How Golf Helps Build Leadership Teams

leadershipHow Playing Golf Helps You Choose Your Leadership Team

Golf is not traditionally considered a team sport. However, it has improved the business skills and discernment of many professionals. It is an excellent way to gauge candidate potential if you’re undergoing leadership training or choosing a new management team. Wondering how? Here’s the low down on how a game of golf can seal the perfect approach for your business leaders.

Pinpointing Leadership Qualities

On the surface, playing golf is a unique opportunity to evaluate personnel and identify strengths and weaknesses as leader outside of the workplace. This peak into personal lives and behaviors can play a part in screening potential business moves and leadership potential. Consider some example of how this can be done:

  • Decision making. Golf is a game of patience, preparation, and consistency. Everything from approaching a lie to following through with a swing takes deliberateness to be executed properly. Sound like favorable qualities? It may be a casual setting, but watching how your candidates perform on the pitch lets you know how they’ll perform in the office. Are they creatures of habit? Do they respond well to change or less than ideal circumstances?
  • Accountability. Golf is also a game of etiquette. You may not catch a coworker lying about his or her score, but you may note some behaviors related to decorum and politeness. Is someone forgetting to fill in his or her divots? These may seem like minor details, but they can speak volumes of a person’s awareness and leadership.
  • Self-control. Even the pros can let fly with their clubs when they’ve made a bad shot. Consistent bad behavior, though, may indicate a greater problem. You can keep an eye out for poor attitudes, as well as how a candidate gets along with others in a competitive setting, to gage their potential in a position of leadership.

Golf and the Leadership Metaphor

While we’ve covered some tangible ways you can keep an eye out for leadership qualities, the sport as a whole is a lesson in leadership.

  • Know when to call the Hail Mary. We’re mixing our sports analogies here, but good decision making skills and knowing when to make the tough call are essential for a trailblazer. It may be safe to play it short, but if making par won’t cut it, a leader must know when to take a risk.
  • The mental game. Golf takes a unique combination of intimate focus and an understanding of the big picture. If a person can drive the ball 400 yards but has no short game, he or she will have trouble keeping up. Just like in business, the ability to execute and the ability to finish are equally important.

Learn more about the connection between golf and leadership at Course Connections.

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