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It seems like every week there's a new article professing the “8 Things Successful People Do” or “What Successful People Accomplish Every Monday.” But how much do your choices about leisure time affect your management style while on the clock? According to Kurt Motamedi, professor at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management, a manager’s attitude and personality — both of which are closely tied to hobbies and other choices — are important and can wield a high level of influence on workplace behavior.

As part of his research, Motamedi has defined seven neurotic styles of management, all of which reflect the manager's personality, which “plays a significant role in management style and productivity,” Motamedi says. Aside from obvious external factors that can affect a manager’s ability to lead, such as relocating, having a baby or coping with illness, we looked into how an individual’s hobbies can affect their personality and leadership skills.

Competitive Sports

From participating in occasional after-work basketball games to training for triathlons, athletes (even hobbyists) are known for being active, motivated and healthy. However, according to a study from Stockholm University in Sweden, perfectionism is also a characteristic found in many athletes that can produce good and bad results in their work and personal lives. The study found that athletes with high self-esteem had more positive patterns of perfectionism than athletes with low self-esteem who were prone to anxiety. Competitiveness, another common attribute of athletes, can also be problematic when self-esteem is low. One study found that knowledge sharing in the workplace was less common when individuals exhibited low self-efficacy and competitiveness, often claiming they were ‘“too busy” to share knowledge with colleagues.

Family and Friends

Managers that lead the most productive teams often have strong support and honest feedback from family and friends, Motamedi says. Research from San Diego State University found that support from family and friends helped to provide a buffer from the stress of strained social and workplace interactions. However, research from Michigan State University found that heavy workload environments can cause family conflict and therefore create higher levels of fatigue for employees while at the office.

Watching Television?

Leisure activity such as watching television, reading a good book and listening to music can all have restorative effects on employees. A study from Oxford Brookes University found that leisure activities can be a significant source of positive moods for individuals. Managers who put time aside for leisure activities can reap the benefits of returning to work more relaxed. However, too much of an activity like television watching can also affect a manager’s wellbeing in a negative way. A study on the effect of watching television soap operas found that heavy viewers are more likely to be impressionable to television messaging, often suffering from distrust and relationship conflicts. 

Volunteering and Charity

While volunteering for community causes can take energy and even time away from work, the positive impact that it has on employee morale and productivity is worth it. Individuals who spend their free time volunteering and donating to charity reap the reward of having given back to their community, but doing so can also increase overall happiness in their daily life. According to a study from UnitedHealth Group, 78 percent of people who volunteered in the last year reported lower stress levels and 76 percent said that volunteering made them feel healthier. 

What hobbies or activities do you participate in that influences your work life for the better?

Photo: Can Stock