In this episode, we introduce our new podcast series, What Leaders Do, small little digestible nuggets of wisdom to help you be a better leader. We’re joined live by members of our community to discuss why the best leaders wake up early. We share insights on how leaders wake up early and stick to the habit. Plus, Brian shares his impressive, long-standing morning routine, including tips on how you can build your own morning practice. You can join the conversation in our next What Leaders Do episode by joining our community!
Leaders Wake Up Early
As we’ve been working with leaders over the years, we’ve noticed a lot of themes. One of them is that leaders get up early. This isn’t an overall blanket statement that everyone needs to wake up early to be an effective leader, but one of the themes we’ve noticed is that leaders get up early, they get set, and they get ready before they ever go.
When a leader gets up early, they’re preparing for the day. They’re preparing their mind and their body by preparing themselves physically, nutritionally, and mentally to enter into the day to bring their best self.
Why Leaders Wake Up Early
Waking up early is like figuratively warming up for the performance. Musicians warm up before their rehearsals or events, they tune their instruments or maybe look over their music or prepare what they’re going to wear. Athletes get warmed up and prepare themselves for competition. Artists get their studio ready before they step into something. Many leaders wake up early in this same way to prepare themselves for the day.
If you look at leadership as your art, as you are bringing something to the table, you’re bringing something to a team, you’re bringing something to the members that you work with, there’s also something artistic about the way you show up as a leader. It could be an artistic way of how you think, how you create ideas, how you organize things, how you set things up, how you relate to people, how you listen to people, or how you’re present for people. All of these factors are what I think is the artistic expression of who you are as a leader and as an artist. How often do you practice this artistic expression of who you are as an influencer? And that can be part of why you get up early.Brian Schubring
What Do Leaders Do When they Wake Up Early?
As a business leader, think about morning time as a time to gather your thoughts, put your body together, have a seat, and maybe practice a few things. This could be reading or journaling, or even taking notes on the day ahead. In the morning, leaders do things to prepare for the day. They do reflective things such as meditate, listen to music, or engage in different types of mindfulness practices. Some leaders like to get up early to exercise or practice a fitness routine. Many leaders also eat something nutritious before their day even starts.
When leaders wake up early, they have time to prepare their minds and body. By making the effort to wake up early, you’re saying to yourself that this day is important enough for me to get ready. It’s important to be disciplined enough to write, reflect or process and bring yourself to the point of being ready emotionally, intellectually, and physically for the day.
Tips for Waking Up Early and Building Morning Practices
- Find your time – The exact time of day isn’t important. Many leaders are productive late into the evening hours. Experiment with when and how you prefer to get things done. Staying up later could be your time available to build routines or habits.
- Start the night before – Getting up early starts the day before. If you want to wake up earlier, it likely means you’ll need to start going to bed earlier, too.
- Interruptions happen – Don’t make perfect the enemy of the good. It’s the effort and the intention that matters the most.
- Be adaptive – Carve out time for your practice where you can. It might not always be at the ideal time or location. To be a leader, you have to really engage in adaptive practices.
- Plan Ahead – For some people, trying to prepare for the day or week ahead can cause anxiety. Try preparing for the entire week on one day instead of every day on the night before.
- Use tools – try using a writing or organization app. Brian loves Evernote for writing and keeping track of ideas and Insight Timer for building morning habits around mindfulness.
Your Morning Practice
Are you an early riser? What does your morning practice or routine look like? How can your morning routine be improved? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join our community for our next What Leaders Do discussion to ask questions, contribute, and engage with other leaders!
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!