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Learning leadership and teamwork lessons from the Ryder Cup
Europe’s latest triumph in the Ryder Cup has been hailed as a success not just for golf but for the teamwork and leadership skills displayed along the way. Admittedly there is nothing new in the European side showing strong teamwork skills. Back in 2004, Golf Today pointed out that the nature of the European tour mean that most of the European golfers travelled and socialised together whereas US golfers tended to travel independently on the PGA Tour.
But the captaincy of Paul McGinley took the idea of teamwork to a new level. In the two years leading up to the tournament he has taken every opportunity to really get to know his potential players. Dinners, home visits, regular phone calls; whatever it took, Paul McGinley was there learning about the people who might make up his team. That meant that when it came to the event itself the briefings, the tactics, in fact the whole approach could be focused on getting the best out of the players. Commenting to the BBC after the win Thomas Bjorn said “He’s re-written how captaincy is supposed to be” adding “he’s dealt with all the players in such an amazing way, and he’s made everyone feel so special.”
Taking time to understand people, to draw them in and create a team is a lesson which extends from golf and out into the wider business world.