Golf and business have a longstanding relationship that extends far beyond the social aspect. To any professional golfer, the game is very much a business in which the adversary isn’t always human, but psychological.
Like successful business leaders, successful golfers know themselves and their limitations well. But not always.
Take Jean van de Velde for example. A French professional golfer, van de Velde was leading by three shots when he got to the final tee in the 1999 (British) Open Championship at Carnoustie. All Jean needed to win was a six. To make a long story short, after his drive went into the rough, he made the inexplicable decision to go for the green in two shots. The result was a watery and painful seven, which lost him the tournament by one shot.
You can almost hear the question posed by his mental coach afterwards, “Jean, what have we learned here today?” Jean: “Connais-toi toi-même?”
Oui, “Know Yourself.”
Research the subject “knowing yourself” and chances are you’ll see references to The Art of War by Sun Tzu, who famously professed, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
In the sport of golf, or in battles on horseback and in business, you have to know yourself.
And within that connotation, it’s imperative that you know your strengths and especially your limitations. Effective leaders and, most certainly, pro golfers conduct themselves best when they’re truly comfortable in their own skin.
How do you achieve that? One way is by looking in a mirror and asking yourself the tough questions. If your answers don’t make you flinch, you could be on to something.
If you’re still stumped, there’s a series of psychometric tests available on my site right here. I can’t guarantee they’ll help your golf game, but I’m convinced they’ll do wonders for your self-awareness and your approach to leadership.
Thanks for reading,