Is it true that playing squash helps you make better strategic decisions? Is it possible that baking will make you a more patient leader? The ability to be a great company leader, according to some CEOs, is not determined by how they choose to spend their hours in the office but rather by what they do in their spare time. They could spend time doing extreme sports or learning a skill and getting a private pilot license.
According to research published in the Harvard Business Review in 2018, just 56 CEOs of the 500 biggest public businesses in the United States had “serious leisure” interests – accounting for only 11 percent of the total. However, after reviewing general information and interviewing 17 CEOs, the researchers concluded that dedicating time to a hobby or passion may benefit CEOs in various ways, including helping them perform at their peak.
Jessica McKnight does not pause to think about anything when she goes to her weekly dance classes. She cannot accomplish this because the steps and movements are too complicated. McKnight, President and ReVisioneer of CarneyCo Advertising, started dancing as a pastime three years ago. Initially, dancing felt strange, primarily during recitals or contests on stage. However, those emotions in her work life paid off for McKnight.
She said she didn’t feel comfortable performing things a few years ago, which she now feels comfortable doing. Learning to embrace and enjoy dance has led to a shift in perspective. McKnight is now actively looking for new challenges and opportunities at work, no matter how uncomfortable. Dance “retrains your brain,” according to McKnight.
Dancing—or any other activity that forces you to do instead of thinking—can be a helpful self-care method for managers. Even while it may be a humiliating experience, McKnight thinks that dancing made her feel more comfortable on her own. In your personal life, you may draw on these adverse events and use them for your business.
Dan Schneck, a 4-year-old, watched his grandma play organs. She was operating the pedals with one leg while he was sitting behind her. He fell in love with her playing music and image, and she taught him. Schneck, CEO, and founder of WJI Networks, the technology services firm, still performs blues and improvisational jazz on its Hammond B-3 organ. He performs at home, concerts, and even at work, improvising as a break during a working day. “The organ play gives me the creative energy to come back and tackle a technical issue,” he added. “It’s like a sense of flow. When I sit in my business, I feel like I can go to the same place, as I do in front of the organ.”
Schneck stated you learn how to make errors when you exercise creativity. Sometimes these errors are better than what you wanted. He has learned that not all must be excellent in music, and not all must be ideal in business. Although CEOs cannot always play a note, Schneck considers it essential to have a creative outlet. “It’s a new way of thinking; you’re open to many ideas,” he added. “I believe you have some outlet to discover, whether it be music, art, or painting.”
Because there is no improv script, students need to listen to their scene partners and answer them, who can say anything, because no pre-written material exists. The incident fascinated Neff. Tom Neff works as a bookkeeper. Therefore he is a careful planner. He researched every topic that could arise in a meeting before he even sat down to speak about it. Maybe that is why Neff was drawn to a free improved comedy workshop five years ago by a local group.
Three years of the Butter Beans Improv club in Oakland, California, culminated in a single free class, which developed into five complete courses. Neff, the managing partner of the accounting firm of RINA Accountancy Corporation, claimed improv had a significant impact on him. He shifted from pushing his agenda at meetings to ensuring that he could lead a group by listening, all without taking too much time to prepare. After all, employees do not follow a script.
Neff advises that executives learn how to be more creative by taking an improved course. “One of the fundamental concepts of improvement is playing and building something as a group,” he added. “It is essential to be a strong leader.”
The development of hobbies is beneficial to the mental health of both executives and workers. It is possible to prevent burnout, alleviate stress, and feel satisfied in life by engaging in a recreational activity. Your interests serve as a reminder that there are more critical things out there. We also believe that giving oneself a break is very beneficial.