Healthy Habits Of Successful Leaders – An Expert Roundup

Becoming A Healthy Leader

There are plenty of ways to become a healthy leader. I’ve shared various ways you can become a healthy leader over the last couple of weeks.

Today, I wanted to bring new voices to the conversation on what a healthy leader looks like. To do this, I reached out to leaders I admire and respect.

What are the habits of healthy leaders? Find out here

Photo by Element5 Digital

I asked each of these leaders a single question about healthy leadership:

What healthy habits do you attribute to your success as a leader?

Their answers fell into 3 categories: Physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. These 3 areas of health are critical to your success and I’m glad to see a recurring theme among the answers.

I’m thankful to each of the over 50 leaders that responded and were willing to be a part of this expert roundup. I believe their insights into healthy habits of leaders will inspire you to find your own.

Healthy Habits Of Successful Leaders

Michael Hyatt

Hiring my trainer made all the difference, and pretty soon I was reaping the rewards of resistance training again. And the rewards are big. If you’re not hoisting, pulling, lifting, or pressing, you’re missing out.

Excerpt from The Most Valuable Missing Ingredient in Your Fitness Routine

Tom Ziglar, Ziglar Inc

The habit of the right input. The habit of the perfect start.

Mark Timm, CEO of Ziglar Family

I have a history of going a little overboard with the “healthy physical habits” – for example, weekly fasting or excessive training for athletic competitions, etc.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s actually healthier to strive for sustainable balance in this area, even if it means not being so rigorous. I now take the approach of disciplining myself to make those healthy choices as often as I can, without going overboard.

For me, this includes eating “cleaner” – more whole foods, less processed, etc.  I’m exercising, doing what I can a few of times a week and moving as often as I can during the day.  Probably the biggest improvement I’ve made is that I’ve come to recognize the importance of getting enough rest.  I used to pride myself on how few hours of sleep I would get, thinking that it gave me a competitive edge in business if I stayed up half the night working.  That is exactly the opposite of what’s true, and I’m lucky I didn’t do more damage to my health.  Now, with a focus on getting enough sleep, I actually see this having more of an impact on my overall physical health than any other habit I implement.

Excerpt from Mark Timm’s guest post: Zig Ziglar And The Healthy Leader: How Looking At The Wheel Of Life Can Make You Healthier

Dan Miller of 48 Days

Nothing has contributed more to my success than my reverence for the first 90 minutes of every day.  What I do in that time sets the stage for the day I will have.  When I get out of bed I drop to the floor and do yoga stretches for about 5 minutes.  The next 10 minutes I walk through my house, looking out the windows for the first signs of the sunrise and early morning rabbits, deer, squirrels and birds that make their home on our property.  And I express gratitude aloud for the life I have.  Next is 20 minutes of quiet meditation and contemplative prayer.  Then I hit the treadmill for a minimum of 48 minutes where I listen to positive, inspirational podcasts and audiobooks. Then a quick shave and shower and I’m ready to go.  By then my mind, body, and spirit are prepared for whatever the day can bring.  Nothing is more important than those first 90 minutes.

Incidentally, I never start the day with text, email, phone, Facebook, TV, or news of any kind.  Those can come later but it’s not the way I want to start my day with a spirit of reverence and awe!

Michael Levitt, CEO of BreakfastLeadership.com

I learned that in order for me to be successful as a healthcare leader, I needed to practice what our medical team preaches.  In my early days as a leader, I was giving too much of myself, and it took a very hard toll on my life.  The aftermath of significant losses forced me to reinvent myself, and how I approached life and work.

Leaders need boundaries in their lives

Photo by Dane Deaner

I recognized that I lacked boundaries in my life.  I was too busy helping others, without helping myself first.  That may come off as being selfish, but if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?  You can’t drive your vehicle on an empty tank, nor can you lead your life or teams with zero energy.  Burnout is real, and it impacts more than yourself.

I follow 6 principles on a daily basis, which I know has made a significant impact on my career success.  The first principle is getting plenty of sleep.  Rest is crucial, as life is a marathon, not a sprint.  I do my best to go to bed and wake up around the same time, every day.  There’s situations that come up where that’s not possible, but I return to that routine as soon as I can.

The second principle is working out or the dirty word exercise.  I have a gym in my condo building, so I have ZERO excuses not to get in exercise daily.  Even if it’s walking to the local market for lunch, or parking further away in a parking lot.  Keep moving!

My third principle is to journal every day.  Document your life.  It’s great to see how far along I’ve come from my year of worst-case scenarios in 2009, to where I am today.

Principle number four is to eat well.  My energy levels are based on the foods and beverages I consume.  It’s harder when I travel, but I’m getting creative when I have to dine out, and I know what foods are good for me, and which ones I need to avoid.

The fifth principle I follow is standardization of my attire.  I know that it’s “boring” to have similar clothes, but much like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, not having to think about what I’m going to wear each day, will free up my mind to be creative and think about things that are meaningful and beneficial to others.

Finally, the sixth principle I use is to triage your calendar. Figure out what you’re working on day after day, and look for patterns of what you’re working on, to see if you can batch that work.  I’ve also used it to determine that I was in way too many meetings.  Back in January 2016, I had 45 meetings in the month of January.  That was an intense start to the year, and I knew it was not sustainable.  So I resigned from two volunteer positions and streamlined the meetings that were necessary at work.

Paul Sohn, Found of Qara.org

Immersing myself in the Word of God. Every day, I spent a few hours studying His Word. The more I delight in His Word and letting it permeate into the fabric of my soul has given me the essential tools to build an unshakable foundation as a leader. Leadership, above all, is about character.

Kevin DeVries of Grace Explorations

I try to model and message the art of successful failure. Success impresses from afar and places distance between yourself and the people you lead. Failure impacts and brings those you lead in close. The cross of Christ was a highly successful failure. The leader, Jesus Christ, was crucified and then resurrected. When He allowed His followers to see His resurrected body and feel His wounds that healed into scars, they loved Him to the point of following Him to their death. The mark of a true leader is not success but significance. Fail forward so you don’t succeed backwards. I’m sick of success. I search for significance.

Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income

It’s easy to let yourself off the hook as a busy entrepreneur. When you’re pouring every spare minute into growing your business, taking a break to visit the gym often feels counter-productive. What I’ve learned, however, is that the time I invest in my health comes back to me ten-fold. The energy, focus, and creativity I gain from staying active and healthy allow me to work better and longer.

Excerpt from Smart Passive Income Episode 228.

Yengyee Lor of Faithful Consulting

The healthy habits that I attribute to my success as a leader are practice what I preach, set healthy boundaries, practice mindfulness, exercise, work hard and invest in my ongoing learning and personal development. I believe that for people to follow me, they must see that I have or am going the way and can show the way (servant leadership). I work hard day in and out and take massive action. I set healthy boundaries for work, family, and self-care. I do not let anyone or event take away from quality time I have with my two kids. The same things apply to my work and self-care. I plan distractions; I do not allow distractions to ruin my plan. My day is mapped out intentionally, and I do not waste time. I get up early and practice mindfulness, thankfulness, gratefulness, and pray. I go to sleep doing the same thing. I read 5-10 books every month and one of these books are just for fun. Lastly, I do not forget to take care of myself by exercising and traveling.

Kevin Miller, host of the Zig Ziglar Podcast

Every week I interview a top leaders in our world and do a secondary, short interview to discuss their challenges and healthy habits in these seven areas; 1) Physical, 2) Family, 3) Mental, 4) Financial, 5) Spiritual, 6) Career, 7) Personal – derived from Zig Ziglar’s “Wheel of Life”. The biggest takeaway is nearly everyone has an intentional plan for all seven areas.

Personally, mine consists of:

1) Physical – I exercise 15-60 minutes every day with lots of variation, from an hour run to HIIT, to heavy weight lifting. Nutritionally I stick pretty close to a Paleo diet and in general believe in eating…less. We need so fewer calories than we eat culturally. When I do eat, I like great food and drink. And I believe in vices. Mine are coffee, wine, and dark chocolate!

Trailer runners getting healthy

Photo by David Marcu

2) Family – Quality and quantity time, with my wife and kids. We have a homemade, sit down dinner seven days a week, literally. We play lots of games. Jump on the trampoline together. Kayak together. For my marriage, a key ingredient is frequent, every quarter or so, getaways. From two to six days. Just the two of us. It’s massively life-giving to our marriage.

3) Mental – My role as host of The Ziglar Show requires me to study the messages of today’s top world influencers, and it’s a dramatic gift. It stretches and expands my entire being, every week. 4) Financial – Not a strong point for me. I adore my CPA and bookkeeper and we strive to be generous with what we have.

5) Spiritual – Every morning I spend 10-20 minutes reading scripturally based writings that send me to verses in my bible and I journal what stands out to me. My prayer comes mainly in the way of writing my prayers to Christ. I daily strive against my nature of self-sufficiency and instead give my responsibilities over to God.

6) Career – I’ve always known what I wanted to do and been engaged in work I truly believe in, but I’ve sabotaged myself with too much idealism and not enough business wisdom. Today I’m striving to go beyond doing “good” in my business so as to do “well” WITH my business.

7) Personal – Everyday I look forward to going home and cooking a great meal for my family. Love to cook! Trail running is an immense joy. I live in a national forest and being outdoors, even if I’m just standing in the woods, is food and joy for my soul. Music is a big part of my life and soul, except sometimes when I’m far down the rabbit hole writing, I always have music on.

Adam Kirk Smith, Author of The Bravest You.

Keeping my relationships with God and family a top priority, working hard, eating healthy, not caring what people outside of my inner circle think of me, devoting myself to meditation and deep thinking, and getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night have all contributed to the success I have seen in my life..

Chris Jordan of Team CNE

Great question and one I could immediately answer, “Healthy? What is that!?” While a joke, I find that at times, it is not as funny as you may have initially thought. Which leads me to this conclusion; one of the healthiest habits you can operate in is healthy thinking! While there are TONS of great habits that attribute to success, I would offer to have healthy habits begins with our thoughts.

As a man thinketh, right? I love to wake up, grab a cup of coffee and sit in my living room and just watch the sun come up, the traffic drive by, the clouds move across the sky, the birds flitting around in the yard, kids walking to their bus stops and all that I can take in as I just sit. My mind moves toward being grateful for all these things and it helps me keep in perspective the things I need or want to do for the day, the week, the month and the year. I probably take about 20-30 minutes to just positively reinforce my identity as a Christ follower and what that means in every aspect of my life. I allow His peace to cover me as I prepare for the day.

At first, this wasn’t the way it went. I had to be intentional and choose to take that precious time and spend it quietly with God. As it became a habit, I began to see immense change in my life. That change came in the form of a shift in my thoughts from worried, anxious and fearful, to secure, peaceful and confident. I realized as I took that time to let my thoughts be filled with the hope of a new day, that the fears and self-limiting beliefs faded. It helped me to begin taking small steps in a positive direction, to now taking massive action to continuously grow into my unlimited potential. It was about getting my mind right.

Paul writes in the Bible that we are to be transformed by the “renewing of our minds”. Until I had that renewal for myself, I didn’t understand. Now I know there is no other habit I could form apart from this time I spend in the morning with God that would bring me the same level of success. No matter what other habits I form to help with my success, this healthy habit of “renewing my mind” will always be the foundation.

LaRae Quy of  Empower The Leader In You

Take Time For Self-Awareness

People who don’t take the time to become self-aware are rarely successful. It’s not because they’re stupid, lazy, or incompetent. People who lack self-awareness simply do not have a defined vision of what they want for themselves nor do they know their strengths and weaknesses.

A lot of emphases has been placed on meditation and for a good reason. It’s an effective way to still the mind. In turn, mindfulness gives your brain a break from the noise and distractions of the world around you. There are other ways to do the deep work of self-awareness: take a walk in nature, go for a run or journal.

Self-awareness does take work because it requires an honest evaluation of who you were in the past, who you are in the present, and who you want to be in the future.

I try to take a few minutes every day to be alone with my thoughts and to process what is going on around me.

Focus, Always

It is very easy to become distracted by noise, either in our head or in our environment. Opportunities pop up every day, and it’s tempting to grab several at once. I have found that with self-awareness comes clarity about my goals and vision for my life.

Ego may have prompted me to say yes to things that don’t matter or add value to my life. I might have said yes simply because the opportunity had presented itself.

I follow Warren Buffett’s trick: list the 25 most important things you want to do with your life and circle 5 that you will devote all your attention to.

Learn To Read & Write. Well.

I’ve always been an avid reader. Books are an opportunity to expand my knowledge, whether fiction or non-fiction. The more I read, the more I know.

Our brain is a muscle that needs a work-out. Successful leaders exercise their mind daily through reading, and in doing so, improve their brain’s capability to solve life’s problems.

It also stands to reason that the best thinkers are people who not only read but also write in journals. These are not the journals of childhood; instead, they are a place where people can record their thoughts and trace their patterns of behavior. Did they waste a precious day pursuing work that wasn’t one of the items they circled on their list of important things to do in life?

The brain loves visuals and people who write are better able to remember the written word when it comes to prioritizing their day’s activities. They can focus on the goals they have set before themselves and not get distracted by the noise of the world.

Michael Nichols of Guidestone University

The primary habit which has contributed to success more than anything has been my relentless pursuit of making decisions which simplify my life, work, and leadership rather than complicate them.

Every decision in life, regardless of how big or how small, does one of two things – it either simplifies or complicates. And the majority of decisions most people make add complexity to an already chaotic existence. We create our own drama. We’re all drama queens (or kings).

The goal of successful leaders is to make a few fundamental decisions which simplify thousands of future decisions. In my life and work I have made 3 foundational decisions which have simplified thousands of other decisions for me – I created 1) a SIMPLE Personal Plan, 2) my SIMPLE Vision for my work, and 3) a SIMPLE One-Page Business Plan. My regular reviews of these simple documents keep me on track when things get tough.

Your readers can learn more about these simple tools I have used at www.guidestoneuniversity.com.

Dickson Tang is a leadership author, speaker, and consultant at DicksonLeader.com

As a leader, I keep two habits:

One is physiological: 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning to wake up my body.

Discover the healthy habits of leaders from around the world

Photo by Ethan Sykes

The other one is mental: I always believe “everyone is a leader and a leader grows another leader”. I develop others by sharing a lot of ideas.

Alinka Rutkowska, CEO of Leaders Press

I set goals and stick with my plan to achieve them.

I have a morning routine which includes meditation, visualization, affirmation, and exercise. This allows me to feel like a winner in the morning and keep that attitude throughout the day.

I eat well – Mediterranean cuisine.

I drink a lot of water with lemon.

I bless other people’s success aware that this practice brings more success my way.

I listen to my followers and clients and I adapt.

Tom Harper Of BiblicalLeadership.com

There’s a verse that has been both a comfort and a guide for the last 20 years of my career. It’s Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (NIV).

Breaking down the verse into four key habits presents an effective strategic plan for any leader who wants to align with God’s plan for their life and career.

Patience – Wait expectantly on the Lord.
Persistence – Work hard and smart, while waiting on the Lord.
Trust – Practice faith while waiting and working.
Action – Prayerfully forge ahead, remaining sensitive to God’s redirection.

Over the years, as I’ve tried to patiently persist and actively trust, I’ve found that God’s plan always unfolds for my long-term benefit, even if things get rough in the moment.

Shelly L. Francis, author of The Courage Way: Leading and Living with Integrity, http://www.courageway.org/

First, I try to stay self-aware by making time to reflect on how I’m doing as a person, deep down, whether I’m living in alignment with my values and walking my talk. Another leader taught me to ask myself, “How do I want to show up as a leader in this challenging moment?” I look for whether trust is present or absent, or whether fear is taking over. I may ask myself, “What can I trust about this situation?” “If I hear myself saying, ‘If I do this, I’m afraid that…” then I try to reframe it into trust. I also look to these Five Habits of the Heart by Parker J. Palmer, which inspire me.

Steven Armstrong of StevenArmstrong.ca

By keeping regular routines for arriving & leaving work, staying off email outside of business hours and taking regular breaks & meals, make for healthy routine and sets a good example for my team. I still worked from home, but my people didn’t see it.

Also, I took breaks with the team … I learned more about what was going on in those moments in the lunchroom than I ever did in a formal meeting.

Mary DeMuth of MaryDeMuth.com

One of the best things I did last year was a hyper-fast reading of the Bible from cover to cover, chronologically, in two months. It was a game changer for me, where I could see the entire swath of humanity, uncovering the wisdom and/or pitfalls of leadership. As someone who teaches, this quest also informed my content.

Woman reading Bible as a healthy habit

Photo by Ben White

Chester Goad of ChesterGoad.com

I’ve learned through the years the strongest contributing factor to success is consistency. From personal wellness, to work life, to side hustles, making a “habit” of “developing habits” is crucial to success. Success rarely comes from inconsistency or one-off positive steps or actions. We have to take positive, actionable steps often to have an impact, and every day for that impact to be lasting.  Personally, I was able to lose 70 lbs in a year just from being consistency. I didn’t pick a trendy diet, and I was pretty much a novice when it came to the pursuit of fitness. When I explain all that everyone asks me the secret. For me, the secret to getting back to a healthy lifestyle is also the secret to healthy leadership and success— You have to show up. I learned more toward my leadership from the success of pursuing wellness by showing up every day and following through every day than I’ve learned from anything else.

Nils Salzgeber of NJ Lifehacks

I have so many healthy habits, I don’t think I can pinpoint exactly which ones make the biggest difference to my success as a regular ol’ person or as a leader.

That said, some of my favorite healthy habits are:

  • Starting the day with either black coffee or Bulletproof coffee instead of a “real” breakfast. This allows me to start my day running and get on high priority tasks as quickly as possible. I’ll then have my first real meal four to five hours later when I’m slowing down anyway.
  • Meditating daily. This is hard as shit in the beginning, but it pays off big time once the benefits start compounding. Regular meditation and all the skills it improves – focus, concentration, mindfulness, patience, stress resiliency, emotional intelligence, and more – has been a massive game changer for me.
  • Keeping a good sleep hygiene. I probably have a set of 10-20 habits just for optimizing my sleep alone. This includes a regular sleep routine (going to bed and waking up at the same time every day), blocking blue light at night, not exercising or eating within three hours of going to bed, exposing myself to bright light (usually sunshine) first thing in the morning, finishing work at least one hour before bed, and so on. The better I sleep, the more effective I am as a person and leader.
Leaders need sleep to be healthy

Photo by Matheus Vinicius

  • Performing intense exercise + getting lots of movement throughout the day. I do some form of intense exercise almost daily (e.g., 2-3 rounds of the 7-minute workout, some Tabata sets, weight lifting, or sprints). In addition, I try to move my body as much as possible throughout the day (e.g., I work on a standing desk if possible, I go for quick walks, I stand during eating if possible, and so on). For my brain to work at optimal levels, my body needs to work also.

And there you have it. Those are some of my healthy habits 🙂

Joshua M. Evans of Joshua M. Evans

One of the greatest attributes a leader can have is enthusiasm. I’m not talking about surface level excitement or energy. The enthusiasm I am referring to is one of deep-seeded passion and a commitment to the success of their team. When Steve Jobs was asked ‘Why are you so successful at Apple?’ his response was very telling. He could have attributed their success to more advanced technology, better marketing, or thinking differently. He didn’t. His response was: “We’re enthusiastic about what we do!” Jobs knew that his enthusiasm would instill a sense of passion in his team. This would lead to greater achievements and greater success. No one wants to work harder for a complacent or mediocre manager, however, every employee wants to be led by an enthusiastic leader that helps them become more passionate about their work. Attitude will always beat aptitude, especially when it comes to leadership.

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing

I have a routine that I try to adhere to – it may or may not make me a better leader, but it does keep me sane.

I meditate first thing each morning before doing anything. I then try to read something inspirational before getting anything else in my brain. Most days I will also exercise before work and eat what might be called a low carb vegetarian diet. The life of an entrepreneur is physically and mentally challenging so working on mind and body is the key to sticking around long enough to excel.

David Abraham of Revive

My faith in Christ is so central to my life! With that said, one of my habits is meditating on God. How exactly? I quiet myself down (my racing heart, the numerous thoughts in my head, my surroundings) and I think about His goodness, His love for me and who He says I am. It’s so easy to get caught up with toxic thoughts (such as comparison, discouragement, fear, doubt, etc), but when I quiet those thoughts down and allow myself to think about God and the fact that He’s with me, it changes my state completely! Meditating on God realigns my heart to my purpose and I’m reminded that my identity isn’t tied to my results (or even the lack of results). This mindset gives me full freedom to go for my dreams while my heart is secure in knowing that my Heavenly Father is with me and that I’m truly loved!

Another habit is one that I learned from Michael Hyatt and that is to write my goals and dreams down and review them regularly. This habit has been a game-changer for me and has even dramatically changed the way I approach my day, my week, and my year! When I look at my goals and dreams, it keeps me motivated to push forward while also reminding me to not focus on or sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to get caught up on little things or things that don’t really push you to reach your goals or dreams. However, when you’re reminded of your goals, your view readjusts back to the big picture and your actions realign to achieving that goal.

Robert Kennedy III of RK3 International

Margin is huge.  Some years ago, I decided I needed to start getting up early.  As a dad, I took on the responsibility of making sure the house was up and ready to rock at 6 am.  The problem was when I woke up and immediately jumped into action with everyone else, I didn’t have time to get centered.   Even after everyone had left the house, the rest of the world still bustled and it took me longer to get centered.  The email notifications, the honking horns, even the gentle whisper of the breeze…all of it told me that the rest of the world was awake.

But, once I decided to cultivate the habit of waking at 4 am, suddenly, I had some time when the world was quiet.  I could now think, create and not feel rushed.  I could breathe.  This has been the biggest contributor to how I operate now

Theo Brenner-Roach of Lift Learn Grow

There are 2 main habits that stand out for me; learning and training.

The continual quest for knowledge is so important and I work hard to remind myself that I work in an ever-changing industry with evolving thoughts and theories. I know there is a fine line between standing firm in your beliefs but being open to the possibility of being wrong and standing firm in your beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence you may be wrong.

One big habit for me is to continually seek knowledge combined with the consistent evaluation of my direction to help me avoid the latter scenario.

Leaders never stop learning

Photo by Pj Accetturo

The next habit is working out consistently. This is a big habit in my life, not just for the obvious reasons but also because in a very busy world exercise serves as my quiet time to gather my thoughts without any pressure.

When training all my focus is on the physical which gives my brain some space to work through problems, find answers and ask important questions.

A lot of my best ideas have come when I’ve been away from work

Jonathan Malm of JonathanMalm.com

I live in a driving city and I work from home. But I’ve begun taking the bus downtown to a co-working space for two reasons. First, I take the 30-minute ride to organize my day and think through the day before I even do anything. Second, though, is I force myself to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I try new restaurants, walk around downtown, and give myself space to think away from the distractions of everyday life.

Sandip Roy of Happiness India Project

My watchword for success is ‘minimalism’. After years of indulgence (for one, I’ve 50 watches, which I don’t wear since I took to fitness bands), this idea of minimalism stands as a lighthouse keeping vigil over all my activities. I get swayed at times by the bloatware of distractions. But I’m always aware of the beacon of minimalism keeping a watch. That keeps me on track.

It works as this – I break down a work or a target into minimal components and set out to finish the barebones set to reach it.

The other idea I live by is this: The way to the top is through a lot of mundane processes. So, to last the long haul, you got to love those processes. By the way, mediocrity shouldn’t be a bane. It’s okay to be average. I recently began reading into Stoicism and Cynicism, and I feel this wholesome living through the processes is just about right.

Richard Medcalf, Founder of xquandrant

Firstly, get super-good at something! I learned early on, and quite accidentally really, what my core skill set was – and by focusing on that I was able to develop a reputation for excellence.  So I would first encourage anyone to be crystal clear about what they are – or can become – world-class at.  The second thing has been to learn to habitually focus first on what other people want and need, rather than on what I want or need.  That’s difficult of course, and I’m nowhere near perfect, but it’s the cornerstone of influence.

Martin Himmel

I think there are two major habits or routines I do that play into my success.

The first is my morning routine. It really starts the night before, as I set my clothes out for the next day so I don’t have to think about it in the morning. I get up at 5:30 AM and get ready for the day (shower, brush my teeth, etc.). After getting ready, I spend some time reading the Bible and praying. Prayer and reading used to be a set time (15-30 minutes), but setting a time limit on my early moments with God didn’t sit right with me, so it’s more free-form now. From there, I go about my day.

The second is my unplanned Saturdays, which isn’t really a habit, but equally (if not more so) important. After nearly burning out on everything 3 years ago, I started taking one day a week to get away from work – a real Biblical Sabbath rest day. I don’t do anything related to my work (web development/programming), including work on my own hobby projects. Saturdays are a day of reflection, play, rest and relaxation, hanging out with family and friends, and whatever else may come up.

Kevin Kruse, CEO of LEADx.org

My quality of life dramatically improved when I began a short, simple morning ritual. I begin by mentally saying and reflecting on my personal purpose/mission statement. I then think of at least three things I’m grateful for. I often think of many more than 3 or dwell on the feelings associated with this gratitude. I think about goal areas, or areas of intention. I like to keep things simple so I only have “three to thrive”: health, wealth and relationships. I’ll ask myself, “What am I willing to do today to become the person I want to be in the area of health…” and I repeat.

Donnie Stubblefield of Casas Por Cristo

I have been blessed to be in ministry now for over 20 years. I love reading leadership books to stay fresh and to learn what might be working in other areas that could be applied to the church. A lot that of reading is done around business leadership. The church needs to always remember to err to grace though, in my opinion, and not get caught up too tightly with following business strategy at the expense of Jesus’ love. I have found that having a purposeful workout plan helps me to have more patience and understanding with the day to day demands of ministry. Whether it’s walking, biking or hitting the gym, I need that 45 minutes 4 or 5 days a week to help me release stress and to keep my mind and heart clear. Circling back to reading, I am following a teaching by Ray Vanderlaan, fall in love with Jesus daily and read the gospels daily. This spiritual discipline has done more to help me in staying in ministry for the long haul….that and an occasional sabbatical away from technology and people to remember the call. I love having a plan and staying flexible but working that plan to raise other people up as leaders, like Jesus does in the gospels; it’s has been a lifelong blessing in ministry. Especially when you see those leaders go on and do so much more than you could ever do by God’s Love and Grace.

Thibaut Meurisse of whatispersonaldevelopment.org

I’ve been following a morning ritual for more than a year now and I believe it is one of the things that have benefited me the most.

My morning ritual includes meditation, gratitude exercises, and goal setting. As the result of meditating and practicing gratitude, I’ve been able to wake up feeling better.

What do healthy leaders do in the morning?

Photo by Lua Valentia

Setting goals daily has allowed me to feel more in control of my life while boosting my productivity.

Brian Dodd of BrianDoddOnLeadership.com

When it comes to peak performance, everything rises and falls on my spiritual health.  There is a significant gap in what God has called me to do and what my skills, connections, resources, and capacities are.  If God does not fill this gap Himself, I will fail.  As a result, my daily quiet times of Bible study and prayer are vital to fulfilling my calling as a leader.

Marius Kiniulis of MARKINBLOG.com

There are three main habits that I could attribute to my success:

  1. I’m always trying to sleep well (but wake up early).
  2. I’m trying to focus on positivity and avoid negative things.
  3. I read (almost) every day. This includes not only books but various blogs and online resources.

Michael Bungay Stanier, Founder of Box Of Crayons

The change in behaviour that’s proving to have the biggest effect in my life at the moment is learning to delegate. Which is code for learning to trust. As Box of Crayons has grown, I’ve had to change my role from “the centre of everything” to “support and champion for the senior leadership team”. It means I’ve had to get used to knowing less than ever before about what’s actually going on in my own company; that’s quite disconcerting. We’ve also had to develop some structures to ensure that people can work without me jumping in to be “helpful”. The code word is: BTFM … that stands for “back the f&!k away, Michael!” and everyone has full permission to use it every time I get inappropriately interested in what they’re doing…

Carey Nieuwhof

I frequently ask ministry leaders, “When was the last time you went out for dinner with a couple who left you feeling completely energized and replenished?”

The blank looks and the looks of shock and disappointment on leaders’ faces tells the story.

We don’t do this nearly enough.

Ministry is giving. And because ministry is giving, it can be draining.

Your leadership is like a bank account. You can only give so much without becoming overdrawn. Be overdrawn long enough and you go bankrupt.

Go find some friends who energize you. Then, hang out!

Excerpt from 10 Best Practices Of Super Healthy Leaders 

Nate Lee Morales | Founder of TheSTRIVE.co

Habitual reading has been one of the best things I’ve done for accelerating my success as a leader.  Why?  Because reading has helped me become a better problem solver.  The more I read, the more knowledge and know-how I acquired, and the more knowledge and know-how I acquired, the better I became at finding solutions to problems.  And if leaders are anything, they are consummate problem solvers.

John Miller, author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question

The healthiest habit I ever engaged in was … WORK. And in my sales world, this “work” was intense prospecting. I was searching for new clients when other salespeople had knocked off for the day or the week. In those days, it was all by phone—and handwritten (never typewritten) personal notes in snail mail, which I sent thousands. On the phone front, I was at my home office desk phoning execs before 7 am and well after 5 pm to avoid their Gate Keepers, AKA, executive assistants. My goal was to secure face-to-face appointments to sell them leadership and sales skills training programs. I succeeded not because I was the smoothest salesperson around, but because I made far more calls than anyone else. Work: it does a career good!

Mark Sanborn of Sanborn and Associates

The most powerful habit I have that helps make me a better leader and a better person is exercise. The benefits get better as frequency, intensity and technique (F.I.T. – Mentioned in Mark’s new book The Potential Principle) improve, but even a little exercise is better than none.

Zechariah Newman of https://zechariahnewman.com

Scheduling out my priority of health in my calendar first has helped me maintain my health physically, mentally, and spiritually. On Saturday I schedule Monday through Sunday of the next week and evaluate the week before. This makes sure I have appointments with the gym, Bible, reading, and other priorities

Calendars and MacBook open for scheduling as a healthy habit of leaders

Photo by rawpixel.com

Greg Hickman of http://system.ly

Every morning I write in my 5-minute journal. I think practicing gratitude is one of the most powerful things anyone, especially leaders can do. I then take a contrast shower. If you don’t know about this, I won’t spoil it BUT, it’s a game changer for me to get energized in the morning and has been proved to be the equivalent of taking a shot of espresso in the morning. 🙂

John Baldoni, Inc. Top 50 Leadership expert, executive coach, and author www.johnbaldoni.com

Make time for yourself to fulfill your personal goals. Follow your heart as well as your head. Ideally, personal and organizational goals should be aligned, but if not, you may need to make a change. On a personal level, make time for family and friends. They will be with you through thick and thin. Jobs may come and go.

Scott Couchenour at http://servingstrong.com/

Not sure about the word success, but the healthy habits that I attribute to being as on top of my game as possibly stemming from meditation. The act of non-action paradoxically provides greater peace and focus. I’ve found that as I slow down, I’m more able to get to clarity of purpose and actions necessary. I am able to recognize with greater awareness the “20 percent” opportunities (the 20% of actions that yield 80% of the desired results).

James M. Kerr, author of It’s Good To Be King and The Executive Checklist

There are 3 healthy habits that have helped me achieve great success as a leader.  They include:

  • Placing Laser-Like Focus on what’s important and ignoring the rest!  You can’t get everything done at once. So, you must prioritize.
  • Delegating what can be done by others and saving the rest for me to do. Once you know what needs to be done, you can deputize your people to help you get to the finish line.
  • Forgetting the need to be “perfect,” when “good enough” can save the day! Our perfectionistic tendencies can be our biggest downfall in high-pressure situations. Don’t strive for perfection; know that your “good enough” will be ample to get the job done.

These 3 tips can make a huge difference the next time you’re under the gun.  They all work for me

Kim Avery, www.KimAveryCoaching.com

While healthy eating, consistent exercise, and daily journaling are all helpful, and I try to do them, my most effective strategy for business growth is prayer. Choosing one single business-related prayer point each day and then watching expectantly for God’s answer to that specific prayer, that same day, has transformed me, my business, and my leadership skills. God really does answer prayer!

Ben Marshall

I have taken to adding a workout to my workday. I’ve started actually putting it on my calendar and unapologetically getting to the gym. As I have started implementing this, my creativity has increased, my energy doesn’t hit as much of a lull midday, I’m actually able to be more productive, and I feel more effective in what I do. I feel physically and spiritually healthier. I really believe that how we take care of our physical bodies is indicative of how we are taking care of our spiritual lives.

Nathan Magnuson

My leadership habits have changed over time. When I was an aspiring leader, I developed the habit for learning. I read as many books as I could get a hold of and pushed myself to expand my comfort zone. When I was given leadership responsibility, I developed a habit of listening first and then providing strong recommendations. Both required courage and discipline. Now that I am being expected to lead at a higher level, I’m working on the habit of productivity. I need to accomplish more in the limited amount of time I have available.

Stack of entrepreneurial and leadership books

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina

Jon D Harrison, Author of Mastering the Game: What Video Games Can Teach Us About Success In Life

Each day the first thing I do is review the upcoming day’s schedule, key goals, and meeting. The last thing I do is review the day’s accomplishments, incomplete tasks, and plan for the next day. Friday afternoon, I review the entire week and plan for the next. This provides focus and a sense of accomplishment for each day, something that is very important for staying motivated and focused on the right tasks.

Knowing where I am with any and all projects is my responsibility, and this planning habit keeps me connected to what matters most.

David Dye of Let’s Grow Leaders

There are a couple of habits that have served me well as a leader:

Mental: When I feel the slightest inkling of avoidance…that twinge of “oh that’s uncomfortable” – that becomes the most important thing I can do. If possible, I dive in and do it. This keeps small problems from growing into larger ones. It also distinguishes you from leaders who avoid the tough stuff.

Mental/spiritual:  Daily recognize my choices. If you’re alive, you will have problems. Leaders are intentional about which set of problems they choose. So the habit here is to remind myself that I have a choice. I can choose the difficult thing in front of me now or I can choose to avoid it. Recognizing my available choices helps me dive in and not avoid the tough conversations, tough decisions, and uncomfortable circumstances that come with leadership.

Physical: Get out of the office. Yes, exercise. But more than that…get perspective. Watch the sunrise and sunset. Look at the stars at night. Watch the seasons change. A healthy dose of nature helps me maintain a healthy perspective and keep day-to-day challenges from running wild.

Physical/spiritual: Spend time with friends and family. When I find myself thinking “we really need to get together” it is immediately time to schedule that time. Don’t leave it to chance. Don’t let business squeeze it out. Relationships are vital – they nourish my spirit, renew my mind, challenge and encourage me, make me smile and laugh. I need that time with people that I care about and that care about me. If you work long hours or travel frequently, it is a discipline and a habit to invest in those relationships.

Jeff McKee, Owner of North Point Auto

I’m not a huge business owner/investor or anything yet but if you want to understand the difference between the wealthy and the poor it’s actually quite opposite of what most people think. Most generally poor people get attached to their money. They feel like if they invest it, they might lose it all so they spend it on things that they can use right now. Restaurants where their money is gone in an hour. Cars that depreciate and have almost no value in a few years. Bikes and trampolines for their kids that will be worthless in a year. The successful investor/business owner looks at that dollar as an employee. They may have started out living in a car. They send their money out to work. They understand that the dollar might be lost but they are playing the odds that they spent multiple hours researching and they’re looking for success in more than half of their investments knowing for fact that some of them just won’t pan out. The poor work hard for their money while the rich let their money work for them. Healthy leaders are healthy businessmen and investors. It doesn’t take a dime to be successful. What it takes is a completely opposite thought process than the masses.

Chip R. Bell, Customer Loyalty Consultant and author at http://www.chipbell.com/meet-chip-bell/

Curiosity and passion. All my life I have had an insatiable sense of curiosity. I opened drawers I was not allowed to look in, read forbidden books, and tested limits. I was also intensely passionate. Certain issues triggered a full-throated, heart-racing emotional response; soapboxes were never far away.

Be a curios leader to become a better leader. It's part of being a healthy leader

Photo by Joseph Rosales

Mark Nation of Nation Leadership

Thinking “Greatest-Most” for Breakthrough Insights

When I tackle a problem, I often apply a “Greatest-Most” framework to my thinking. The concept is incredibly simple, but the ideas and insights can be transformative.

Here’s how it works. Whether the topic be a business, team, individual or even myself, I ask myself and others, “How can I (or we) help the greatest number of people the most?” This simple question helps me to keep an others-focused mindset while bringing my own motivations in check. It also spurs an upward spiral of possibility thinking, often revealing creative options that would never have been considered otherwise. Finally, the “greatest-most” approach keeps things rooted in, and focused on, perpetuating goodness – even if I (or we) miss the mark, it’s not “bad.”

Jesse Lyn Stoner, Seapoint Center

My healthiest habits are those that help me avoid stress. When I am not stressed, I am more focused, more available to others, more clear-headed, and frankly, a nicer person. I get stressed when I am being pulled in too many directions. So my best habit is to be clear about my priorities, and then to be vigilant about saying “no” to things that don’t fit.

The thing about priorities is that they can shift. So being clear about them is an ongoing process. For example, when my children were young, I wanted to be able to participate in their activities, which meant limited my work-related travel. And so I made a habit of turning down international consulting opportunities and seeking clients in cities close to where I lived during that time of my life. I regularly take time for self-reflection – on my vision for my life and my priorities based on my current circumstances. When I am clear about this, all my other habits and goals fall out naturally. The vehicles for self-reflection that work best for me are meditation and writing.

Cheri B. Torres, Ph.D., is a Senior Consultant with NextMove and Partner at Innovation Partners International and author of Conversations Worth Having

For me, I can’t separate physical, mental and spiritual — they blend together in just about every practice that contributes to my leadership.  Instead, I see a fuzzy distinction between the personal (individual — relationships with myself) and my work/relationships (interactions with others):

Personal

  1. Up early in the morning to meditate,, read, visualize the day, exercise, affirm the attitude and outlook I want for the day, and offer gratitude for the abundance in my life.
  2. Plenty of sleep and good healthy food (I stay away from dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol unless it’s a very special occasion).
  3. Embracing what shows up, looking for the opportunity, the learning, the gift.
  4. Gratitude as a general response
  5. Openness, transparency, willingness to apologize, to admit I don’t know, to seek input from others.
  6. Learning, learning, learning

Work / Relationship

  1. Doing my best to engage in conversations worth having, which energize, engage, inspire, and connect people and ideas to shared goals and visions of the future.
  2. Working to solve problems with others by turning problems into possibilities:
    1. Flipping the focus from a problem to what it is I/we want or are trying to accomplish, the outcome we want.
    2. Asking generative questions to make room for the emergence of new information, new knowledge, and creativity.
  3. Adopting an attitude of curiosity, in general.
  4. Willingness to listen and learn from others.
  5. Looking for the best in people and in organizations, inquiring into strengths and possibilities.
  6. Expecting good stuff to happen; trusting that what does happen is the next best step and looking to see what that might be true.
  7. Being okay with ambiguity, disruption, chaos, and uncertainty.
  8. Learning, learning, learning.

Dr. Nate Regier is the co-founding owner and chief executive officer of Next Element

7-8 hours of sleep every night. Stretches and an ab workout from 5:30 – 6:00 AM. An hour of alone time from 6-7 AM to write, check email, read favorite blogs. Cardio and weights at the gym on weekday afternoons. Walks with my wife (I can recommend this one!). Read a variety of books.

Tom Tate at blog.tomtatejr.com

I’ll share something that I don’t do nearly enough! When I’m operating at my best / healthiest, I typically shut down all electronics and turn off the TV at least 2 hours before bed. This gives me an opportunity to focus without distraction on spending quality time with family, reflecting on the day’s wins and struggles, reading a good book, and mapping my approach for the next day.

Lee Cockerell, Executive Vice President (Retired and Inspired) Walt Disney World® Resort and http://www.leecockerell.com/

My success is attributed to just a few things. I have a great positive attitude, I am highly disciplined and organized making me reliable. I do what I say I am going to do. I have credible, reliable and keep my promises. That builds trust. I keep in excellent physical condition. I work out most days and have strength training two days a week with a certified trainer to build bone density and balance. I have a great partner in my wife Priscilla of 50 years plus I have a great family. I do not have many problems at home so I don’t have many problems at work. They are highly connected. My inspiration comes from helping others. I focus on being a teacher instead of a boss. That’s my story.

Michael Balchan

Meditation + Exercise + Movement + Sleep + Diet + Journaling + Cold + Yoga + Breathing + Hydration.

I’ll never go a day without meditation + exercise, but I know that it’s during the periods when I’m doing all of the above that I’m most plugged in, most aware, enthusiastic, clear, confident, loving, etc.

It took a lot of experimentation, practice, and learning hard lessons to really understand that, but now that I’ve found what works for me, I try to be intentional about making it happen.

Here’s more detail on what and why. I also love applying Scott Adam’s idea of Floors & Ceilings by having a low/never-miss/”pass” level, as well as an ideal target.

Yoga – A little bit of movement first thing after waking. Pass: 2m. Target: 15m.

Meditation – The combination of body + mind + spirit is what allows us to be present and interacting with our world, and meditation is a way to practice just being at that intersection. Pass: 10m, Target: 2x daily, between 10-45 minutes each.

Hydration – Water helps everything else move around the body, delivering nutrients, clearing waste, etc. Pass: 1 Nalgene in AM. Target: 3 Nalgenes throughout the day.

Journal – Writing helps me clear my mind, organize my time, and track/learn how to get better. Pass: writing down the date + 3 things to accomplish that would make the day amazing. Target: date + 3 things + gratitude + affirmations + daily log + morning pages + major lessons and insights.

Exercise – Not exercising is like taking a depressant. Pass: 10+ minutes high intensity or 30-60 low. Target: 45-60 min.

Movement – It’s hard-wired into our DNA that we shouldn’t be sedentary for long periods of time. Pass: Apple watch “stand hours” 12hrs+ a day, Target: 1,000s timer Opportunities to Move (OTMs).

Cold – A daily dose of stoicism via a cold shower. Pass: 1m at finish. Target: whole shower.

Breathing – When I remember that I’m alive, I focus on my breath. When I focus on my breath, I remember that I’m alive. Pass: 5-10 instances of conscious, deep breathing. Target: All the time.

Diet – Pass: 2/3 meals “clean.” Ideal: Plant + healthy fat heavy, no refined/processed foods. No toxins (sugar, alcohol) stimulants (caffeine).

Sleep – Pass: 7.5 (night + naps). Target: 8+. asleep within 2-3 hours of the sunset.

John Mattone, President & CEO of John Mattone-Global

I created my Core Purpose Statement (CPS) a few years ago that is my personal commitment–physically, mentally and spiritually, to the most important people in my life such as my wife of 39 years, Gayle, and our four adult children and extended family, close friends and myself. Having a CPS and actually reviewing it every now and then provides a powerful reminder to me that I am on the earth to help others and that I have a responsibility and accountability to them. I have learned that my own happiness and centeredness comes from making others happy and centered. I have learned that being courteous, compassionate and altruistic are the levers that I need to push to make others happy around me. I also get out of bed early–around 4:30 every day and I work hard doing what I love, so I don’t see it as work. I am passionate about working out as well–typically will cycle 70 miles per week and also do spin classes, yoga, and light weights. My wife and I also have healthy eating habits with a balanced diet.

KG, Secondhand Success

Here are some healthy habits that help keep me successful – in no particular order.

Self-care – Often times us personal development junkies and entrepreneurs get lost in “the grind.” We end up sacrificing our personal health – physically, mentally and spiritually – in pursuit of success. However, we get blinded by the work and neglect how important it is to take care of ourselves. After all, what’s the journey of success worth if you’re not there to enjoy it?

Self-care involves a multitude of healthy habits within itself – I strive for 7 hours of sleep a night, I workout 5-6 days a week, I try to eat healthier [hard thing for me, personally], I relax productively (via reading or podcasts) and because relationships are important in my life, I do my best to stay in contact with those within my network.

Self-love – Piggybacking on the previous point, personal development and entrepreneurship is never linear and is riddled with so many peaks, troughs, and loops that we should build a roller coaster ride that mimics these cycles of emotions. We’re constantly striving to be better, however, certain times we fail. That’s part of trying to achieve success. They go hand-in-hand.

Giving myself the internal credit and changing my internal dialogue from terms like “you failure,” “how could you do that,” “you idiot,” to “nice work, you failed, but what did you learn,” and “pat yourself on the back for trying, how can you be better,” helps humanize failure and boosts my confidence and thirst for more.

When you strive to be better, how you treat yourself is part of that equation. Also, when I treat myself better, I notice that that positive energy permeates into my other relationships.

Meditate – I try to meditate daily because it helps me stay calm. My brain at times feels like it’s going at light speed and the thoughts get overwhelming. Meditation improves my mental GPS to prioritize my thoughts and select the best direction to take. It helps me pause and think instead of reacting.

Reading – There’s so much information in the world that it’s impossible to gather it all, but reading opens up my mind, teaches me new things, is a productive guilty-pleasure and keeps me humble. The second that I think I know it all, I have failed.

Listening – like books, each person has their own perspective and knowledge they can impart to you. That is, only if you’re willing to listen. Not listen to respond, but listen to learn.

Listening to life in general is a huge point, too. Situations happen and there are life lessons all around you, you have to open up your ears, eyes, and mind to gather them.

John Ramstead, Founder of Eternal Leadership

A life-changing habit for me was to charge my phone away from my bed and commit to no screen time for the first 30 minutes after waking up.  I use this time to pray, think, and mentally focus for the day ahead.  When I would pick up the phone when in bed and look at alerts, messages, and emails I was slammed into the whirlwind before I even got out of bed.

The other one for me was to completely change my diet and exercise.  We switched to the whole 30 diet and I have not only lost 45 lbs but my energy, focus, and level of happiness have skyrocketed!

For my personal spiritual development, I committed to reading the entire Bible in a year using the ReadScripture app (iTunes and Google Play).  Not only does it put together a reading plan but the guys who did it have amazing videos they did as part of The Bible Project that connects the dots between old and new testament and makes reading the Bible a lot of fun.

Ivan Oreamuno, Founder of Keleuo

I don’t consider myself a very healthy nor successful leader, there are a lot of things I should be doing that I’m not doing due to different reasons. But, so far I have found that one of the habits that have helped me become a successful leader is maintaining my focus on what really matters, God. Getting to know who he is and to establish a relationship with him, understanding that my identity is by him and that I have to do everything for him (Colossians 3:23) and he helped me become a more humble, hardworking and focused leader. It has helped me have compassion and empathy for others, either clients, co-workers or people at my church. So after all this what would be the habit? Having a relationship with God, praying, reading his word and getting to know him better.

Kingsley Grant of www.kingsleygrant.com

First, it’s my spiritual habits. Spending time to connect with my Creator – God, through reading his word (the Bible) and talking to him through prayer, is one of my most cherished habits. It helps me gain clarity, quiets my mind, and gives me the grace and strength to engage in life no matter what the challenges I face. It is the sole reason I can face challenges with confidence.

My weekly habit of exercising doing cardio and strength training is another habit that I cherish. It energizes me and helps me maintain my weight and build muscles. With the weight loss and maintenance, I can fit into my clothes comfortably. The way my clothes fits me also adds to my level of confidence.

Focusing on my mental health is one that I also pay attention to on a daily basis. Reading books, listening to podcasts, scanning articles that are of importance to me, participating in masterminds and writing regularly, are mental “workouts” I make sure I have on a regular basis. Other than the mastermind, which I do weekly, everything else is done daily.

To do all this, I have to be intentional. Making the best use of my day is crucial. So I block off times for these habits and others I fit in whenever I have “openings” in my day.

These habits help me on my success journey.

Tina Marie Griffin of Counter Culture Mom

There are many ways to define success. To me, success is living fully for God and being obedient to what He is calling me to do. Having God guide me will make me into the best possible leader I could be, having an impact in the world that He wants me to have. A close relationship with Jesus is a must, along with taking care of my body by eating the right foods and exercising. Constantly learning from other leaders who are one step ahead of me, is also crucial to becoming a great leader. I was in a mastermind for years and have had several great mentors help me make the right career choices along the way. Having a very supportive husband who prays with me or helps school the kids when I’m out of town on a speaking tour has been the biggest blessing of all. Ask God what He wants you to do and He will guide you every step of the way while providing for all your needs.

Patrick McDaniel of WiseInsights

It is essential that a leader has a high degree of self-awareness. This means knowing and being honest with who you really are… especially how you come across to others.

We have all dealt with people who are oblivious or self-deceived on how they come across.
·         They may think they are funny, while others cringe at their comments.
·         They may think they are dispensing wisdom to everyone they meet, but in reality they don’t listen well or frequently interrupt others to give their opinion.
·         They think they are admired for “telling it like it is” but others avoid them because they are harsh.

We all have blind spots about ourselves that we must face, own and work on. A good leader has the courage to face and address the truth… especially if it is about themselves. When they do, people will admire and follow those who are working on being a better leader.

William Vanerbloemen, entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, author, and CEO/Founder of Vanderbloemen Search Firm

Over the years, I’ve learned that my morning routine is paramount to me maintaining a healthy rhythm of life. If I miss my time where I focus myself spiritually, physically, and mentally for the day, the day almost always goes south. As a father of seven, I’ve learned that the only time during the day that nobody needs me is the time before the sun gets up. It’s my “me” time where I can reflect and center myself on what’s most important for that day.

Dom Brightmon

Habits are the bricks of your current state of being and used to build up your future. The habits I attribute to my success are:

  • Encouraging and/or complimenting at least 5 or more people daily.
  • Reading voraciously. At least 4 or more books a month.
  • Writing down my goals daily, weekly and monthly. When you write down your goals, the universe will work in your favor to make it happen if you take action.

Laura & Mark Tong – Global Feel Good Company

In truth Laura and I don’t consider ourselves leaders? There’s a great quote from Albert Camus:

“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend”
― Albert Camus

So we see ourselves as friends, gently guiding our readers by the arm.

And the healthiest habits we feel contribute to our success?

  • Empathy – If you don’t emphasize with your readers/followers/customers you have little chance in connecting with them.
  • Honesty – Not just financially, but physically and mentally. If you offer a money back guarantee, give that money back – and gladly. if you claim to know someone who’s product your promoting, make sure you know them. And don’t fudge honesty – if the words are honest, but the intention isn’t – that doesn’t wash.
  • Fun – People like to have fun. And more importantly, they admire people who can relax and have fun.
  • Kindness – We feel kindness is an often undervalued habit. It’s seen as wishy-washy or weak. But kindness incorporates all three of the above. If we could only have one habit as a leader, we’d have this one. It might not guarantee us the biggest following around, but it would guarantee us the one we’d be happy to serve for years to come.

And as we see it, that’s the kind of success as leaders we’re looking for.

Question: Now that you’ve heard from over 60 leaders on their healthy habits, what do you do to stay healthy as a leader? Share your actions in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.