Be An Early Bird To Grow As An Extraordinary Achiever, Leader, And CEO

Be An Early Bird To Grow As An Extraordinary Achiever, Leader, And CEO
Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay

“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.” ―Aristotle

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We are all blessed with 24 hours in a day. There are 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 sleeping, it is how they manage their time and schedule their priorities everyday matters significantly. The extraordinary achievers are early birds who know how to manage their time effectively.

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When you observe eminent CEOs and leaders including Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group; Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric; Steve Reinemund, the former CEO of PepsiCo; Dan Akerson, the former CEO of General Motors, they are early risers. Other eminent people including Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, 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

“Early rising not only gives us more life in the same number of years but adds, likewise, to their number; and not only enables us to enjoy more of existence in the same time but increases also the measure." ―Caleb C. Colton

Several extraordinary achievers across the 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. Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Here are some advantages of rising early.

Rising early gives you quiet time ― time to plan, schedule your priorities, reflect, write, read, and exercise. For instance, Carlos Ghosn schedules a strict hour and a 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 execute 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 challenging assignments. You understand well, apply effectively, and reap rewards amazingly. You will be positive and proactive in your approach. The entire day is under your control. You will be able to schedule your activities effectively. 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; ensure a 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 are goal-focused. They are highly task-oriented with effective executive skills. They are tough taskmasters. They have an internal locus of control. They make things happen. They create their own destiny. They lead happy lives and excel as a role model for others.

My Experience in Indian Air Force and Academia

“Every day think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to have woken up. I have a precious human life and I am not going to waste it.” ―Dalai Lama

I joined the 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 the Indian Air Force. When I entered the teaching profession, I cultivated the practice of rising early morning at 3 A.M. to author books. It is time my biological clock is highly creative and productive to create new ideas and words.

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

My years of research on CEOs unveils that the CEOs with a military background are early risers. They cultivated this habit in the military and continued it even after leaving their military service and succeeded in their careers.

Cultivate the Habit of Rising Early

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” ―Maya Angelou

To cultivate this habit, start slowly by waking 15 minutes earlier than your usual time. Be determined to rise. After reaching this time, you advance your time by 15 minutes again until it becomes a natural part. Do it systematically to rise early. Sleep early so that your body gets the required time to sleep. Once you sleep early, you develop the habit of getting up early from your bed. You can overcome your inner laziness by introducing a new task in your morning routine. Once you get used to it, you can include another task. In this way, you can gradually overcome your laziness to rise early. Keep your alarm clock away from the bed. Drink water as soon as you wake up to hydrate your body. Don’t rationalize and justify yourself for rising late from your bed. Be strict to yourself. Build compelling reasons to get up. When you are passionate about doing something, you will get up early from your bed. Hence, set passionate goals that compel you to rise early from your bed. Before going to bed, give the command to your subconscious mind that you will get up at a fixed time to complete your tasks. 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.


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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 thirty-nine years of experience and the author of forty-eight books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and a sought-after keynote speaker globally. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications. His vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030 URL: He has the vision to share knowledge freely with one billion people globally. He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe). He was ranked #1 Thought Leader and Influencer on Culture Globally by Thinkers360 URL: He invests his time in authoring books and blogging on executive education, learning, and leadership. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs including He is a prolific author and a dynamic, energetic, and inspirational leadership speaker. He can be reached at [email protected]

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