7 Secret Eating Habits of Charismatic Leaders

Even outside their areas of expertise, charismatic leaders often demonstrate qualities of their own commitment to greatness. Here’s a look at some of the secret eating habits of seven charismatic leaders:

1. Mark Zuckerberg ate only meat of animals he himself killed (in 2011, at least).In 2011, Zuckerberg disclosed that he was taking a personal challenge to eat only meat that came from animals he himself killed. Zuckerberg claimed the effort was to remind himself to be thankful for how readily available food is in the modern world, and to experience the significance of sustainable farming practices. While the effort was temporary, ending in 2012, Zuckerberg is still committed to eating healthfully and responsibly.

Zuckerberg’s experience was temporary but powerful. Few people in the modern world would be willing to go to such lengths in order to prove a point or enlighten themselves. His challenge encouraged several habits: taking charge of his own food preparation, practicing economically savvy farming, and eating more healthfully. In line with the characteristics of many charismatic leaders, this effort allowed him to take control of his own situation, make a unique effort that impacts a broader environment, and take better care of himself.

2. Henry Ford ate weeds that came from his own garden. According to Sidney Olson’s biography Young Henry Ford, Ford began to think of his own body as a type of car, which needed the right fuel in order to work properly. Paying close attention to what he ate, Ford’s diet would consist largely of “roadside greens”–vegetables and weeds that he would harvest himself and prepare as salads or as parts of sandwiches. His eating habits turned many of his associates away, but he remained adherent to his culinary philosophy.

While the nutritional value of weeds varies, Ford’s habits are interesting because they were an extension of his company’s vision. Ford wanted to build the best machines, and the best machines needed the best fuel. That uncompromising philosophy extended to his own meals, giving him the motivation and grit to pursue a better diet, even though most of us would consider it unpleasant (if not disgusting).

3. Howard Hughes was extremely germophobic. Brilliant and reclusive, Hughes was well known for his obsessive-compulsive habits and extreme fear of germs. Before Hughes completely isolated himself from society, he hired several servants to ensure his meals were as clean as possible. According to some reports, Hughes demanded that his utensils be wrapped in plastic and then handled with tissues before he would use them for a meal.

Hughes’s habits were extreme, but germophobia and obsessive-compulsive habits are all too common in charismatic, successful leaders (take Donald Trump as another example). Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a serious mental illness, but obsessive habits are hallmarks of perfectionists and detail-oriented individuals. If you find yourself nitpicking small details and fine-tuning setups, chances are you apply that same sort of perfectionism to your business.

4. Margaret Thatcher went on a crash diet before the 1979 election. First female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was recently revealed to have gone on a dramatic “crash diet” in 1979, in the weeks leading up to her landmark election win. Boiled eggs, grapefruit, black coffee, and vegetables constituted most of her diet in an effort to lose weight quickly–but she cooked all her food herself.

Thatcher was a strong leader who worked hard to execute her ideals and wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty by doing the work herself. These core characteristics are evident even in her eating habits, given the fact that she would opt for such a restrictive regimen just to improve her appearance. Crash diets aren’t healthy, but to see them through takes discipline and commitment–both of which are essential for leaders.

5. Charles Darwin discovered countless species–and ate them. Darwin is well known as being the father of evolutionary theory, a result of his dedicated passion for discovering and studying forms of life. Over the course of his career as a scientist, he discovered countless species of animals, including iguanas, tortoises, and owls. What most people don’t know is that Darwin was a part of a Cambridge University organization called the Gourmet Club, whose members thrived on cooking and eating such rare and new species.

While the motivation behind Darwin’s eating habits was never explicitly revealed, it’s fairly obvious that he was passionate about his work. Darwin wanted to know everything he could about the animals he studied, and strangely, that manifested in a desire to eat some of them. Still, that passionate desire to know everything you can about your subject is what drives people to become great leaders in their field.

6. Winston Churchill valued dedicated, full meals. Churchill’s strong personality is still well known and celebrated. Tenacious, witty, and tactful, Churchill is said to have valued table talk as a medium for important discussions, and preferred large meals of oysters, cheese, and various meats. He prioritized meals, even in periods of high stress or chaos.

Churchill saw meals as an important part of his lifestyle, regardless of circumstances, and used them to his advantage when it came to holding diplomatic discussions. Like Churchill, great leaders prioritize certain elements of their own lifestyle even when under great pressure–it is a consistent foundation that can keep you sane and focused.

7. Steve Jobs was a vegan–and would eat one type of food for weeks at a time.Many people familiar with the ingenious former CEO of Apple know that he was a longtime vegan, believing that his vegan eating habits were pure, healthy, and kept him free of body odor. Fewer people know that he would spend weeks at a time eating only one type of food, such as apples or carrots. As reported in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs, he once ate so many carrots that his skin turned bright orange.

Jobs was one of the most eccentric leaders of our time, and his strange eating habits may not come as a surprise to those familiar with his obsessive personality. Charismatic leaders are able to determine which efforts are most important, and see those efforts through no matter what. Jobs was willing to see his eating habits through even after turning orange, and he was able to turn Apple into one of the most successful companies in the world even after facing adversity.


Your own eating habits may or may not be a reflection of your style of leadership. If you find yourself creating uncompromising, almost ritualistic habits, you’re probably the type of person who plans ahead and prioritizes consistency, both of which are important. If you find yourself being picky or eating in strange ways, you’re probably a perfectionist and you don’t care what other people think, which are also important qualities.

No matter what type of leader you are, it’s important to learn from the leaders who came before you. By knowing their mistakes and shining successes, you can adjust your own approach and become a better leader in your own right.

-Courtesy: Inc.com

3 Common Myths About Really Influential People

In some ways, it’s easier to become influential than ever before. The ability to publish and share information on the Web provides access to influence that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago. Unfortunately many people buy into outdated myths about how influencers behave which keep them from reaching their goals. Avoid these three to avoid becoming one of them.

Myth #1: They Are Highly Competitive

In the industrial economy, the fiercest competitors won. The limited number of media outlets only had room to cover a few owners and executives, so if you could get other companies in your space to go out of business before you did, your fame and fortune would explode.

Today people rely on the Internet, which has limitless space. Instead of a handful of dinosaurs battling for a few available newspaper, radio, or network TV spots, there is room for every kind of niche information. That’s why the savviest influencers in the 21st century go out of their way to ally themselves with other influencers. It is not uncommon to see a business blogger co-author an article with a blogger in the same industry, or a podcaster to invite a competitor to co-host a week’s worth of episodes. In the digital economy, there’s enough to go around, and really influential people take advantage of this.

Myth #2: They Are Manipulative

Many influencers in ages past believed strongly in the power of manipulation. Withholding information from vendors and bending the truth with customers were all-too-common practices. Today, however, people can get accurate information about anything with a few clicks of a mouse. As a result, businesspeople who play tricks and spin facts will invariably be found out. Not only will the wronged parties reject and ignore you; they will share their experience with everyone else. That’s a surefire way to lose any influence you might have started out with.

Myth #3: They Are Aggressive

There has always been a class of businesspeople that rely on aggression. They scream, shout, cajole, and bully to get their way. While this might temporarily get employees to do what you say (before they get another job), an aggressive approach to building influence is as dead as the manual typewriter. Since collaboration is so important to getting noticed, it’s more important than ever to be someone with whom other influencers want to collaborate. In the 21st century, alienating those that can help you is the surest way to find yourself without any influence at all.

-Courtesy: Inc.com

7 Habits of People With Remarkable Mental Toughness

First, the definition:

“The ability to work hard and respond resiliently to failure and adversity; the inner quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals.”

Now the word:


The definition of grit almost perfectly describes qualities every successful person possesses, because mental toughness builds the foundations for long-term success.

For example, successful people are great at delaying gratification. Successful people are great at withstanding temptation. Successful people are great at overcoming fear in order to do what they need to do. (Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t scared–that does mean they’re brave. Big difference.) Successful people don’t just prioritize. They consistently keep doing what they have decided is most important.

All those qualities require mental strength and toughness–so it’s no coincidence those are some of the qualities of remarkably successful people.

Here are ways you can become mentally stronger–and as a result more successful:

1. Always act as if you are in total control.

There’s a quote often credited to Ignatius: “Pray as if God will take care of all; act as if all is up to you.” (Cool quote.)

The same premise applies to luck. Many people feel luck has a lot to do with success or failure. If they succeed, luck favored them, and if they fail, luck was against them.

Most successful people do feel good luck played some role in their success. But they don’t wait for good luck or worry about bad luck. They act as if success or failure is totally within their control. If they succeed, they caused it. If they fail, they caused it.

By not wasting mental energy worrying about what might happen to you, you can put all your effort into making things happen. (And then, if you get lucky, hey, you’re even better off.)

You can’t control luck, but you can definitely control you.

2. Put aside things you have no ability to impact.

Mental strength is like muscle strength–no one has an unlimited supply. So why waste your power on things you can’t control?

For some people, it’s politics. For others, it’s family. For others, it’s global warming. Whatever it is, you care, and you want others to care.

Fine. Do what you can do: Vote. Lend a listening ear. Recycle, and reduce your carbon footprint. Do what you can do. Be your own change–but don’t try to make everyone else change.

(They won’t.)

3. See the past as valuable training and nothing more.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your perspective. When something bad happens to you, see it as an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, don’t just learn from it–see it as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong but only in terms of how you will make sure that next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

4. Celebrate the success of others.

Many people–I guarantee you know at least a few–see success as a zero-sum game: There’s only so much to go around. When someone else shines, they think that diminishes the light from their stars.

Resentment sucks up a massive amount of mental energy–energy better applied elsewhere.

When a friend does something awesome, that doesn’t preclude you from doing something awesome. In fact, where success is concerned, birds of a feather tend to flock together–so draw your successful friends even closer.

Don’t resent awesomeness. Create and celebrate awesomeness, wherever you find it, and in time you’ll find even more of it in yourself.

5. Never allow yourself to whine. (Or complain. Or criticize.)

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems always makes you feel worse, not better.

So if something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that mental energy into making the situation better. (Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to make it better.)

So why waste time? Fix it now. Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just serve as a shoulder they can cry on. Friends don’t let friends whine; friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Focus only on impressing yourself.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all things. People may like your things–but that doesn’t mean they like you.

(Sure, superficially they might seem to like you, but what’s superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship not based on substance is not a real relationship.)

Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

And you’ll have a lot more mental energy to spend on the people who really do matter in your life.

7. Count your blessings.

Take a second every night before you turn out the light and, in that moment, quit worrying about what you don’t have. Quit worrying about what others have that you don’t.

Think about what you do have. You have a lot to be thankful for. Feels pretty good, doesn’t it?

Feeling better about yourself is the best way of all to recharge your mental batteries.

-Courtesy: Inc.com

7 Hard Truths About Life That People Don’t Like to Admit

While people generally like to think they’re in touch with reality, the truth is that many of us shield ourselves from certain unpleasant facts to make us happier and more productive.

Users on Quora recently discussed the question: “What is an example of something true that nobody generally wants to admit?”

From unpleasant insights about love to the truth about meritocracy, here are seven uncomfortable truths people don’t like to admit:

1. Looks matter.

It’s nice to believe in karmic justice where good things happen to good people, but Quora user Dania Faruqui points out that actually, good things tend to happen to good-looking people.

“We keep denying it all the time, but an attractive person has an upper hand over a not-so-attractive person most of the time. Ugly truth,” Faruqui writes.

Indeed, research suggests that attractive people make more money and are seen as smarter and more trustworthy than people who aren’t as alluring.

2. No one is truly altruistic.

Suraj Agarwal writes that “we are all self-centric; it’s just the radius that varies,” meaning that the only difference between selfish and unselfish people is how intensely they pursue their self-interest.

Ramachandra Bhakta takes this notion even further by sharing a quote from the Indian philosopher Chanakya to point out that even our most intimate relationships are created to serve our own needs: “There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”

3. There is no such thing as a soulmate.

Quora user Soumadeep Mazumdar says that despite our personal delusions of grandeur, nobody is actually unique.

“No matter how ahead of the curve you think yourself to be, there will be thousands like you walking the same curve,” Mazumdar writes. “You will think that you are the only one who has those odd fetishes or you are the only one awake at that particular hour of the night. But the truth is, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands who are exactly like you.”

As a result, Mazumdar says that searching for your “one, true love” is a silly pursuit.

“There are millions who would satisfy your criteria of Ms. Right and Mr. Perfect. It is just coincidence that you found one of them and were acquainted to him or her and now consider them your soulmate.”

4. Life is precious.

One of the most popular responses in the thread pointed out that everyone eventually dies, and it could happen at any moment.

While we all know we’ll die one day, the suddenness with which death could come is something most of us try to forget.

As Quora user Mohit Sharma put it: “It’s not like they don’t believe it; they just ignore the fragility of life.”

5. Nobody has any idea what to do.

If you are confused about what you want to do with your life, take solace in the knowledge that most, if not all, of us are also still figuring things out.

Quora user Josh Vogel writes: “It’s drilled into our heads that we have to speak with certainty and confidence about things, especially if we are ‘expert’ in these things, but the truth is that we don’t know.”

Sri Teja adds that this uncertainty extends even to successful people who seem to have everything under control.

“The people you look up to are just as nervous as you are,” Teja writes. “Succeeding gets a lot easier when you realize that everyone who has ever succeeded has doubted that things will work, has failed terribly, and has generally been where the rest of are: worrying and certain that they aren’t good enough.”

6. Success doesn’t happen over night.

Quora user Samyadeep Basu writes, “Most successes happen in small steps and take a long time.”

While many people search constantly for a quick fix to turn their lives around, the truth is that the hard work you put in today will most likely only begin to pay off months, if not years, down the road.

Even then, Samantha Deakin writes, our hard work doesn’t necessarily guarantee future returns.

“There are so many confounding variables in the equation, that often the most successful people have been incredibly lucky in ways that you can only really see when you look back on their lives,” Deakin says.

7. The world is full of suffering.

While it is certainly worth trying to make things better, no individual’s work will put a real dent in the pain and suffering people experience around the world.

In a particularly depressing post, Ishan Rana writes: “Somewhere at this very point in time, someone is being tortured, hostages are being held captive, someone is being raped, girls are being punished for studying, and maybe, just maybe, the homeless guy and his little kid you pass every day hasn’t had lunch for days.”

Quora user Andy Lim adds that this knowledge makes it difficult for him to enjoy his life of relative ease. “I choose to not believe this fact, at least while I’m indulging my self.”

-Courtesy: Entrepreneur.com

5 Things Successful Leaders Do in a Crisis

A lot of people believe that the true leadership capacity of a person is tested during times of crisis. Performance under stress can show how quick witted or level headed a person is, or on the contrary, it can show where their weaknesses lie. As a business owner or as an entrepreneur, it’s important that you always keep your wits about you and stay cool in difficult situations. These are the five things that every successful leader does in times of crisis, and traits to you should always keep in mind when running a business.

Successful Leaders Don’t Let Their Emotions Get In The Way

The most important thing to do during a crisis is to maintain an example for your employees by keeping cool, calm, and collected, which will allow you to think about the curveballs being thrown your way.

Successful Leaders Are Brave

Many people respond to a crisis by being overwhelmed by stress, which turns to fear. It is easy to be afraid when you have a crisis situation in your business, as it is your entire livelihood on the line, but if you remain brave, then your employees will be too, and together a strong team will be able to turn anything around.

Successful Leaders Are Accountable For Their Victories And Their Losses

Good leaders own up to when they make mistakes. After all, we are all human, and someone who is too proud to admit their own mistake is not likely to be someone that others will follow. Taking responsibility for any actions that you have taken that could have contributed to the crisis will be a good way to prompt your employees into working on the situation with you wholeheartedly, instead of just because they have to.

Successful Leaders Don’t Take Failures Personally

By separating your personal feelings from the matter at hand, you are better able to focus on what is happening and take care of it in a manner that is going to be most successful for you, your employees, and the rest of your business. Crises can also bring out power dynamics in the workplace, and a successful leader does not let those office politics get in the way of taking care of business!

Successful Leaders Possess Positive Attitudes From Start To Finish

The end of the crisis is not just when you pull yourself out of the muck that it had put you in. The end of the crisis is when the team has started to recover and is moving on, which might take a bit. Keeping a positive attitude on your face and pushing the excellence of your team will keep morale high, which will put things right back on track in no time at all, and will also earn you the trust and respect of your employees.

-Courtesy: Inc.com

Are You a Good Leader? (Infographic)

Once, it may have been enough for a company to find something that works and keep doing it over and over again. Today, in a marketplace of continual innovation and change, a company needs strong and strategic leadership to truly thrive. But what does strong leadership mean?

Fifty-three percent of corporations placed growth as their number one priority in 2013. To achieve this growth, companies have turned to ethical leaders to pave the path of innovation. Eighty percent of top-quintile companies aim to adapt ethics to changing business needs, while only 36 percent of bottom-quintile companies do the same.

Along with ethical leadership, companies are in pursuit of leaders who can use their power wisely, manage crises and cultivate a culture of change. The infographic below, compiled by NEC’s Online Master of Science in Project Management, offers key data and statistics on leadership in an evolving marketplace.

Check it out.

Are You a Good Leader? (Infographic)

-Courtesy: Entrepreneur.com

5 Steps Toward Building Influence as a Great Thought Leader

Do you have something to say about a topic you are well versed in? If so, you could become an influential thought leader in your field of expertise.

Thought leaders are CEOs, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and other individuals who are respected for their knowledge and expertise and who have something to say and know how to say it. Thought leadership can spread awareness about the individual’s company while he or she develops a personal brand, influence and credibility. Just like building a business, becoming a recognized thought leader requires dedication and a strategy.

Here are five steps to take to help you build a strong thought-leadership campaign:

1. Clarify your purpose.

The most successful thought leaders have a purpose and a clear definition of what they want to accomplish. They also understand the time and dedication it can take to become influential. Before embarking on a thought-leadership program, consider your goals and what you want to achieve.

Do you want recognition? Do you want to earn credibility and respect from your peers and from the public? Do you want to offer advice and help people?

Figure out your purpose and why becoming a thought leader is important to you. Then build a strategy to support that purpose and your goals.

2. Identify your voice.

Thought leaders have a strong, identifiable and distinct voice that sets them apart from others. Their voice is their brand and their audience knows exactly what they stand for and what to expect from them. Most important, they don’t stray from their brand identity and instead look for opportunities to make it even stronger.

If you want to develop a strong voice and brand, ask yourself: What are my values? What do I stand for? What can I offer that isn’t obvious? What can people learn from me? Be clear and concise about your voice, your stances, your ideas and be sure that everything you do and say aligns with that.  Remember to stay true to who you are because the most successful thought leaders are authentic.

3. Write.

One of the defining characters of thought leaders is their ability to effectively communicate their expertise and knowledge to their audience. A great way to get your thoughts and experience noticed is by writing contributed articles, op-eds and blog posts.

This allows you to be a part of the conversation, establish your voice, demonstrate your expertise and contribute to an ongoing dialogue. Writing gives you the opportunity to not only demonstrate your abilities but also earn credibility with your audience and other thought leaders in your industry.

Do you have advice and tips for other entrepreneurs? Can you provide lessons that you learned while creating and running your business? Figure out how you can turn your experience and background into a learning opportunity for others and start writing!

4. Build an active online presence.

Great thought leaders have mastered the art of sharing and putting their message and brand out there. A good way to offer advice and tips is to actively share them on social-media platforms. A great thought leader understands how instrumental social media is in developing their voice. He or she looks for opportunities and groups to join and uses different platforms to talk about his or her expertise and becomes a part of relevant conversations.

Building an active online presence requires a social-media strategy that allows optimal brand exposure and opportunities to actively connect with different audiences. Therefore, provide relevant and interesting content, actively engage with users, ask questions and offer feedback and insight on Twitter and Facebook. Establish your credibility, offer your expertise and make yourself reachable by participating in discussions on Reddit, Quora and LinkedIn.

Be strategic about your social-media profiles and always look for opportunities to build your brand and spread your message.

5. Be a mentor.

Great thought leaders have strong ideas that live on through the people they have influenced and helped out. These informal teachers understand the importance of becoming a mentor and shaping the next generation of leaders in their field. They want to share their experiences, lessons and knowledge so that others will continue in their footsteps.

Do you remember how much of an impact your mentor had on your life? Your mentor influenced who you are today as an entrepreneur and how you run your business. You have vast experience and are full of lessons and a wealth of knowledge that you could share with others to make an impact on their life and your own.

Great thought leaders are influential and affect the trajectory of popular topics and conversations. They have gained t he respect of their peers and the public and use their credibility to offer direction that others can benefit from. They understand the importance of building a sphere of influence and being recognized as an expert. Most important, thought leaders look for strategies to strengthen their position and share their views with others.

-Courtesy: Entrepreneur.com


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