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Are CEOs With Military Background Early Risers?

Several extraordinary achievers across political, business and sports world unveiled that they were early birds, and being an early bird is one of the reasons for their extraordinary success

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"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." - Benjamin Franklin

We are all blessed with 24 hours in a day. There are a very few people who know how to utilize these precious hours to achieve greatness and provide meaning to their lives. Some people sleep for less time while some sleep for more time. More than the sleeping, it is how they manage their time and schedule their priorities every day matters greatly. The extraordinary achievers are early birds who know how to manage their time effectively.

When you observe eminent CEOs and leaders including Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group; Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric; Steve Reinemund, the former CEO of PepsiCo; Dan Akerson, the former CEO of General Motors; Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault; David Cush, CEO of Virgin America; Brett Yormark, CEO of New Jersey Nets; Irwin Simon, CEO of Hain Celestial Group; Robert Iger, CEO of Disney; Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks; Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox; Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat & Chrysler; and Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management; they are early risers. Other eminent people including Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Margaret Thatcher, Mark Wahlberg, Anna Wintour, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Armstrong, Vladimir Nabokov, Simone de Beauvoir, and Frank Lloyd Wright are early birds. The habit of rising early helped them achieve greater heights in their lives.

Advantages of Early Rising
Several extraordinary achievers across political, business and sports world unveiled that they were early birds, and being an early bird is one of the reasons for their extraordinary success. Here are some advantages of rising early.

Rising early gives you quiet time - time to plan, schedule your priorities, reflect, write, read, and hit gym. For instance, Carlos Ghosn schedules a strict hour and half meeting for non-operational meetings. You can execute challenging tasks. You can acquire fresh ideas to resolve several organizational challenges.

When you wake up early, you may find yourself grumpy initially but there will be fewer distractions. You can organize your mind and activities effectively. There will be no switching costs involved in time. You can manage your time effectively. There will be peace and tranquility. Your brain is fully charged to undertake extra load. You understand well, apply effectively and reap rewards amazingly. You will be positive and proactive in your approach. You will be able to concentrate well on your 'to do' list, and be in a position to execute your tasks on time and accomplish your goals. Precisely, you will be at your best, if you are an early bird.

Research shows that early risers are happier and healthier people in their personal, professional and social lives. They keep their bodies and minds happier; make good money; and ensure decent living. They take responsibility for their actions. They don't criticize, complain and condemn others. They are optimistic, energetic and confident to overcome challenges effectively. They have internal locus of control. They make things happen. They create their own destiny. They lead happy lives and excel as role model for others.

My Experience in Indian Air Force and Academia
I joined Indian Air Force when I was 18 years old and cultivated the habit of rising early. I used to rise at 4 A.M. and start my day in Air Force. When I entered into teaching profession, I cultivated the practice of rising early morning 3 A.M. to author books. It is the time my biological clock is highly creative and productive and I will be able to create new ideas and words.

I get sound sleep every day and I sleep usually at 10 P.M. If I don't get sleep when random thoughts keep popping in my head, I chant "Om Namah Shivaya". It helps me streamline my random thoughts and have control over mind to sleep happily. I feel that I am born every day morning and dead every day night. When I wake up early in the morning, I thank God for granting me another day to serve my students and people because my vision is to build one million students as global leaders  and to serve global society.

My research on various CEOs with military background reveals that they are early risers. They cultivated this habit in military and continued it even after leaving their military service and succeeded in their careers. To conclude, cultivate the habit of rising early morning to manage your time effectively and leverage your biological clock to grow as an extraordinary achiever, leader and CEO.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Professor M.S. Rao

Professor M.S.Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of ‘Soft Leadership’ and Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with 35 years of experience and the author of 30 books including the award-winning ‘21 Success Sutras for CEOs’

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