Shaping your strategy for success
Extracted from The Wall Street Journal.
Whether you seek a pot of gold or a golden putt, manage a world-class investment team or a dozen of the best golfers in the world, the success strategies involved are remarkably similar, according to those who have insight into both fields of competition.
“In a great team, everyone has to be a servant to each other,” says Dr. Bob Rotella, one of America’s best-known sports psychologists, a performance consultant and the author of bestselling books such as “How Champions Think in Sports and in Life.”
“In everything they do, others have to be more important than the individual,” he notes. “They have to say: ‘It’s not about me.’ They have to be in love with being in a team.”
Dr. Rotella has advised golfing champions ranging from Davis Love III, the captain of the U.S. 2016 Ryder Cup team, to one of the young stars of this year’s European team, Rory McIlroy, helping them to transform their mental habits and maximize their potential as individuals and team players. And it’s not only in sport that his strategic acumen is sought after: Bob Rotella also works with multinational corporates, such as General Electric, on how to adopt a winning mentality in the business sphere.
Right now, however, he’s working to help Love shape a strategy that will help the U.S. win back The Ryder Cup from a European team that has dominated so many recent contests.
What’s his approach? It’s not so different from working withan ambitious company or brand, Dr. Rotella points out. “There are some strong egos, but every individual is an important player and has to buy into the team,” he says.
Maurice Daw, chief people officer at U.S.-owned Virgin Media, agrees that clear correlations exist between the teamwork needed in The Ryder Cup and that required by world-class businesses aiming to succeed. “Are team members aware of their skills, and the skills of the people around them.”
“There are some strong egos, but every individual is an important player and has to buy into the team.”
At Standard Life Investments, Worldwide Partner of The Ryder Cup, the tenets of teamwork in golf echo its own company philosophy.
In becoming tournament sponsors, Standard Life Investments identified clear parallels in the collaboration required between talented individuals to achieve outstanding outcomes in The Ryder Cup, and the way its own business operates.
“We are looking to globalize, so the allegiance with high- performing teams and a commitment to performance excellence was great for us,” explains Nuala Walsh, global head of marketing and relationship management.
“We were approached by many other partners, but we chose The Ryder Cup in the same way as we would pick a business partner, mindful of reputation and ethical issues,” she adds.
What resonated most significantly were The Ryder Cup’s positive outlook, the qualities of fair play and sportsmanship that characterize golf, and the passion that this world-class competition inspires among audiences around the globe.
In today’s business landscape, where new global superpowers are appearing, where digital connectivity is transforming developing economies, and where competition for finite resources is rising fast, sport at this level offers us a luminous example of how to strategize for success.
Play for the team is the golden rule.