Leaders are like Golfers

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, CLDC

As I was following the Presidents Cup over the weekend, it occurred to me that golfers are like leaders.   In some respects it is not fair that I compare golfers to leaders, because leaders have more responsibilities and have more on their shoulders.   However, from a conceptual standpoint there is congruence between the two.

Comparative analysis

Sharpening the saw Leaders are perpetual learners Continuously practice his/her swing
Integrity Would do the right thing no matter the circumstances Would uphold the rules of the game, even assessing penalties on themselves
Role model Role model to everyone they serve Role model to people who admire and follow them
High standard Set high standards and aim to exceed them Aim to do their best and compete each time they go out and play
Has followers Inspires people to act and do things they otherwise cannot do themselves Encourage people to try and be patient in learning the sport
Are human Like everyone else they can make mistake Are susceptible to make mistakes because the status gets in their heads
Hard worker They are the first to come and last to leave.  They lead by example They often spend long hours honing their skills in order to be better


Golf is called a gentlemen’s game, because honesty is a requisite in order to play this game.  I’m not saying that all people who play golf are honest, but professional golfers often assess penalties on themselves in spite of no one pointing it out to them.   Such penalties could be the difference between winning, being second, or worse yet, missing a cut.   For that they are similar to leaders, wherein no matter whether anyone is looking or not, they will always do the right thing.

While a golfer can be a good role model, nothing compares to a leader.  Because a leader is there to serve his/her constituents and the golfer is there for personal gain – which is to win a tournament.   Leaders do not have tournaments to win and prize money to look forward to, but that does not change the fact that they get up in the morning with the same enthusiasm that perhaps the golfer would not have if they got up on the wrong side of the bed.

In the end, while golf is a great game and most of the people who play this sport uphold a certain standard, a leader is still a true leader because of their selfless act of doing what is best for their people versus themselves.    However, a leader can always be a golfer, but not vice-versa.  What are your thoughts on the comparative analysis?

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