When it comes to their free time, many CEOs do the same things you and your friends do: They cook food, they exercise and they spend time with their families. But when it comes to their hobbies, some CEOs are downright passionate about the most unexpected activities.
Here are some of the unexpected things that top CEOs are doing in their leisure time:
Not only is he one of the most powerful men in the world, but he plays the uke, too. Warren Buffett has been a ukulele aficionado for decades and has been giving instruments and lessons in Omaha for years. Some of the instruments he’s played have become famous – an autographed Buffett uke was sold for over $11,000.
Robert “Steve” Miller
Hawker Beechcraft CEO Robert “Steve” Miller spent a decade painstakingly building a 2,000-square-foot model railroad in his basement. His preoccupation with model trains is no secret – for years his house wouldn’t sell because he refused to remove his prized railroad set. “It seemed very uncool to be playing with trains,” he said. “This was not a CEO-type hobby. But this was mine.”
When he’s not running prescription drug benefit company Catamaran Corp., Mark Thierer spends his free time amassing and sorting his 50,000+ sticker collection. Thierer admits that his typical evening consists of a glass of red wine and arranging his stickers in his basement.
Former Cisco Systems CEO Sandy Lerner is a big fan of jousting – with lances and in full period costume, no less. She owns an 800-acre farm in Virginia, where she manages dozens of Shire horses.
Not only is he the CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison also has a penchant for racing giant yachts. His yachts have competed in a number of world-class races, including the Maxi World Championships, which he won five times.
The nerd archetype gets thrown around a little too often these days, but Deloitte’s head of banking and capital markets takes nerdy to a new level. Since 2006, Schneider has spent more than $700,000 to buy and restore model spacecraft from Star Trek movies and TV shows. He says the obsession began because he always dreamed of becoming an astronaut.
It’s important that CEOs develop a passion outside of their professional life. Having a hobby helps leaders switch off the part of their brain that’s in the office. Whether it’s racing yachts or building Star Trek spacecraft, find time to do what you love.