On What I’ve Learned From Golf (So Far!)

Hole In OneThis morning I went out for my third round of golf this year (I know that’s sad!).  I’d say, “I am a golfer” but the truth is I want to be a golfer. As I struggled through my round this morning, the following thoughts arose in connection with life & leadership.

1) If I only golf three or four times a summer – I should not be surprised that my skill does not meet or exceed my expectation

The same goes for leadership. Whether it’s presentations, leading meetings, having crucial conversations, or executing the job I’ve been tasked with, I believe there’s all a part of us that envisions flawless performance. However, we need to be sure that we set realistic goals and learn to build on those. I’m not supposing we lessen our drive for excellence – just don’t expect the first presentation to be a Tiger Woods @ the 1997 Masters (for non-golfers, let’s just say it was spectacular!)

2)  If I don’t keep practicing – I don’t stay the same.  I get worse.

At the end of those summers I played fifty or more rounds, I have to admit I was getting decent. A myth however, is that if I store the clubs for 6 months over winter that I’ll be able to pull them out in May and pick up from where I left off. The same goes for leadership and execution. We can’t expect our abilities to lead people to simply stay sharp while they lay dormant. In particular, I recommend young leaders get creative to find outlets to develop skills and abilities so that when it comes time to step up to the tee, even if it might be the first time in the actual job, they approach it with confidence.

Leave a comment with a practice you use to stay sharp as a leader :)

Experience is the best teacher – and the most expensive one!

So read Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul and learn from the mistakes of another person in history.  In this excellent and practical resource, Ralph Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott breakdown the struggles of King Saul, a biblical leader in the Old Testament, and examine where things went wrong.

In so doing, they literally show you what is down the path of poor decisions.  In the words of Tommy Newberry, a life and leadership coach – if want to be extraordinary, find out what the ordinary do and don’t do it!  The same goes with success and failure.  By examining the poor habits of King Saul you can save yourself from headache and heartache and choose a different path – one leading to healthy habits.

By drawing on biblical wisdom and highlighting modern day leadership principles, Hawkins and Parrot not only offer a critique but an equipping.  Each chapter focuses on a specific behaviour or habit that you should be aware of in leadership.  Unlike the title suggests, it’s not just “avoiding” the pitfalls of King Saul, but the authors put forth practices to replace those poor habits with healthy ones and coach for better outcomes.

Particularly of help is the end of chapter exercise where they invite you to Assess, Analyze, and Act.  These take the principles of the chapter and help build a tangible bridge into application in your setting.

This would be a great resource for a church board, a pastoral staff, or what I’ll likely do, is gather a group of young growing leaders and do a monthly breakfast with it.

Full five stars for sure and definitely worth to pick up and work through.

Full Disclosure:  This book was provided for me free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program.   I was encouraged to write an honest review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.