here are 3 of the top behaviours which highly successful people carry out. Why they do them and how you can start to make this change.

Get Up Early

Successful people like Tim Cook the CEO of Apple, Mary Bara, the CEO of General Motors and Barack Obama were all early risers before 6am. Why?


One theory is that there are less interruptions and more ability to work quietly during this time. A recent survey in 2019 by Sleepolosis here, found that early risers earned more money than people who stayed in bed later. There is a direct correlation. Harvard Biologist Christoph Randler in a study here discovered that early risers are more proactive. They're also more likely to anticipate problems and minimize them efficiently, which leads to more success especially in a commercial environment.

Some of the most recent research in a study, published in Nature Communications, suggests that being genetically programmed to rise early may lead to a higher level of well-being as well as a lower risk of schizophrenia and depression. Age and gender as well as environmental light levels explain a larger proportion of variation in chronotype as a predisposition to circadian rhythm, but genetic variation is also an important contributor. This may just be inherited. Therefore it might be tougher to shake off getting up late.


It is possible to start to make change. You can program yourself to get up earlier. Do this by taking baby steps. Just wake up 30 minutes earlier for a week and remember the benefits getting up earlier may have when you do. Even on the weekends. Move away from your bed as soon as you wake and have your phone in another room or alarm away from your bed so you have to reach it!


Exercise In The Morning

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook: Works out at least 3 days per week. Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, wakes as early as 5am to exercise in the morning. He said that he gains 4 hours of additional productivity every day by keeping up with his consistent exercise schedule. Barack Obama exercises for 45 minutes every morning. Why?

Studies have found that aerobic exercise performed in the morning causes a significantly higher reduction in nocturnal systolic blood pressure as compared to exercise conducted in the afternoon or evening which means better heart health. Morning exercise is also associated with a higher duration of deep sleep at night time. Other studies like the one here from Copenhagen University in 2019, have found that morning exercise initiates gene programs in the muscle cells, making them more effective and better capable of metabolising sugar and fat. Just 10 minutes of exercise can increase the blood flow to the brain and increase cognitive function as shown in a study here.


First you need to master getting up earlier then getting changed straight away into your exercise kit. Doing some form of exercise, no matter how small will help. Ensure you make it something which you will certainly do to start. For example, just walking to the end of the road and back or walking on the spot or skipping intermittently for 20 mins. Even the smallest 10 mins will help feed your brain with more oxygen! Remember to tell yourself this as you wake, get up and move!


Plan The Night Before Or Early In The Morning

There is much research on strategic planning and organizational effectiveness including a study in 2019. These all show that an amount of planning is essential to success.

Successful people develop a routine for morning and evening which is a constant plan. The most effective people also either make a plan the day before or early that morning for the day.


Here is how you can start. Choose your top 3 items to work on and go from there. Choose your worst task and get that out of the way out of your top 3 important tasks. Eat your frog first as Brian Tracy states when looking at time management.


Just starting with these three successful habits, getting up earlier, exercising and planning can help you start to increase your productivity level or embellish and enhance an already successful career. Now is the time to make that change!


Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of recruitersgiveback.org a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching from the ICF, Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC. Also further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level. www.successCL.com www.recruitersgiveback.org

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