The 2014 Ryder Cup...A Lesson In Contrasting Leadership

Oct 07 2014

I happen to enjoy golf and often find it a metaphor for business. I saw a leadership lesson in play during the 2014 Ryder Cup. The captain for the United States, Tom Watson, and Paul McGinley for Europe demonstrated two contrasting styles of leadership. Command and control was Watson's style and inclusive leadership was McGinley's.

McGinley went deep in gathering his input in formulating his game plan and selecting his team. Including his players, vice captains, as well as, the players and their caddies and coaches, he formulated a team which consisted of qualifiers and captain's picks. He wanted to determine who was playing well and knew he would get valid insights from the people he consulted. He also knew that they all believed in the goal of winning the Ryder Cup for Europe- more than that, this was the biggest event of the year from their perspective with only one possible exception, The Open. His role was to formulate the team and the game plan with the suggestions and input from others- knowing it was his decision in the final analysis but he would gain input and buy-in from the other stakeholders. As a matter of fact, he was selected as captain with player input- a process which the PGA of the US has not adopted.