What do the world’s richest leaders have in common?
Great sleep. Forbes Rich List’s top three of 2019 – Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet – are all pro-sleep advocates.
Despite our ‘always-on’ lifestyles chipping away at down-time, and lack of sleep being worn as a badge of honour by many claiming their jam-packed schedule is the secret to their success, the richest men in the world put much of their success down to a good night’s sleep.
Insufficient sleep is becoming the new normal.
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, 40% of Australians and nearly half (45%) of the global population aren’t getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
With increasing global volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VACU) its perhaps not surprising that sleepless nights are becoming the norm. At the same time, leaders today must navigate a multitude of complex dynamics and draw on all available resources to be effective. Sleep is no exception.
Sleep promotes performance.
When you sleep, your brain consolidates the previous day’s experiences, primes your memory, and triggers hormones regulating energy, mood, and mental acuity. This process takes about 7 to 9 hours to complete, hence the recommended daily dose.
Research reveals that getting this recommended amount of shut-eye supports a range of positive behaviours – all of which are critical to successful modern-day leadership including;
- Sharper focus and information retention.
- Enhanced problem-solving ability.
- Increased ability to stay calm and make sound decisions under pressure.
- Higher emotional intelligence and ability to read complex situations.
- Being perceived as more charismatic and creative by employees.
Sleep on it!
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos. Number 1 on the Forbes Rich List 2019.
Photograph Steve Jurvetson
Jeff Bezos sums it up perfectly in The Times article ‘Secret of my success is eight hours’ sleep, says Jeff Bezos’. “Eight hours of sleep makes a big difference for me, and I try hard to make that a priority. For me, that’s the needed amount to feel energized and excited. “If you shortchange your sleep, you might get a couple of extra ‘productive’ hours, but that productivity might be an illusion. When you’re talking about decisions and interactions, quality is usually more important than quantity.”
Sleep on it. By making sleep a priority, you will be a more successful leader who inspires better outcomes in those around you.
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