The Importance of Leisure Activities to Strengthen Your Leadership Skills

posted by Administrator on 01/26/2021 in Blog Posts  | Tagged , ,

After the tumultuous year we’ve all had both in business and in the world, understanding the external factors that can impact your leadership skills (both positively and negatively) is key.

With so many companies being forced to adopt a work-from-home model, the old adage “Work hard, play harder,” has become part of our everyday mentality. And, in business, recent research may suggest that making time to enjoy leisure activities is the key to becoming a better leader. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, CEOs that were amateur pilots tended to run more innovative companies. In an October 2018, study researchers surveyed the CEOs at Fortune 500 companies to explore their hobbies and learn how they may impact their ability to lead their respective organizations. Here are the top 3 findings that can be applied to your leadership skills through 2021.

Hobbies allow you mental clarity. When you are able to engage in physical activity or in a hobby that you thoroughly enjoy, it allows you to relax and alleviate the stress you may be feeling. This cathartic effect enhances your ability to problem-solve and consider new perspectives. In business, being able to stay mentally agile and open-minded can be the key to generating industry-changing ideas and to drive creativity and innovation within your organization. Science also shows that when tackling a problem, it is often best to engage in other activities to give your mind time to sort out the problem’s complexities on a subconscious level before trying to revisit a solution. By allowing yourself time to enjoy your favorite hobbies, even just once every two weeks can be an effective way to strengthen your problem-solving abilities.

Hobbies challenge you to want more. Whether you are a marathoner, an amateur pilot, an avid knitter, or a master chess player, your hobby naturally pushes you to want to achieve more. This continual pursuit of learning and challenging is a great principle to take into how you lead your corporate teams. Those CEOs that immersed themselves with their hobbies were more likely to have more innovative and industry-leading firms. For example, when you incorporate your hobby into your daily life, for example, creating a home gym to train for a triathlon or building a woodworking shop in your backyard, this continuously pushes you to expand your way of thinking. And, when you are able to look at your company and the industry with a forward-thinking approach, you are more likely to be able to spot and go after business-changing trends and/or ideas.

Hobbies teach an important lesson in humility. How often have you enjoyed something that you were not great at? With a hobby, you have to start somewhere. And, it is the enjoyment of advancing your skills or achieving a goal that keeps you coming back for more. Over time, you broaden your understanding and can work toward becoming an expert. However, it is this long-term process of learning that reminds us, even the more experienced CEOs, the importance of investing in learning. This opportunity also enables executive leaders to empathize with their employees and implement more robust learning programs and training initiatives.

Taking time out to pursue a hobby can be one of the most proven and enjoyable ways to disconnect from work, while also strengthening your leadership skills. What hobbies are you passionate about and how has it influenced your leadership style? We welcome your input on our Facebook page here.