As someone who moves in leadership and management circles, you’ll likely know some entrepreneur out there who works tirelessly to succeed in their role. By this, we mean those leaders who surface much earlier than others, put in more hours than others, and, as a result of these efforts, generate millions for their organisation. 

Rising early, apparently, is one of the keys to successful leadership… or is it? To be effective, does a manager really need to get up at a time at which many would struggle to rise and still give the best of themselves during the rest of the day? 

As leadership experts, we’ve decided to explore how an early start might enhance your management capabilities. We also share our insights into what it truly takes to be the best manager possible, and how management training courses can help you achieve success. 

Getting up early and managing successfully

In a five-year study of 177 self-made millionaires, author Thomas C Corley found that nearly 50% of them woke up at least three hours before the actual start of their working day. The purpose of this is to get things done. Inevitably, distractions occur in daily life, which makes getting up earlier a solution. This can stop the frustration setting in that they didn’t manage to accomplish everything they wished to during the day.

Essentially, underlying this is the sense of keeping in control. Disruptions can take over a day, barging the tasks scheduled for the day aside and taking a toll on a leader mentally. They may begin to feel they’re losing control over their life. Starting the day earlier enables them to regain their sense of control and also approach the day with a winning mindset.

How does an early start impact management? 

Rising incredibly early is considered one of the success habits of great leaders. It’s a common habit, in fact. They may commence their day at these very hours believing it enhances their productivity, which may work for them, but is it truly necessary? The early bird catches the worm, they say, but do you have to be one to be an effective manager?

We’ve picked out a few early-rising leaders who have either written about their daily routines or have discussed them in the media, and highlighted some of the benefits these people feel getting up early brings them. Would you be able to observe the same routine, or is such an early start simply too demanding? 

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

One of the leaders most renowned for getting up early is Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who starts his day at an eye-blearing 3.45 am. He begins by reading through emails and user comments about Apple products. By 5.00 am, he’s working up a sweat in the gym, or if not there, he’s out hiking or on his bike. Then he’ll work through until 7 or 8 in the evening. Pure passion.

His earliest activities are important. According to Tim, the emails help him to focus on the external people who are so important to the company. Regarding the exercise, quite apart from the fact that he’s a fitness enthusiast, the exercise allows Tim Cook to keep stress at bay.

Leo Babuta, founder of Zen Habits

The creator of mindfulness business Zen Habits and author, Leo Babuta, gets the ball that is his daily routine rolling at 4.30am. After a quick drink of water, he’ll plan his day, which means setting the three most important things (his ‘MIT’s) for the day, before breakfasting and reading, then exercising or meditating, and showering.

The purpose of this routine is to start the day in the best way possible. This isn’t only about being productive and achieving his goals for the day. Leo’s routine brings a sense of purpose, peace, and ritual to the day. Profound, but he did call his business ‘Zen Habits’….

Sara Blakely, founder and owner of Spanx

The founder and owner of ladies’ clothing brand Spanx, and self-made billionaire, Sara Blakely, gets up at the slightly more leisurely time of 6.30 am. The focus of her start to the day is on keeping her body and her mind healthy. She’ll begin with some yoga, and she avoids coffee (yes, really).

One particular quirky of her morning routine is that whereas most people dread the daily commute, Sara Blakely relishes it. Even though the office is just five minutes away by car, she’ll drive around aimlessly for an hour before arriving at the office. This idle time is crucial for creativity. Her mind can just wander, and it’s during the drive that her breakthrough ideas occur.

How to be an effective manager

The question remains, though: do you really need to get up early to become an effective manager? An early start may provide the motivation and inspiration managers need to fuel their busy day, but what works for one person may not work for another. 

Through our years of experience, we have seen the lasting impact a management training course can have. While an early start may subjectively help many managers, we know that our courses can help you to build a stronger knowledge of your profession, improve your efficiency, and boost your performance. We’d like to recommend some courses from our wide selection to help you develop good management skills.

Advanced Management and Leadership Programme

This is a broad general management course designed to help middle managers progress to C-level management. With a focus on self-awareness in leadership, high performance, strategy, and management skills, the Advanced Management and Leadership Programme will empower managers to make the right decisions and perform solidly for their organisation. The course also encourages participants to think about their personal and organisational impact as a leader.

CMI Level 5 Leadership and Management Programme

This course allows middle management professionals to enhance their performance and prepare for senior leadership. It concentrates more on direct management of people and resources, the issues around them and the skills required to navigate these and other challenges of middle management. It will also teach managers to communicate with their teams, to understand their own role as managers, and drive performance.

CMI Level 7 Senior Leadership Programme

Designed for senior leaders, this course focuses heavily on strategic aspects of management. The programme includes a session on knowledge management, the learning from which the participant can apply to understand and harness the knowledge in their own organisation. Other themes addressed during the course include change management and, naturally, strategy development. 

Book your management training course with us

We don’t believe being an early riser is the key to success. Possession of the right skills and knowledge is what counts, in our opinion, and if you wish to acquire these, we invite you to study on one of our courses. 

You’ll be pleased to hear we won’t force you to get up at the crack of dawn or earlier to study with us. Generally, our management training courses begin at 9am and allow the tutors sufficient time to lead you through the materials and activities in the required depth. Being the helpful bunch of souls we are, we also offer management training online to provide easier, more convenient access. 

Booking a management training course with us is simple. All you have to do is visit our courses page. If you prefer, you can send us an email to enquiries@inpd.co.uk, message us by filling in the form on our contact page or call us on 0161 826 3139. Feel free to get in touch with any questions you have about any of our training courses. We’ll be happy to advise you, and we look forward to providing the guidance you seek to become a good manager through our training.


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