Anyway, I was interested to learn the other day that there's a positive correlation between leadership and drinking large amounts of coffee.
Notable leaders and thought leaders who were serious coffee drinkers include Napoleon Bonaparte, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Ronald Reagan, Voltaire, Balzac, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, and, yes, Oprah.
And I'm not talking about a demitasse-a-day habit. Balzac and Voltaire, for example, each consumed around three gallons (!) every day.
Just to be clear, it wasn't the watered-down stuff most Americans drink today. Back then, they brewed it strong--think double espresso rather than Dunkin' Donuts.
Of course, not everyone who sucks down a lot of joe becomes a great leader, but even if there's not a causal relationship between coffee and leadership, there are plenty of reasons to indulge anyway. According to numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies, a regular daily dose of coffee:
- Increases your ability to focus. This helps you pay attention to the task at hand--whether it be managing a process or creating new ideas--without being subject to distractions that might pull you off task.
- Makes your brain more flexible and resilient. Coffee protects your brain against dysfunction and cell death, while helping to prevent degenerative brain disease. In other words, it makes you smarter.
- Improves your overall health. Coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases that would, of course, tend to block your ability to lead or create.
- Increases collaboration and innovation. Research shows that individuals work together in teams more effectively and efficiently when they are drinking coffee.
Considering all of that, what have you got to lose?
One word of caution, though. Before you queue up to drink three gallons of strong coffee, the scientists and nutritionists who study coffee advise that the ideal amount of coffee per day is from four to eight 8 oz. cups, consumed prior to mid-day.
Note: As many of you may soon be returning to offices, in a future post, I'm going to demonstrate how to brew coffee and store it (brewed) so that it keeps its flavor, stays warm, and doesn't get bitter. So stay tuned, OK?