Whether you are a golf fan or not, two really interesting reads on the approaches taken by Europe and the U.S. regarding the Ryder Cup.

Europe has clearly treated this as a serious competition, with leadership and team-building at the forefront of their program.  Their captain and his leadership is very important to the program, and he’s trained within the program ( as an assistant captain).  How good he is as a player, or how many tournaments he’s won, really doesn’t factor into the decision.  This line was great: “it’s mystifying why anybody would think there is a correlation between succeeding at an individual sport and being a leader of men.”

How about the fact that only 2 of the last 10 U.S. Captains has ever been an assistant captain for the Ryder Cup?  The way we choose our Captains for this event is amazing to me.  Our approach shows a lot about the importance of communicating with your team and giving them ownership.  Phil Mickelson praised Paul Azinger for getting his players “Invested in the process.”  Whether or not you think Mickelson is right, he does feel that way, and that matters – do you think it affected the way he played?  What your players are feeling matters, whether you think they are right or wrong.

I’m not wild about the way Mickelson handled it at the press conference – I don’t really believe he was using this as a platform for the greater good.  I think he was pissed off that he got benched on Saturday, so he went public.

But you can learn a lot about the way the two teams handle their captaincies, their teams, and how the players react to their approach.

A couple of great reads.



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