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3 Habits of Successful Executives

August 2022
William Brewer, CCP
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William Brewer, CCP, Stanton Chase's Global Human Resources Practice Leader and Managing Director of the Los Angeles office, shares his insight into the habits of highly successful executives (and how to follow in their footsteps). 

Everyone has their own secret sauce that fuels them. Over time and through experience, they develop their own personal “11 secret herbs and spices” of success, you might say. 

For CEOs, CFOs, and other C-suite executives, your particular set of habits can often be a lifeline that helps you keep your edge (and at times, maintain your sanity). 

If you are still assembling your secret recipe for success—or looking for ways to refresh your current concoction—here are a handful of fascinating daily habits that wildly successful executives use to thrive. 

You’ve Gotta Hit the Links 

Golfing is famous as a sport that attracts executives. But did you know that it is also linked to their success? 

One slightly dated yet doubtlessly still relevant article written for Forbes a few years back pointed out that CEOs that regularly play golf have salaries that are 17% higher on average. From focus to patience and practicing your ability to close a deal, business only gets better on the golf course. 

Besides, what better reason to make sure you are carving out that time to play a full 18 holes on a regular basis? 

Read, Read, Read 

A good leader that can sustain their edge over time is like a shark. They need to keep moving. They cannot reach the top of the mountain and then stop trying. Instead, leaders need to embrace important things like a growth mindset, upskilling, and continual learning. 

One of the best (and most common) ways that executives do this is by reading. Teddy Roosevelt is the poster child for this concept. The decorated president and war hero read up to three books a day.  

A more contemporary (though less prolific) inspiration is Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder does not just read a lot of inspiring stuff, he even posts reading lists and suggestions on his blog throughout the year. 

Build a Rhythm with a Morning Routine 

Routines are a critical part of sustained success. They keep you going even when things are challenging or you feel burnt out. 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is well-known for his morning routine, and not because he has shared the details of his daily habits. Instead, the tech exec promotes three core tenets that, when applied, can supercharge the start of anyone’s day: 

If you are looking for some more specific ideas to inspire your current wake-up methodology, here are 21 different CEOs’ thoughts on the best way to rise and shine each morning. 

Making Success a Habit 

There you have it. Three ways leaders across the country cultivate sustained success. Of course, you do not have to stick to golfing, reading, and morning routines. There are countless ways you can foster a successful mindset. However, if you want to succeed, you need to start with some deep introspection. 

“There are countless ways you can foster a successful mindset.” 

During my time as Managing Director of Stanton Chase’s Los Angeles office, I have seen many different kinds of successful leaders. We have placed individuals from many different walks of life, and every one of them has their own secret sauce for success.  

The one consistent connection between them all is that they took the time to find the habits that worked for them. So, consider your circumstances and natural proclivities. Then use the trio of options above as a springboard to find the activities that can help you thrive as a leader, not just now, but throughout the rest of your career. 

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