Breakfast of Leaders

Wheaties, the first ready-to-eat cereal that was invented in 1921, is known for being “the breakfast of champions”. 

So that got me thinking – what is the breakfast of leaders?

I am not referring to actual food but what do effective leaders do to start their day?

The many books I have read on leadership, and the one I am co-authoring on women and leadership, indicate that the greatest leaders have a morning routine. 

In other words, they have established good habits that have helped them to be the success they are today and will carry them into the future.

Some attend church every morning while others go to the gym.

Some like to write every morning about their thoughts, goals, and motivations for the day.

The point is that these leaders are disciplined to do these things daily and it helps them to chart their course for the rest of the day.

Why is this important? 

By having a set routine, it propels us to move forward and with that have productive days.

Many of us feel out of sorts when are routine is messed up and it carries through the rest of the day.

Can we turn it around? Definitely but it takes a lot more time and energy.

To establish or change an existing routine, one has to change their behaviors and possibly the behaviors of others they live with.

As an example, if the Sunday ritual is to eat a donut laden breakfast at the neighborhood coffee shop, that may be a hard thing to stop doing.

It is not just about eating chocolate glazed donuts, but the time spent with friends and/or family.

If it is too tempting to sit there and not eat a donut, you may suggest that the venue change, or you give up going out Sunday mornings all together.

Either way you may upset others.

We are “creatures of habit” so identifying what makes you feel good first thing in the morning and what doesn’t (like eating tons of sugar and carbs) can be challenging. 

Baby steps are the way to go but as we know with New Year’s Resolutions, we start off strong and then our motivation weakens and we may give up altogether.

To combat this, buy a journal. 

Make notes every day on not just what you eat or do each morning but also rate it.

“I ate a small cheese omelet for breakfast, and I was surprised that I was not snacking on M&Ms at 11 am.” I rate it a 8/10 morning.

OR “I took Fido around the block twice this morning and although I initially felt tired in those first few weeks, now I am invigorated.” I rate this one a 10/10 but when I started it was a 5/10.

Try it for a few weeks and see what transpires.

I can guarantee that you will start to identify what is a good “breakfast” versus a bad one and have much more impactful and rewarding days.