By: Maurice Gilbert, Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search
I started observing high achievers when I began playing competitive tennis at the age of 8 and continued my observations all the way through my working years. As an executive recruiter, I am fortunate to observe habits of the most successful professionals and I have come up with seven habits that appear to be universal:
1. Routine: Having set routines is a way to make sure they spend their time in areas they deem important to accomplish their objectives. Some include:
• Getting up early to start the day, affording them quiet time to get a lot accomplished without interruption.
• Creating a to-do list and prioritizing it with the most important items to get done in the first half of the day.
2. Exercise: Exercise promotes physical and mental health and without one’s health, it is not possible to approach the work day with the energy required for success. I personally exercise at 4:30 a.m., and I find it sets a positive tone for the workday.
3. Eating well: Proper eating habits are a complement to exercise. It is obviously important to have a balanced diet to get the nutrition you need and also to know how often to eat. Most athletes, for instance, are trained to eat five times a day so that their metabolism stays high for peak performance. I choose to eat something light for lunch like salads so I don’t feel sleepy when I go back to work.
4. Limiting TV time and other forms of mindless entertainment: While some downtime is important for recovery from stress, most people are watching several hours of TV per day when some of that time can be used more productively. Taking up a sport, reading or engaging in a hobby is a great alternative to TV watching, a way to escape from the stress of your workday that also provides mental stimulation.
5. Setting goals: Setting goals is necessary to keep you focused and on track. Goals should be developed in long-term, intermediate-term and short-term blocks. They also should have a target date so that you have a level of urgency. Without target dates assigned to goals, they become no more than wishes.
6. Belief in lifelong learning: Learning new technical skills and improving your communication are just a few things that should be on your radar. Continuous learning should be as second nature as breathing.
7. Belief that good habits contribute to success: Yes, high achievers believe that their habits lead to their success; that’s what keeps them motivated to adhere to them.
Maurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.