6 Leadership Habits to Embrace Today

May 22, 2015

What the most successful business owners I know always make time for.

I’ve owned my business for more than 25 years, and I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to survive and, perhaps even thrive, as a business owner.

I have lots left to learn, but I’ve also developed a few habits that I believe serve me well.

Below are six habits I’ve seen in most of the successful business owners I know.

Get up early

So, let’s start right off with a tough one. Successful business owners get a tremendous amount of focused work done from about 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Now, this may or may not be client work. It’s just as likely to be journaling, meditating, or planning the week.

I started this habit myself in an attempt to get a few things knocked out before my children got up, and it stuck even after they moved on. For me, it seems like the only quiet time that exists in the day.

Focus on important tasks first

This one is so hard, because Twitter, Facebook, and email just don’t want you to do it. Successful business owners ignore distractions and focus on the highest payoff work first.

This is a mental victory beyond simply completing a task. There’s something really freeing about realizing you’ve conquered the toughest thing you have to do that day by 9 a.m. Don’t waste time putting off work you know you should do, and just get it done.

Obsess over value

A lot of people preach the idea of obsessing over the customer, but I’ve found that real success comes from obsessing over value – valuable products, processes, communication, service, content, and connection.

When you obsess about delivering value in everything you do, you start to realize that everything matters, and there’s no better way to serve your customers than that.

Take care of yourself

Running a business is physically demanding and mentally stressful.

The most successful business owners I’ve worked with take time to recharge, reenergize, and refuel with exercise, healthy eating, and rest. Once you’ve been doing this for a while, you start to realize that the time you invest in these kinds of things pays some hefty dividends in terms of productivity.

Fill the gaps

Successful business owners seem to always be asking what’s missing. When you stay really close to your customer, you can start to recognize gaps in what you have, how you communicate, and what they want. There are few better ways to succeed in business than to find a need and fill it.

Get out of the office

These days you can run your entire business without actually interacting with other humans, but humans need to interact in order to live.

It is important to get out of the office once in a while. Go to a conference, grab coffee with a customer, mingle and network. It’s how you find strategic partners, new perspectives, and opportunities to learn and grow.

This article was originally published on Inc.

What the most successful business owners I know always make time for.

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