5 things successful business leaders do each day

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017


Words by Fi Bendall

What makes successful CEOs tick? What’s the secret to their success? 

Well, there’s nothing magical or especially mysterious about most of the qualities successful people possess, like intelligence, a strong work ethic and resilience, but some of the most successful CEOs of our time have particular daily habits that push them ahead of the pack.

1. The Oracle of Omaha’s voracious reading habit

Most successful people keep up-to-date on world events and business news. They might even read a couple of books a month to feed and nurture their knowledge and curiosity.

But it’s hard to imagine many people matching the volume of reading super investor Warren Buffett gets through on a daily basis.

The chairman of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway says he reads up to a thousand solid book pages a day and spends about 80% of his work time reading. Buffett’s reading habit has given him incredible insight into how the business world works. He has applied that learning to become one of the richest people on the planet.

“Read 500 pages like this every day (Buffett points to a stack of books). That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it,” Buffett says.

2. Jeff Bezos and the power of sleep

We’re used to hearing stories about successful people who seem to survive on a measly amount of sleep each night. In fact, we had a Prime Minister a few years ago, Kevin Rudd, who was supremely confident that three hours a night was all he needed to run the country.

However, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has managed to build one of the biggest companies in the world without joining the ‘you snooze, you lose’ club. Instead, Bezos says getting a solid eight hours of sleep each night is vital for his functioning.

"I just feel so much better all day long if I've had eight hours," Bezos once told the Wall Street Journal.

3. Branson’s always on the move

Richard Branson exudes passion and vitality. Branson is fit, taut and terrific at the age of 66 and he credits much of this to his daily exercise regime, which includes cycling and running.

"I definitely can achieve twice as much by keeping fit," Branson tells FourHourBodyPress. "It keeps the brain functioning well."

Branson always has a bounce in his step that tells people he is ready to go and passionate about what he’s doing. It’s a quality that radiates through his business ventures as well. 

4. Of course he would …

It really should come as no surprise the first thing Mark Zuckerberg does when he wakes up is checks his Facebook feed. Many of us now wake up, roll over, and check in to see what has been happening in our social media world overnight.

It makes sense for Zuckerberg to get his FB fix first thing in the morning, just like millions of others do. It keys him into the daily routine of his customers and is a surefire sign that he’s really living his product.

As he told Jerry Seinfeld on a Facebook Live Q&A, “I like at Facebook to see what’s going on in the world. Then I check my messages, I look at Messenger and WhatsApp.” 

5. Call your Mum!

Plenty of entrepreneurs and executives talk about the importance of making time for family. The CEO of medical imaging firm DICOM Grid, Morris Panner, does just that by calling his Mum for a chat once a day. 

Panner says that aside from keeping in touch with his Mum, the phone chat provides him with some grounding in his busy day.

He also says it helps him run a company that understands the work/life balance issues of its employees. “If you want to be a family-friendly company, you have to understand what an important priority family is,” he says.

Fi Bendall is chief executive of The Bendalls Group and a Westpac/AFR 2015 100 Women of Influence, who was described by CEO Magazine as 'The CEO's Secret Weapon'. An expert and pioneer in digital strategy, she has over 23 years’ experience in the digital and tech sectors.

Previous Profiles

Last weekend's Poll shows we need a Failure Buster! Who you gonna call - Tony Robbins!

Last weekend’s poll has the F-word for failure written all over it, so what advice can this...


Bridge over troubled waters

John O’Leary is a man who, with a little help from his friends, turned a personal tragedy into a...


Rickard - The Great Disruptor

Founder, former CEO and chairman of CommSec, Paul Rickard, has one of the greatest Aussie...