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[dropcap style=”style3″]A[/dropcap]lthough I’m not much of a golfer, it is an unavoidable occupational hazard, with “hazard” being the word that I’m most familiar with. Once, while playing in a benefit tournament, my playing partner — a CEO of a multinational company — took me aside afterwards and gave me this bit of advice that I’ll never forget: “Greg, the problem with your game is that you stand too close to the ball after you hit it.” Touché.

Golf and business have a longstanding relationship that extends far beyond the social aspect. To any professional golfer, the game is very much a business in which the adversary isn’t always human but psychological.

Like successful business leaders, successful golfers know themselves and their limitations well. But not always.

Take Jean van de Velde, for example. A French professional golfer, van de Velde was leading by three shots when he got to the final tee in the 1999 (British) Open Championship at Carnoustie. All Jean needed to win was a six. To make a long story short, after his drive went into the rough, he made the inexplicable decision to go for the green in two shots. The result was a watery and painful seven, which lost him the tournament by one shot.

You can almost hear the question posed by his mental coach afterwards, “Jean, what have we learned here today?” Jean: “Connais-toi toi-même?”

Oui, “Know Yourself.”

Research the subject “knowing yourself,” and chances are you’ll see references to The Art of War by Sun Tzu, who famously professed, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

In the sport of golf or battles on horseback and in business, you have to know yourself.

And within that connotation, you must know your strengths, especially your limitations. Effective leaders and, most certainly, pro golfers conduct themselves best when they’re truly comfortable in their own skin.

How do you achieve that? One way is by looking in a mirror and asking yourself the tough questions. If your answers don’t make you flinch, you could be on to something.

If you’re still stumped, our company offers a series of psychometric tests. I can’t guarantee they’ll help your golf game, but I’m convinced they’ll do wonders for your self-awareness and your approach to leadership.

Thanks for reading,


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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734