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The 5 Essential Things Today’s Most Successful Business Leaders Carry

LinkedIn recently surveyed 50-plus of today’s most successful business leaders, asking them about essential things they carry.  These notable men and women include the likes of Richard Branson, Meg Whitman, and Deepak Chopra.

Here are the five essential items that these great businessmen and women always carry as part of their daily routines.

1. Smartphone

This is perhaps a no-brainer.  Just about everyone, even little kids, carries around a smartphone.  Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, asserts he uses his Samsung Galaxy Note for 80% of his work.  Peter Gruber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and owner of the L.A. Dodgers, proclaims to use his smartphone for just about everything–from exercising to his personal playlist to watching a live feed of the construction of his new Pennsylvania stadium.

2. Something to Scribble On

Despite being armed with a smartphone, business leaders frequently need journals or blank sheets of paper to jot down or sketch out ideas.  Justin Rosenstein, Asana co-founder, says, “Because it’s just an ugly drawing (I have pretty poor penmanship), I can focus on the ideas rather than getting bogged down in the pixel-level details.”  Many of the surveyed also utilize journals to keep track of various lists.

3. A Swimsuit

Many business leaders swim on regularly basis.  They say swimming helps them maintain focus, discipline, and a clear-headed way to think through complex business problems.  Likewise, most business leaders exercise regularly–if not through swimming–to achieve the same benefits.  This is a great reminder that physical health complements mental health.

4. Something Personal

Most offices or cubicles are adorned with personal items, such as photos and gifts. However, as work becomes increasingly mobile, business leaders have taken to keeping personal reminders with them on the road. Michael Moritz, Sequoia Capital Chairman, refers to his weathered leather binder, ink-cartridge pen, and nearly 50-year-old spectacle case as “the adult equivalent of a child’s security blanket.”

5. Smart People

Last but not least, business leaders always surround themselves with smart, capable people.  These include their teams, co-workers, and assistants.  Many assert they couldn’t do their jobs without them.


What are some things you always carry with you?  Please share with us below in the comments.

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