IN this self-help book, the author Donald McHugh reveals a meaningful connection between golf and leadership. The ‘game of golf’ and the ‘game of leadership’ metaphors are understood by those who play golf regularly. Success at golf is exhilarating. Failure at the game is disappointing. Success at leadership brings a sense of accomplishment. Failure at leadership can be “detrimental to the leader, harmful to the follower and disastrous for the organisation,” says the author. Since both golf and leadership rest on similar foundations of fundamental concepts, both are games for the individual. The golfer must hit his or her own ball. The leader must decide on the next move. Consequently each has to accept the responsibility for the results.
Leadership is a simple game like golf. Its essence is skilled execution of fundamentals but leaders too often seem to work very hard at making the game of leadership unnecessarily difficult. As Peter Ducker has said that, not unlike golf, leadership is centred on the integration of three ingredients – “contribution to the mission of the organisation, concentration on key tasks, and commitment to professional standards of performance.”
This book is meant for the leadership tournament players and the organisation leaders on the front line working to make things happen. It is he who must do the right things in the right manner, if the goals are to be achieved. Whether leadership can or cannot be taught, it cannot be said, but it most certainly can be learned. Honest self-evaluation plus a little help from those around him who wish his success, can give him a good handle on his capabilities and he has the unique opportunity to sort things through and apply the wisdom of generations. He can learn from the great leaders of the past and the present, just as the golfer attempts to learn from golfing greats.
The insights in this book regarding consistency, pressure, loving the challenges, leading with passion and what it takes to win in both golf and business are unique and business leaders as also golf professionals will enjoy reading this book.
(Orient Paperbacks, 5 A/8, Ansari Road, New Delhi-110 002; www.orientpaperbacks.com)