In business, CEOs are often scrutinized for their leadership styles, strategies, and results. However, sometimes, the quirks offer the most revealing insights into the minds behind the world's largest corporations.
For executives and business professionals, recognizing these peculiar habits isn't just amusing — it could bring perspective into leadership styles and corporate culture.
Jeff Bezos's PowerPoint Ban
PowerPoint might be a mainstay in corporate boardrooms, but not at Amazon. Since 2004, Jeff Bezos has prohibited PowerPoint presentations in senior team meetings.
His reason? PowerPoint gives "permission to gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the interconnectedness of ideas."
Instead, meetings at this eCommerce giant start with attendees silently reading a detailed memo "narratively structured with real sentences, topic sentences, verbs, and nouns" for about 30 minutes.
Steve Jobs's Fruitarian Regimen
Though celebrated for his groundbreaking technological contributions, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs had unconventional health habits. He followed a strict fruitarian diet, occasionally eating only one type of fruit for weeks.
"Steve was adamant that he bathed once a week, and that was adequate as long as he was eating a fruitarian diet," Apple's first CEO Michael Scott shared at one time.
While extreme, Jobs's unique diet could be an extension of his relentless focus on simplicity and excellence.
Elon Musk's Move From Mansions to Modesty
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and X (formerly Twitter) owner, is known for his audacious goals and statements.
In a radical move in 2020, Musk pledged to sell most of his physical possessions, including six California mansions, in response to criticism about his immense wealth.
A year later, he tweeted that his primary home is a $50,000 house in Boca Chica / Starbase that he rents from SpaceX, shattering conventional norms about CEO lifestyles.
My primary home is literally a ~$50k house in Boca Chica / Starbase that I rent from SpaceX. It’s kinda awesome though.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2021
Only house I own is the events house in the Bay Area. If I sold it, the house would see less use, unless bought by a big family, which might happen some day.
Bill Gates's Rocking Ritual
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has a unique concentration habit — rocking back and forth in his chair. This isn't a random fidget but is directly related to his level of mental engagement.
"I can still see him alternately pacing and rocking for long periods before jotting on a yellow legal pad, his fingers stained from a rainbow of felt-tip pens," Microsoft's other co-founder Paul Allen shared on one occasion.
Mark Zuckerberg's Uniform Approach
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg opts for a monotonous wardrobe consisting of gray T-shirts. His reason for this sartorial monotony is to minimize decision fatigue.
"I want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to serve this community best," Zuckerberg said.
"There's a bunch of psychology theory that even making small decisions around what you wear or what you eat for breakfast or things like that, they kind of make you tired and consume your energy," the leader of this social media giant explained eight years ago.
Sara Blakely's Fake Commute
The CEO of Spanx has a unique morning routine. Sara Blakely drives aimlessly around Atlanta for an hour before starting her workday. This "fake commute," as she calls it, allows her the time and space to think.
"I've identified where my best thinking happens, and it's in the car," she explained. While unconventional, her routine underlines the importance of creating space for creative thought.
Aaron Levie's Bright Soles
The co-founder and CEO of Box is easily recognized by his signature fashion statement — vibrant sneakers paired with suit jackets. This eye-catching choice is not merely for show. It reflects Levie's extroverted personality and self-assured demeanor.
"Tigers and Pumas are the best shoes in the world. It should be a mandate that everyone has to own a pair," Levie once said in an interview. His unapologetic style can be considered an extension of his corporate ethos, prioritizing innovation and individuality.
Whether it's the "fake commute" for clear thinking or the PowerPoint ban to foster better communication, the quirks of these notable CEOs can provide valuable insights into unconventional approaches to business management and drivers of business growth.
Edited by Nikola Djuric