How Playing Golf Made Me a Good Leader
Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO, iCubesWire writes about how his passion for golf inspired him to lead from the front
Albert Einstein once said, “The leader is one who, out of the clutter, brings simplicity … out of discord, harmony … and out of difficulty, opportunity.”
Can a game of golf be a game-changer? Well, in my case it is! The passionate pursuit I indulge with great fervor carved a leader out of me. Of all my many passions, golf was the one that just happened by chance and eventually became a silent mentor. Golf is my escape on my otherwise super busy days at work, filled with business talk, meetings and problem solving.
If I have prevailed over the years, it is because of golf. There is this perception that golf is meant for retired people but over the years I have realized that it provides that much-needed peace and quiet to think things through and to ideate while unwinding.
It is like a meditation session in progress, and you are one with the sport. The breeze on my face is often a sign that it’s time to play that magnificent shot. Perhaps the most important virtue I picked up was patience – the game teaches you to stay patient and focused while playing. It is a virtue critical not just in sport but also in business. It enables you to ascertain the right time to do a certain thing and implement ideas and plans. Taking the leap of faith comes with time and the sport has helped me do the right thing at the right time. It has given me a better sense of judgement and understanding. It allows you to determine when you can take a risk and when you cannot.
Golf is typically played on different terrains and no two golf courses are designed the same way. That in fact makes it more challenging as well as more exciting. The more challenges I overcome, the more confident I am and I am not just referring to my game. I feel like I am on top of my game even at work when I play a really good game of golf. I see a lot of parallels between golf and business. For me running a business with a vision is like playing golf with utmost focus, patience and a larger than life risk-taking appetite. Hitting the ball at the right time when the focus and all other elements are in place – that is one cumulative quality that I have imbibed from the game. It is the same quality that I can replicate in the area of business. Playing golf brings out the best in you even at work, and it also allows you to bring out the best in those around you. Outcomes are measured through people, skills and willpower. Business and leadership is more about having the right spirit and gaining the momentum to stay on top of the pinnacle. It is for this reason that the game of golf will hold a special place in my heart and life. It has made me the leader and the person I am today. It keeps me active and makes me a better leader. The best part is that I am not going to retire anytime soon. To me, that is a life well played.