Why CEOs devote so much time to their hobbies

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleProfessional


Dozens of S&P 500 CEOs have “serious leisure” interests — hobbies and volunteering gigs that often start at a young age and that they continue to invest considerable time and energy into. Does serious leisure make them better leaders? The few studies that have looked at the job performance of CEOs with strong hobbies show mixed results. New research investigated why leaders make time for passionate leisure interests in their already impossibly busy schedules and whether they feel it helps their job performance. The researchers found that CEOs state that their leisure interests help them cope with the ever-increasing demands of the top job. For example, it provides much-needed detachment when they need to step back from work, it helps them strive to be their “best self,” and it creates deep connections with their followers.

Interviews with triathletes, marathoners, drummers, and more.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalHarvard Business Review
Issue numberOctober 8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2018


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