Last weekend my wife and I were enjoying a cocktail at one of our favorite Jersey Shore haunts. Watching our bartender work his magic and move about behind the bar got me thinking about how his qualities mirrored the qualities of a good CEO. The five common human performance qualities of leadership shared by CEOs and Bartenders included:

  1. Good CEOs and Bartenders are “People” people: Both enjoy being around others and are careful, active listeners. They are passionate about their work and do what they do with flair. Both have the ability to influence your decisions and have an impact on your life. Whether cut off by Tommy T or fired by Lloyd Blankfein, they have the final say when you are in their house.
  2. Good CEOs and Bartenders have a commanding presence. Well groomed, well spoken and well dressed in a uniform appropriate for their roles, each conveys a blend of charm, grace, authority and authenticity. ¬†Whether it’s Tom Cruise in Cocktail or Sir Richard Branson at a board meeting, you know who is in charge.
  3. Good CEOs and Bartenders use proven recipes. Being creative and well trained in their respective fields, each adds their own unique touches. Knowing when to resist reinventing the wheel, the gin martini or GAAP Accounting has allowed leaders to focus their attention on creating craft cocktail culture or Six Sigma supply chain management.
  4. Good CEOs and Bartenders use quality ingredients in their recipes for success. Top shelf spirits, top shelf technology, top shelf training, top shelf people and top shelf processes all contribute to a culture of quality. Whether a Blood Orange Cosmo or an iPad Air, the output of their respective work makes a great presentation. Both know that quality products and superior service will keep customers coming back for more.
  5. Good CEOs and Bartenders have stamina. Being good at anything take a lot of hard work. Long days and long nights, engaging multiple constituencies, balancing priorities, working with limited resources, directing the efforts of others, dealing with situations beyond one’s control, maintaining a challenging schedule and keeping an eye on finances take a lot of energy. Whether standing on your feet night after night, or standing in front of shareholders year after year, the best ones have physical powerplants that match their drive and creativity.

Regardless of profession, our bodies are more than transport mechanisms for our brains. A turbocharged metabolism combined with stamina and the ability to strike a work/life balance is your competitive advantage in a take-no-prisoners world. What do you do to keep your human physical performance humming like a well-tuned racecar? I’d love to learn about your exercise program, nutritional plan and relaxation techniques.