7 Simple Actions CEOs are Taking to Lead Themselves

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

three boys in a forest practising self leadership

Now more than ever people are looking to leaders for reassurance and direction. You may be a leader for your staff, your family, a community group, or all three. The better you lead yourself, the better you will show up as the leader your people need you to be right now.

Many of the CEOs and executives I've spoken with lately are taking steps to leads themselves. Here are some shared experiences that you may like to apply.

Take a break in the middle of the day to get outside. I heard from one CEO this week who has a 41-day streak of getting out for a one-hour walk with his kids. Another trusted advisor I work with takes a two-hour break in the middle of the day to be outside in his garden.

Get enough sleep. A general recommendation is 7.5hrs of sleep 5 out of 7 days a week. Biology trumps psychology every time, as Rick Tiedemann of Copeman Health puts it.

Schedule some meetings as phone calls. Not everything has to be a video conference. Go for a walk outside while on a phone call if appropriate.

Get 30 minutes of exercise daily. Energy breeds energy, and physical energy is the source of mental energy (see biology trumps psychology above). Some CEOs have a Peloton bike (myself included). If that's not your jam pick something you enjoy and get 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Eat healthy meals. As my trainer says, "you can't out-train your face." 80% of your physical energy will result from a healthy diet, not from regular exercise.

Pick up a hobby. This helps you find balance against the three productive modes. I picked up Tim Ferriss' Four-Hour Chef (all healthy low-carb recipes) and made the first four recipes with my wife. This has also been a great "date night" during the crisis.

Get support from a peer group. Leadership can be lonely. Having a formal or informal peer group can provide you with support for the issues you are dealing with. I chair two CEO peer groups with Mackay CEO Forums. Consider joining a formal peer group, or creating your own informal peer group.

Which of these actions will you use to lead yourself?

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