Well, this year’s Masters Tournament yet again proved to be one of the most exciting events in all of sports. After 75 years without a Green Jacket, Australia’s curse at Augusta National was finally put to rest with the help of Adam Scott. After choking in last year’s British Open, Scott bogeyed the final four holes ultimately losing to Ernie Els, many were unsure if he would be able to keep his composure. However, Scott proved his resiliency to all of us by birdieing the 72nd hole and eventually going on to defeat Angel Cabrera in a play-off. The Aussie’s incredible display of perseverance got us here at Dinte Executive Search thinking about the relationship between leadership and golf and how this great game can teach all of us to become better leaders. Below are a few leadership lessons we can all learn from the greatest game ever played.
1. Accountability – Golf is a solo-sport. When things go wrong, there is no one else to blame but the person hitting the shot. Golf teaches us the importance of holding yourself accountable for your actions and learning from your mistakes.
2. Integrity – The game of golf is unique in that it is one of the few sports, if not the only sport, that requires participants to impose penalties on themselves. The sport instills ethics and honesty into all that play. Such qualities are what great leaders are made of.
3. Decision Making – For those of us who play golf, we have all had to make important decisions. Just like in business, golf makes participants conduct their own SWOT Analysis. Should I crush an 8 iron or choke down on a 7 iron? The game of golf teaches us to weigh our options and consider outside factors, such as wind and lie, in order to determine the best “course” of action.
4. Risk Taking – The greatest leaders are often those who are willing to take the greatest risks. This is no different in golf as many of the sport’s greatest players have also been the most daring. Golf teaches us when to take risks and when to play it safe. Should I pull out the Driver and go for the green, or should I play it safe and lay up short of the water? In business, leaders are often presented with opportunities to take risks. It is up to the decision maker to determine if the potential benefits are worth the risk.