What Do Busy Business Leaders Do in Their Spare Time?

Running a company is a job that demands almost all of your time and attention, especially if you’re on the board of an international conglomerate or a blue-chip business. While your typical worker will clock into work for about 40 hours per work, those at the C-Suite level will, on average, spend just over 60 hours working. That also doesn’t include the time they spend at home thinking about work, occasionally checking their emails, and making phone calls.

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This means a lot of pressure and stress is being placed on most senior business leaders. And while many will argue it goes with the territory, research has shown time and again that people don’t make their best decisions while under too much strain.

So despite their busy schedules, many executives have hobbies that they use to take a break from the pressures of work. This can help them perform better in their jobs, among the myriad of other benefits

Everyone is unique, so the list of hobbies enjoyed by business leaders is almost infinite. However, there are some activities that seem the be more popular than others.


Poker is a sport that’s enjoyed around the world by people of all ages, from all different backgrounds. It provides a mix of socialising and competition since you sit at a table with the other players, giving you plenty of time to chat while you try to take chips off each other.

Many famous business leaders enjoy playing poker, including Guy Laliberté, the owner of Cirque de Soleil, Bob Safai of Madison Partners, and the famous hedge fund manager, Bill Perkins.

Hobbies that involve competition in some form are common among business leaders. They tend to be more competitive than your average person, a trait that helps them succeed in their jobs. So games like poker help them channel that energy in a fun way.

Unlike some sports, poker is easier to get started with. You don’t need to buy any expensive equipment, pay exorbitant membership fees, or travel long distances to take part. Online poker rooms make it possible to play from almost anywhere with an internet connection and even provide guides and tutorials to help beginners learn the basics.


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Golf is perhaps the hobby that’s most synonymous with business people. Golf courses have long been a popular place for business deals to be agreed upon, though stricter procurement rules have made this more difficult for companies that serve the public sector.

Even with the practice falling out of favour, many business leaders still enjoy playing golf regularly. It provides a physical and mental challenge while still being accessible to most people. You don’t typically need to move faster than a gentle stroll across between each swing, but you’ll clock up plenty of steps when playing a full 18 holes.

Like poker, golf is also a game that combines socialising and competition. It’s also a great way to spend time outdoors, something that many business leaders don’t get to do while at work.

The list of famous business people that play golf is very long; in fact, around 90% of all Fortune 500 CEOs enjoy the sport. There is even some evidence to suggest that those that do are paid around 17% more, though it’s important to remember that correlation doesn’t always mean causation.

Video Games

Video games are a fairly new hobby among business people, though that’s more because they’re a new hobby among most demographics. Additionally, as more millennials enter the board room, the proportion of C-Suite executives that are also gamers will continue to rise.

Like poker, video games are easy to start playing and are accessible to most people. The vast majority of people, especially business leaders, have smartphones. This means they already have everything they need to start playing.

Many of the most famous business people are known to be avid gamers, including Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Larry Page. In fact, the latter two are known to regularly play together.