Watching the Masters Can Teach Us about Teamwork

By - April 8, 2015

It’s Masters Week.

The majority of media buzz so far is about Tiger’s return to golf after a nine-week absence and whether Rory can complete the career grand slam this week – all he needs is the Masters.

It’s funny, but people think of golf as a solo sport. That’s not really true. Professional golf is definitely a team effort, and the caddie-player partnership is vital to a golfer’s success.

It’s like that in business. Using the golf analogy, clients are the players, and consultants are the caddies–there to advise and support the players. (If you’ve seen one or two of our RSM lighthearted television spots with Davis Love III and his fictitious caddie, you know what a caddie is not supposed to do.)

As you watch the Masters this year, pay close attention to the caddies. These are some of the best of the best in the game today. Most are long-term partners of the golfers. Golf fans will recognize names like Joe LaCava, Tiger’s caddie, who previously carried for Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, and Phil Mickelson’s long-time caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay. Their contributions go far beyond just carrying heavy golf bags.

Golfers and caddies, like companies and their trusted advisors, need to understand each other. They need solid, effective communication, and the caddie needs to anticipate his or her golfer’s needs. When you put it all together, golf is a game of stewardship, practice, concentration, values.

Winning comes from hours and hours of work, both individually and from caddie and player working effectively together toward the common goal. A good caddie learns his or her player’s strengths, shortcomings, what he or she is trying to achieve, and uses knowledge and experience to help position the player for success.

Yes, pro golf and business are team efforts.

Who’s in your corner, carrying your bag, anticipating your needs and helping you play to your strengths and avoid your weaknesses? Make sure it’s someone who understands you, your company and your goals and objectives. Make sure you’re a good team.

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