Do you ever wonder what the most successful individuals in the world do? We tend to attribute just the big picture to their success but the reality is success is a product of intellect, hard work, perseverance and even habits. Yes, our habits dictate how we see things and how we perform. And many successful leaders have been known to have specific habits that they regard as an ingredient to their career’s success. Two of the most famous CEOs in the world, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, have the habit of scheduling their day in small segments as short as five minutes. And there is no question about the two men’s productivity and accomplishments.

Success is not limited to a trailblazing idea or an effective marketing campaign, it is an attitude and a persona too. If there is one thing to learn from those who are now CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world is what their daily habits are and how they help them be who they are today. Here are 5 habits that smart CEOs have:

1. Read Everyday

This is something we are told in school too that reading is the key to the world of knowledge and knowledge is the key to success. As clichéd as it may sound, reading is a great thing regardless of what you are reading. Books are filled with knowledge and every word you read only enhances and reinforces your concepts and understanding of the world. Virtually all individuals at the helm of big companies take out time from their busy routines to read something.

Eric Frankel, the CEO of AdGreetz which is an SaaS for creating personalized videos for customer relations and is used by the likes of Intel, Toyota, and NBC, learned the value of reading way before he founded this company.

“My first job at Warner Bros. was preparing a daily press packet without internet. I had to read everything physically, clip pertinent articles, copy and distribute them to execs. This job taught me the power one garners by knowing everything that’s going on in business and the world — who’s doing well and might be a candidate for a sale of a popular Warner Bros. TV series or movie and who is in trouble and might need a hit TV series or movie. One needs to be able to converse with other executives intelligently about their business.”

2. Read and send emails in the morning

Many CEOs have been noted to check emails in the morning when they wake up. It is a smart way to get up to speed with the progress of the companies and schedule important meetings and activities. Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook both reportedly check their emails as soon as they wake up. And speaking or waking up, you will see that most CEOs wake up very early in the morning and get ample sleep at night. Unlike the general perception that leaders are emailing, communicating and directing round the clock, successful CEOs do not compromise health for the sake of business. They know how to balance their work and life and take out time to do important tasks, just like emailing in the morning.

3. Use technology to their advantage

Traditionally, CEOs are seen focused on making big decisions and working on strategies. However, smart CEOs know that technology has the capability of changing how business is done. Those who realize this relevance are proficient in using tools. And why not when there is literally a tool for everything right from the get go of starting a company. When you are starting your business, you can look for domain names at name generating tools like Namobot. You can manage your social media presence with HootSuite. You can interact with your team of managers with Slack. You can manage your interactions and manage weekly agendas on CallPlease. These tools only help streamline tasks and allow them to do more.

4. Focus on just few things in a day

True leaders know how to prioritize between tasks and choose to focus on not more than 3 things in a day. As a CEO, you cannot spend time or energy on all levels of decision making even when your company is in early stages. Tim Eisenhauer, president of Axero Solutions, does not shy away from accepting that doing too much can create havoc:

“I can’t multitask. It creates too much chaos.”
Eisenhauer is not alone, may other CEOs also avoid multitasking and believe that their focus should be reserved for most important things. Bill Gates is also known for concentrating vigorously on few things and is credited as one of his traits that helped him be the richest man in the world.

5. Communicate with People

Tech leaders have been known to differ from corporate leaders in a lot of ways. From t-shirts instead of suits to open door policies instead of appointment only meetings, tech CEOs are revolutionizing the way business are run. They are more communicative, engaging and friendly towards their employees and stakeholders. Jonathon Cogley, founder and CEO of Thycotic which is an IT security firm describes this approach like this:

“This is often described as ‘managing by wandering around,’ but don’t undervalue it. Having random conversations with different people across the organization will help you keep your ear to the ground on what is really happening. Be respectful and don’t interrupt people who are working, but catching someone making a coffee in the kitchen, give them a big smile and learn a bit about their day in a friendly, non-creepy way. You will easily stay on top of the pulse of the organization.”
There are lessons to learn from everywhere if you really start looking. All these individuals who have worked hard to build companies did so through their personalities and traits that helped them achieve their goals. Whoever inspires you, try to find what their habits are and how they manage their assets, relations and time.