Kevin O’Leary doesn’t hire ‘workaholics’: ‘Working 25 hours a day makes you very, very unproductive’


Kevin O’Leary may be an investor, TV star and entrepreneur, but the 67-year-old doesn’t consider himself a workaholic.

Indeed, the O’Shares ETFs chairman tells CNBC Make It that when he’s reviewing a pile of resumes, the last thing he wants to see is someone who spends all their time focused on work.

“When I see a workaholic, I don’t want to hire that person,” he says. “Working 25 hours a day makes you very, very unproductive.”

What O’Leary wants to see instead is a balance between work and other fulfilling hobbies or pursuits, something that he previously described to Make It as “yin and yang.”

“As someone who wants to be focused on work, what would make you better is to actually spend half of your time not doing that so that you come up with the best ideas,” he says.

When I see a workaholic, I don’t want to hire that person.

Kevin O’Leary

The star of CNBC’s Money Court likes to spend his free time cooking, playing guitar and collecting watches; hobbies that he says pay dividends down the line.

“It lets your mind drift and it lets you become more productive,” he says. “Some really good outcomes in terms of how I’ve ended up in business and as an investor came from ideas I had while I was playing my guitar or polishing my watches.”

There aren’t specific hobbies that he likes more than others: O’Leary is just as happy seeing a candidate who makes a point to work out in the afternoon or do stand-up comedy in the evening. The important thing, he says, is balance.

“Great entrepreneurs, great managers, great employees have balance in their life,” he says. “Those are the people I want to hire.”

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