The Power of Habits
Jul 06, 2016
The Power of Habits
‘The Power of Habit’ by Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg is on our hit-list for a reason. Drawing on cutting edge scientific discoveries, he explores why habits exist, how they can be changed, and the incredible impact they can have on business ventures. So why should you care? Read on as we reconnoitre why habits matter, and how you can empower yourself with one of the most formidable C-suite weapons out there.
What are habits?
When we say habits, we’re not just talking about a 7am caffeine hit every morning. Habits are innately powerful tendencies, and are a concept that all executives should categorically appreciate. Once established, they ingrain themselves in behavioural and neurological patterns, and become almost subconscious.
Plan, plan, PLAN
Stephen Covey may have passed away, but the legacy of his 1989 bestseller “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” continues to endure. He advocates for seven habits, but there’s no denying that heightened emphasis is places on planning. There’s a time and place for spontaneity, but ultimately building successful businesses calls for ruthless planning, and long term goals. Here’s some inspiration from the legend himself…
“At the start of every week, write a two-by-two matrix on a blank sheet of paper where one side of the matrix says “urgent” and “not urgent” and the other side of the matrix says “important” and “not important.” Then, write all the things you want to do that week.”
From a neurological perspective, the power of positivity is profound. Training your mind to ‘think positive’ by default can unlock doors to success, with global authorities like Alan L. Carsrud and Malin Brännback asserting that positive thinking actively improves decision making capabilities.
Learn from the big guns
From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, it’s no secret that habits are an underlying factor of success. For first hand insight into what makes some of the world’s most successful executives tick, this Business Insider article is a must read write up. If Zuck’s on-board, so are we!
Despite its personal connotations, habits run deeper than individual behaviour. ‘Best practice’ techniques can also be learned and taught within corporations, and have the power to facilitate remarkable results. Just look at the success of former Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) CEO Paul O’Neill. After pioneering for superlative workplace safety habits within the company, Alcoa’s profits hit a record high. Duhigg refers to these sorts of practices as “keystone habits,” and maintains that they have the power to transform businesses, from the inside out.
There’s an intrinsic relationship between executive behaviour, and organisational success. By forming positive habits, executives can leverage this relationship, and fast-track their way to hitting both personal, and professional goals.