DOES HAVING A HOBBY MAKE YOU A BETTER CEO? How Playing Bridge Can Build Your Net Worth

They say all work and no play makes for a pretty dull existence. If that’s true and in MHO it is, then hobbies make you more fun and interesting. But what if they also made you a better leader? Hmmmmm…

Hobbies help us continuously learn. This is key as we tend to stop learning as we get older. Research suggests that by age 25 our brains tend to get "lazy." It's not that our gray cells can no longer learn new things, but rather we rely on a set number of neuro pathways to do our thinking. In other words, we get stuck in a brain rut.

In addition, our hobbies can actually improve essential skills like memory, creative thinking and problem solving. How cool is that?

 Here are five ways that hobbies can contribute to your overall success.

1. Better time management

Being a CEO is demanding and being able to occasionally switch off is essential to your well being. 

Hobbies can help you better structure your time since you have to balance it with other aspects of your life. This can help improve time management and as the saying goes, "time is money." 

When you commit to a hobby and make time for it in your life, you need to wrap up your work day. Who out there has purposely booked a yoga class after 5 p.m. so they have no choice but to leave work on time? 

Same concept here. Schedule it in and make it a priority which leads to…

2. Hobbies improve leadership skills

For most ambitious and driven CEOs, it’s about reaching one’s highest potential, a lesson transferred to leading. 

Research has suggested that learning a new creative hobby can have direct business-related benefits as they stimulate your thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Did you know that both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are long-time bridge players and they attribute the game in stimulating their strategic thinking. "In the stock market, you don't base your decisions on what the market is doing, but on what you think is rational," says Buffett. "Bridge is about weighing gain/loss ratio. You're doing calculations all the time."

3. Hobbies help you network

Anyone been to a golf course lately? We all know the adage of networking on the course, but there’s truth here. Engaging in something that you love will support you in coming across like-minded individuals (potential clients, employees or colleagues). So, on top of doing something that you love; you also get the added bonus of meeting cool people. 

4. Commitment to self-improvement

This is a big one. Your business will only grow if you do. The more you invest in yourself, the better leader you become. And this can take shape in the form of mastery.

I personally trained for fitness shows in my past and the tenacity and dedication it took to compete made me better at my job. The way I showed up and tackled anything that was in front of me was part in parcel from the dedication I needed to display outside of work. 

Whatever you choose to do as a hobby, seek to learn from the experience. Those opportunities for learning and growth might be the greatest value hobbies and other recreational pursuits have for a CEO. The more you do, see and experience; the bigger the world seems to you and the more you want out of life and business.

5. Creative inspiration

This last point cannot be underestimated. Creative inspiration in this fast paced world on demand is not easy and when you invest in hobbies and passion projects; it can open the flood gates for creativity to come through. You know what I mean- you spend the day strolling through an art museum, attending a full sensory event experience or find yourself immersed in culture while abroad. And, boom this flash of inspiration or out of the box idea bursts forward. Or sometimes it’s the answer to something you’ve been struggling with through a creative solution. 

So what activities, hobbies, or interests excite you? Write them down, pick one, and get moving. The beauty of a hobby is that you have the ability to continously explore different things that interest you as you go down this path called life. And know, that this is an investment in you, the CEO. Time devoted to yourself is always time well spent and don't be surprised if your new found hobby also teaches you how to try new things in business and drive more innovation through your enterprise.

What hobbies do you have? Or what hobby are you thinking of taking up next?