Learning from people who create real value in their lives is key to maximizing your potential. I truly love to interview and read successful leaders who practice habits of excellence. I often find their brilliant habits are often simple daily practices. Here are 10 quotes from successful leaders who credit simple habits for adding real value to their daily lives.
1. Build relationships with face-to-face time.
"Short meetings with key partners can do wonders for a business relationship. If it's a quick coffee or something else, you can grab a quick perceptive 'thin slice' of the health of the relationship and make adjustments. Phone, email, text, and other means of connecting are the foundation of daily business, but a quick face to face can be magic and open other opportunities you've never thought about."
--David Sutton, CEO of Physician's Technology
2. Take a five-minute time out for personal reflection.
"It's easy to get caught up in intense production mode, especially when you love what you do. I easily fall into a flow state where I'm creating nonstop for hours on end with no concept of time or space, sometimes at the expense of eating and exercise. High achievers are generally poor at taking time for an inventory of what they've created, which is why I now carve out five minutes at the end of the day to acknowledge even the smallest little stepping stones. I express gratitude for the gift of creation and ask for inspired thoughts that our clients and listeners will find shareable."
--Pamela Herrmann, co-creator and chief storyteller for CREATE Buzz
3. Pray and give thanks every morning before your feet hit the ground running.
"Devoting your first five or 10 minutes of prayer every day to being grateful for the new day in front of you and the abilities, gifts, and talents that you have been blessed with to create your own destiny and wealth truly makes a difference in long-term success. It's a true statement that it's not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy. Happiness is part of success and if you're happy, you will be much more productive and it will be contagious to those who work with you and are helping you to achieve your goals in your business. Yes, you can have it all, financial wealth, happiness, a balanced life, and a grateful heart."
--Aurea McGarry, Emmy Award-winning TV show host, producer, and director as well as CEO and founder of Live Your Legacy Summits
4. Make the right enemies.
"I quickly learned that clients fell into two general categories: Those who want to hear what they want to hear and want me to do things the way they are comfortable with, and those who want results. It is easy to make a living coddling those in the first group. It is also very easy to piss them off. Like many consultants, my reputation has an enormous impact on why people hire me and pay the fees I charge. Early on, I learned a valuable lesson when I naively gave critical feedback to a highly insecure parent who had a huge presence in the community where I was trying to build my practice. She immediately fired me and began bad mouthing me to anyone who would listen. A few weeks later I got a call from a mom who hired me because she was impressed by my willingness to criticize this person who many in the community secretly disliked. That one contact helped launch my practice. Over the years I have very deliberately ensured I make the right enemies, and let their venom become some of my best PR."
----Jeffrey Leiken, CEO of Evolution Mentoring & HeroPath Life Coaching
5. Find a way to notice and recognize at least one employee a day.
"Search out and acknowledge someone for what he or she has said or done in support of what your company believes in and stands for. Personal recognition from you can be more impactful than most any other accolade bestowed on employees. People are usually surprised to be noticed and they remember the acknowledgement for a very long time. This is one way to foster a culture of gratitude."
--Bethany Andell, president of Savage Brands
6. Keep your focus on moving forward.
"There will be as many ups as there will be downs when starting and running a business. I deal with fire drills as they come up, and then move on without looking back. Dwelling on a mistake or mishap will only slow you down. If a fire comes up, work it out as best you can with your team and learn from it. Letting it drag you down will only waste valuable time and likely lead to other mistakes. Deal with it and move on to the next thing."
--Ido Leffler, serial social impact entrepreneur
7. Stand for 15 minutes out of each hour.
"Recent research has shown that sitting all day can be bad for health. To keep your energy moving, set a timer on your PDA to go off once an hour and stand while your work for at least 15 minutes. Instead of sitting for a meeting, take a walk what that person, stand up while speaking on the phone, and have short meetings upright, rather then sitting."
--Karen Leland, founder of Sterling Marketing Group
8. Create a prioritized daily to-do list.
"When you wake up each morning, prepare a daily list of all the things you need to accomplish by the end of the work day, and prioritize each item by order of importance with 'A' being the most important and 'D' being the least important. Too often people tend to shoot from the hip and work on items as they arise during the day, rather than accomplishing priority items that will make their business more successful. Having a to-do list to work from makes it easier to focus on the important things."
--Brett King, SVP of investments of Elite Financial Associates
9. Drink more water.
"The body is made up of water and needs ample hydration to perform at elite levels. In the chaotic life of an entrepreneur or high level executive, it's sometimes difficult to remember to do this habit daily, especially when traveling. Strive for eight glasses a day, or daily volumes proportioned to your weight. The combination of healthy water intake and exercise keeps you on top of not only your physical goals, but your business goals as well."
--John Rizzo, managing partner of Globe on Demand
10. No phone during family time.
"Spending time with my wife and kids invariably is the most rewarding part of my day but it's also critical to maintaining a sense of balance and perspective that ultimately benefits my role as a leader. My wife enforces pretty strict no-phone-time around dinner and bedtime for the kids, which I was resistant to at first but I've really come to appreciate. I walk my 6-year-old daughter to school every day and we talk about what she's learning and thinking about. Talking to 6-year-olds is great therapy."
--Xander Oxman, CEO and co-founder of wine company Winc