June 14, 2004

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Golf and the Game of Leadership

By: Jack @ 7:50 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Golf and the Game of Leadership by Donald E. McHugh, AMACOM, 240 pages, May 2004, ISBN 0814408370 Even though Im an absolute awful golfer, I still love the game, and of course couldnt help but be intrigued by a book that combines my two favorite pastime: golf and reading. Donald McHugh looks at leadership as a game. A game with rules that need to be followed to achieve success. Just like golf. In his book golf becomes a metaphor for leadership. McHugh believes that golf and leadership are not only a test of the individual, but that success rests on fundamental skills, which can be developed by repetition, practice and performance. For every eighteen holes of a golf game, he offers a leadership lesson or piece of advice. A few I found especially interesting were the following: Hole # 3: Values are the drivers. McHugh believes that of the values it takes to be a successful golfer are the same values required to be a successful leader. Your values are expressed in every single thing that you do. And the leadership game has certain rules. Follow them. Play with integrity, fairness and honesty. Hole # 8: Focus. Golfers have to focus on every single shot. Leadership isnt about the big picture scenarios only. Good leaders can learn a lot by watching golfers focus on the here and now. And golfers dont dwell on the past either. Let yesterdays bad shots be a thing of the past. Great lesson. He has a few suggestions to help leaders focus: Control your time, your temper and avoid distractions. Hole # 15: Accept Change: Adapt. Leaders are, just like golfers, faced with a game where the conditions change constantly. The answer is to not only embrace change, but to seek it out. And when unsure, ask for the advice of other leaders whom you respect. He offers the advice to be optimistic about change, and regard adversity as challenges. Donald McHugh has in his career accumulated a wealth of experiences. He shares many anecdotal stories to illustrate a point, and this keeps the book interesting and makes it quite a fast read. And even if you dont love golf as much as I do, its a book that will help you become better at the game of leadership.