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Successful Leaders: What Do They Have in Common?

By Stewart Dunlop - February 12, 2019

                 Female_Leader_Strategy         Leader_Strategy

Starting with Steve Jobs & Bill Gates and going all the way up to Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and Indra Nooyi, it seems like the world is filled with successful leaders who perfectly understand how the world of business works.

But how did they get to be so successful? Are they specially-equipped to lead and run multi-billion-dollar businesses? These questions are at the base of many books, presentations, and even some studies trying to prove if there is some sort of special essence that invites in huge success.  

As it turns out, the main factors that make high-achievers special are their habits. Sure, some had a bit of help along the way, but there are plenty of examples where the person started out like any regular Joe and worked their way up the ladder (Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are the first names that come to mind).

So, if you’d like to improve, have a look at the list of habits most successful corporate leaders have in common.

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Setting Up Goals

A high-achieving person always has a goal in mind. This way, they know how to organize their actions and time to get closer to what they want to achieve.

But how do you find your purpose, especially as someone who is just starting? Well, it’s not easy and it won’t come to you right away, but it’s important to keep trying. Start small by setting goals for regular activities. This is applicable for both your business and personal goals. If you’re looking to lose weight or be more fit, set realistic goals following the SMART rules.

Finally, according to Mark Zuckerberg’s speech at the 2017s Harvard Commencement Address, finding your purpose is not enough. You also need to feel like you are part of something bigger; like you’re contributing to the community.

Reading is Important

When was the last time you read a non-fiction book? Or better yet, when was the last time you read an article or research on the niche(s) that interests you?

According to P.J. Worsfold, head of product for FTSY, reading is crucial when you’re looking to expand your horizon and improve knowledge. Furthermore, the process of reading keeps the mind sharp and exercises the power of concentration.

Steve Siebold, a self-made millionaire, interviewed over 1200 highly successful people on their habits and reading was one of the constants. Also, they don’t watch much TV, which is the main entertainment medium for the rest of the world.  

If you’re looking to start this useful habit, in this article, Foundr shares a list of books recommended for anyone interested in growing and developing. 

Time is Money

How much time do you spend on a daily basis scrolling through social media without purpose? Or how much time do you invest in meaningless chats or online browsing?

High-achievers understand the importance of every second and don’t waste away one of their most precious resources. Furthermore, due to technology development, nowadays they can use apps and tools to cut down time-consuming activities.

For instance, some successful managers use a knowledge base, such as HelpJuice. This way they avoid working on problems that have already been solved and move on to more important issues.

Failure is an Option

The fear of failure is a very real element in our lives, but you need to learn to embrace it. According to J. K. Rowling, failure is a part of life regardless of where you live or what you do. It’s how you deal with it that makes a difference.

Successful people know they will fail, but this doesn’t stop them. In fact, most people who we now celebrate for their achievements were rejected at first. So, make failure your friend and learn from the mistakes you made. Then start over and implement what you’ve learned.

Believe in Yourself

Self-doubt doesn’t help when your goal is to conquer the world! But it’s important to know that self-confidence is not a skill you are born with (in most cases); it’s something you have to build. For this, you must take risks and experience all sorts of situations.

For instance, the CEO of SoulCycle, Melanie Whelan, advises young people to start working early in life. A job, any job, will teach you a lot about how a business works and will give you the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life.

Of course, it’s also important to progress in life, so make sure you’re not stuck in a job just because it’s comfy. Challenge yourself and work hard without worrying too much about what others are thinking.

Be Open

According to Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, it’s important to have new experiences. Whether it’s traveling to new countries, meeting new people, or simply trying new foods, make sure to avoid saying no to goof experiences. 

Reading is important but real-life will shape your way of thinking and make an impact on how you develop!


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