Thoughts on Leadership: Establishing a Solid Routine

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me starting off at home, with my typical Monday morning WIG calls. On Tuesday I attended a Berkshire Hathaway Energy meeting in the morning then participated in several other meetings throughout the week. I’m also focused on planning for this month’s CEO Leadership Meeting as well as upcoming meetings in San Diego, happening August 15th through August 19th.

As all this planning and strategizing ramps up, I’m reminded about the importance of a solid morning routine. When you have a good morning routine it sets you up for success throughout the day.

Bob Bowman (Coach to Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, and other Team USAOlympic swimmers), once said: “The key to victory was creating the right routines.”

Just as Bowman believed that the key to victory for swimmers was about creating the right routines, I believe the key to victory in any business is creating the right routines. I spent the majority of my adult life studying success.

I’m a true believer in hard work but I also learned that I needed to work harder on myself than on my job in order to succeed. I needed to change my mindset from being afraid of the day, or trying to get through the day, to being fearless and confident so that I could take from the day. I designed a series of behaviors to change my state that would set me apart from other REALTORSⓇ, a few specific habits; nothing to do with real estate and everything to do with creating the right mindset.

These habits would give me the strongest mental state of any REALTORⓇ in any situation. My routine would allow me to find those tiny advantages in a business where victory would mean getting the deal.

And there’s science to back up the power of what a morning routine can do for you.

Researchers Steffanie Wilk of Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and Nancy Rothbard of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study involving 29 customer service representatives at a large U.S. insurance company. Over the course of three weeks, participants were asked to rate and describe their mood at the beginning of the workday and at other random times throughout the day. They were also asked to rate the customers’ moods as they interacted with them. What did the researchers find? When the customer service representatives began the day in a “good mood,” they rated customers more positively not only for the calls at the beginning of the day but also throughout the day. The researchers found that a good mood positively corresponded to better verbal fluency on the phone and more confidence in speech (less “ums” or “uhs”). In other words, a good mood allowed these employees to perceive customers more positively and perform better in their respective roles. THAT is the power of a solid morning routine because it gets puts your mindset in an optimistic framework, which allows you to produce better, more often and see the world around you as an incredible place to be.

My own routine consists of M.E.D.S. – Meditation, Exercise, Diet and Sleep, which are the keystone habits that create small wins. I know if I start my day being calm, with some sort of meditation, get my exercise in, watch my diet, and get enough sleep, I’ll have a great day. Yes, these are small wins but small wins compound over time to create widespread changes and generate incredible results. Research has shown that small wins have enormous power, an influence disproportionate to the accomplishments of the victories themselves. Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage. Once a small win has been made, forces are set in motion that favor another small win. Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people to understand bigger achievements are within reach.

So, what’s the message? M.E.D.S., once accomplished, are small wins. Meditation calms the mind; exercise strengthens the body; diet nourishes the body; and sleep replenishes the body. As legendary NFL Coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Stay tuned for Thoughts on Leadership next week, as we dive deeper into the importance of sleep.

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