Why Great Leaders Treat Themselves


By Jas Singh

Last week I was having dinner at a hotel I was staying at in Paris.

Nice place, but full of businessmen and businesswomen all tired at the end of a hard days work. In truth it was a bit dull.

All of a sudden the waitress came out. Heads turned. People smiled. Everyone admired the beauty.

The reason for the memorisation?

That’s right.


She’d just brought out the biggest, most colorful ice-cream sundae you can imagine and plonked it in front of a tired (and now slightly embarrassed) looking business lady.

The whole ambiance changed. All of a sudden the conversation started. People cracked jokes. Offered to lend their spoons. Started introducing themselves to each other. Everyone relaxed. Within a few minutes several people had ordered a sundae too. Myself included.

What started of as an eat-as-quickly-as-possible-and-get-out-as-quick-as-you-can meal suddenly became a few hours of relaxed socializing. A few of us even went out for a drink afterwards.

Leadership can be demanding. Sometimes even outright stressful.

That’s why treating yourself once in a while is essential.

To remind yourself of how special you are. How special life is.

Here are some ways why great leaders treat themselves

It reduces stress levels

We all know the science by now. Anything that feels good releases endorphin’s which reduces levels of cortisol that’s linked to stress.

Although care needs to be taken that occasional treats don’t become regular indulgences (easily done), the fact is that treating yourself regularly helps you perform better. It re-energizes the mind to relax, take a break and start again.

Whether it’s having a special meal, buying that dress or a visit to the spa, it’s important to make sure those stress levels are kept under control. Because although you may be able to control it in the short and medium term, if stress does eventually cause breakdown it’s hard to recover.

Great leaders release stress.

It maintains perspective

When all your days are spent in the boardroom, at the desk or in the gym sometimes it’s easy to think that’s all life has to offer. We become blinkered in our visions and the boundaries of life become very narrow. Sometimes we can even lose touch with reality.

Breaking the norm and treating yourself is a good way to see what life has to offer. It brings balance – which is essential for a healthy and rich life

Some of the greatest leaders I have ever worked with regularly treat themselves to maintain perspective. Warren Buffet for example is famous for treating himself to his favorite prime rib and hash browns  at his favorite restaurant in Omaha when business is going well.

We all need to reward ourselves healthily. After a while, the numbers on their own don’t matter as much.

Sometimes what we need is just a good treat.

It attracts others

Business can sometimes become repetitive. Mission statements and corporate culture guidelines can only do so much.

Although often important, sometimes the endless mundane talk of targets, deadlines and presentations can become boring. As highly cognitive creatures, often we need to mix things up.

To let our hair down and have fun.

The most successful business leaders I work with are not just the ones who know how to turn it on the boardroom. It’s also those who are fun to be around, can connect with their teams on multiple levels and who are in touch with the rest of us.

Fun people let off a positive energy that attracts others.



None of us are robots.

Sometimes, it’s good to break the norm and treat yourself.

Hiring managers can gain much from those people who work hard and consistently, but know how to reward themselves healthily too.

How do you treat yourself?

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