What Business Golf Teaches About Leadership

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Golf is the sport of choice for many and is especially prevalent in the business community. The game is played passionately and with high expectations. It might even get frustrating and difficult between (and during) holes but merely a single great shot makes it all worthwhile. Leadership is similar to golf. Leaders are passionately and enthusiastic about their responsibilities. Their hard work, determination, and passion can yield successful results in some cases but in some they get to face dismal results. There are numerous leadership lessons that can be learned from business golf. Some of them are discussed below:

1.     In Certain Situations, You Have to Go Big

Both in golf and leadership, there comes a time where you have to take some risks. In these situations, a safe strategy might keep you in the race but in order to achieve success, you simply have to take a chance and go big. In the office this can mean you decide to invest in that product you’ve been thinking about that costs a lot but might bring in high end clients. On the course, this could mean trying to clear that water hazard to hit the green and shave a stroke off your score.

2.     In Some Cases, You Must “Lay Up”

Golf is all about balance and so is leadership. On one hand you must take risks but on the other hand you have to play safe. When you see no benefit in risking it, it is best to lay low and wait for the right opportunity. This comes back to making a calculated decision. A leader doesn’t risk the whole team just for a benefit that has a low success rate or only brings a marginal benefit. In golf this comes into play all the time. For example, you could probably clear those trees, but even if you do, that only gets you 40 yards closer, and it will still take you another 2 shots to get to the green no matter what.


3.     Going With Instinct

A major factor of being a good business golfer and a leader is instinct. A good business golfer trusts his/her instinct to make the move in order to seal the deal. This is true for a leader as well. A leader has to make snap decisions based on both gut feeling and experience

4.     Failure Isn’t Something To Be Scared Of

Business golf and leadership have their fair shares of failures. They know that they might fail but this doesn’t stop them in anyway. Even when they actually fail they get right back in the game. They learn from their failures and mistakes and then put the failures behind them. They are not afraid to make a move, simply because there is a chance of them experiencing failure. Remember that you only fail if you fail to learn.

5.     There is A Difference Between Mastery and Improvement

Just like golf, leadership cannot be mastered as it is all about circumstances. Leaders must improve with experience, action, and practice. They can achieve immense success but mastery is futile. This is the reason golfers aim towards improving their game and technique. Leaders also must strive for improvement instead of aiming for mastery. With constant improvement, they will be able to make better and more informed decisions.  When leading your team there may be a need to get tough and push them to get the most of them, but there may also be times when stress is high, morale is low and you have to be softer to see the results you want. When hitting the links, this is applied every round. You might be playing in the rain, or on a tighter fairway, or with deeper sand traps. All of these conditions will help you practice and improve.

Leaders have to set an example and led their entire team towards success. These business golf lessons can help them in improving themselves and assist them in becoming better leaders. It is important to have an ambitious vision and stay focused on achieving that vision for the entire team. One drawback or failure shouldn’t hinder the journey of improvement and success because just like golf, leadership too has its ups and downs. What’s more important is to learn from those setbacks and enjoy the game to the fullest.

If you like this, then you may want to check out BUSINESS GOLF ETIQUETTE

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