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Why Do CEOs Devote So Much Time To Their Hobbies? (Hint: It Drives Success)

CEOs and other high-level business leaders are already stretched for time from the demands of their occupation, yet many still seem to find time to enjoy their hobbies — whatever they may be. 

Overall, hobbies make for a more well-rounded person, giving someone who spends a lot of time in high-stress situations time to rest and renew the brain and body. And there are many ways that outside-of-work activities helps improve job performance and thus business success. In fact, many top CEOs, from Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett believe that hobbies are essential — the foundations of Microsoft and Facebook were started as side projects, after all.

So let’s take a look at why CEOs and other successful business professionals devote so much time to their hobbies.



Hobbies Are Relaxing—Even If They’re Not

For those in a position of power, it’s hard to think of anything else but work, particularly when there’s downtime. While taking a power nap or going for a light walk can be beneficial to the mind during the workday, other “relaxing” hobbies, like watching TV or lounging around may inevitably leave the mind wandering back to work. 

Even if your hobby isn’t that “relaxing”, like rock climbing for example, it still gives your mind a break from the day-to-day minutiae of work that absorbs a CEOs time and brain power. Hobbies that require active concentration are known to aid such things as memory, concentration and overall mood, recharging your brain so it’s ready to go back to work after.



Hobbies Lead to Higher Business Innovation and Success

A paper published in Journal of Financial Economics, found evidence that CEOs that know how to fly airplanes are associated with “significantly better innovation and outcomes, and greater innovation effectiveness. The magnitude of the effect is statistically significant and economically large.” It makes sense, since being a pilot requires many of the same skills that are in a successful CEOs toolbox and opens up new business opportunities

However, becoming a pilot isn’t the only hobby that helps CEOs succeed. In a study featured in Inc., it found proof that CEOs that run marathons are “five percent more valuable to their company,” and “the effect was even greater among CEOs who the researchers thought were more likely to be affected by stress—those over 55, those who had longer tenures at the top, and those who served on several boards and therefore presumably has busier schedules.”



Hobbies Make You a Better Leader

Hobbies make you a better leader, overall, affecting the way in which your mind works and how much energy you’re able to put forth throughout your tenure as CEO. For example, activities like playing an instrument, mixed-martial arts, chess or undertaking another active hobby, will help you craft your best self. With a healthy level of competition, even hobbies in which you’re competing against yourself to become ever better, helps to amplify a CEOs professional instincts, while helping them become more passionate within their position. 



Hobbies Create Connections with Employees

When a CEO is passionate about something outside of work, it provides another way to connect with employees in an authentic way. Some CEOs use their hobbies as a basis to implement leisure activities and employe events for the company. This gives people higher up on the chain of command an opportunity to socialize in company events, soliciting honest feedback from employees that they normally don’t interact with, while building stronger connections with the team.



Are you a CEO looking for a new hobby?

Then learning to fly may be the perfect challenge for you. Learning to fly provides a number of benefits as a hobby, including the ability to explore the world, development of a unique skill set and a huge sense of accomplishment once you become officially certified. Plus, it may just help you become a more successful business leader, when it’s all said and done.

Get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training today to take-off in a new hobby. With a reputable team of highly qualified certified flight instructors, and proven programs designed around your learning style, we can help you gain the skills needed to fly an airplane. Contact our team of today to find out more.

For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.