Start Your Day Successfully—Everyone Else Does
Success has a routine. From Maya Angelou’s early mornings and Benjamin Franklin’s daily to-do lists, to Evan Williams’ mid-day gym breaks and Arianna Huffington’s morning mediations, history has proven that there is a pattern to it all.
As business-minded, overly-committed, never-take-a-break kind of people, we often forget how important it is to step back and evaluate our way of life; in fact, we often create unhealthy lifestyle habits without even knowing it.
Here are 3 simple ways you can break the pattern and successfully start your day.
The Hard One: Stop with the Snooze
We’re all guilty of it: setting our alarms for 5am but hitting snooze till 6am—and then we’re rushed. Leaving the comfort of our mattresses and warmth of our sheets is not always an easy feat but it is one that has to occur. Getting into a routine that requires you to rise and shine at the same time every day will actually make life easier—and more productive. According to Forbes, “Early rising is a common trait found in many CEOs, government officials, and other influential people. Margaret Thatcher was up every day at 5am; Frank Lloyd Wright at 4am and Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, wakes at 4:30am.”
While we are unsure of their “snoozing” habits, we do know this: They are successful and swear by the morning hours. Still questioning this theory? Inc. Magazine recently reported that “morning people have been found to be more proactive and more productive.” So throw out the belief that you “are just not a morning person” and get the day started!
The "Fun" One: Eat, Eat, Eat
To be clear: We are not encouraging binge eating but we are adamantly supportive of the adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Would your car start without gas? Would you let your children leave the house without something in their tummies? No, because both need energy to properly function; energy that comes from fuel, i.e. food (or gas in the case of the car). So why do you think you are any different? In addition to the health benefits (want to build that metabolism? Eat breakfast. Want to lose weight? May seem odd but: eat breakfast.), starting your day off with a healthy, balanced breakfast helps sharpen your mind and improve mental performance. Take a cue from Whole Foods founder John Mackey, who makes a breakfast smoothie consisting of almond, oat, rice or soy milk along with fresh fruit and veggies: Keep it light, but keep it in the routine.
Read Related Content in Business Review USA
The Dreaded One: Exercise
We know: You’ll work out later. You have an important meeting to prepare for and just can’t make it to the gym. Or it’s been such a long day at the office, all you want to do is go home and take a load off—or do more work. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst habits professionals can fall in to, as neglecting your physical health will only impair your mental health. Even President Obama takes time to exercise, starting his routine every morning with a 6:45am workout session before he sits down to rule the free world. Not motivating enough? Square CEO Jack Dorsey has been jogging laps around you since 6am while Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and his wife are out enjoying a brisk morning bike ride. Still not convinced? When asked by author Tim Ferriss about his methods for maintaining productivity, Virgin’s Richard Branson answered that he is “able to get four additional hours of productivity out of every day simply by keeping up with his physical activities, which includes swimming, Bikram yoga, rock climbing, running and weightlifting.”
Follow us on Twitter: @BizReviewUSA
Like us on Facebook: /BizReviewUSA
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.