Hobbies are not only great to pass time or help with stress relief, but can also help you to become a better leader and a more well rounded person. We asked successful entrepreneurs to share their personal hobbies, and how they specifically help them to be better team leaders.
Daniel Bari the vice president of Dreamland Jewelry shares that he loves reading autobiographies as a hobby, and tends to take important quotes from each to compare to his own life. “I love a good autobiography, and being able to get a glimpse into someone else’s life. It’s an exhilarating feeling to get to know someone through only reading a book, and being able to have a completely different vision of them in your head after reading.
I like to take a quote or life lesson from each book because I find there are always words of wisdom in autobiographies, as many of those who have written them have had quite a colorful life. I also find the act of reading helps me to be a better worker because I can retain information much better, and I also find my vocabulary to be much better which is helpful when you write emails all day long.
Reading autobiographies helps me to be a better leader because I can take the positive messages out of almost any book, and also tend to have more empathy towards others. I think it’s easy to judge someone without really knowing them, and reading about someone’s life helps me to be less judgemental and hold less biases. As a leader, this is a really important skill to have because you tend to empathize more with others, as well as listen and understand the needs of your team much better.”
Swimming is not only a good sport and exercise, but it also helps Sarah Robertson, a CEO at The Arbors Assisted Living, to be a better team leader. “I absolutely love swimming as a form of exercise, and also relaxation. I am by no means an expert swimmer, I simply love being in a completely different environment for a couple of hours each day, and to be alone with my thoughts.
When you are an entrepreneur, you are sometimes too busy to be able to really think about all the great ideas you have running around in your head. Swimming allows me to get lost in thought and be able to come up with some great ideas for the company. Swimming also keeps me physically active which is great for my health. I find I get up everyday with a pep in my step and am better prepared to take on the day. I also find I have less anxiety when I swim often, as I am doing something I love, that helps to keep my well-being in check. It really does help me to be a better leader each and every day.”
Cooking can take a lot of practice to be able to get every step right, which Karen Lee of Smart Robotic Home says is what keeps her sharp. “Cooking complicated and high end meals requires a lot of patience and persistence, both skills needed to also run a company. Being meticulous is something that can help you to see the finer details of something, which is why I like to cook often. I find I stay more focused and can pick up on minor issues that could turn into something bigger.
With high end cooking, you also need to ensure your presentation is show stopping because this is what you present to your family and friends. Just like at work when you need to present to other business professionals, you want your final result to be perfect. When you care about the little things, you end up being a better leader because you are putting in a good amount of effort to get the results you want.”