I transcribed this June 10, 2013 interview with Tiger Woods from my DVR. The interview aired on ESPN. His topic was planning for the US Open.
You don’t have to be flashy. You don’t have to be hot. You just have to just kind of plod along. Look at the past winners of Opens, they are guys that aren’t overly long, guys who really understand how to stay calm and how to focus, and how to manage themselves under pretty tough conditions.
What Woods describes is how Friedman, Steinke, Richardson, and Bowen would describe leadership. The task is not one of converting or defeating others. The task is managing self, “under pretty tough conditions.” Such conditions for a golfer involve multiple factors that are out of a player’s (or pastor’s) control: the weather, what other players are doing, the crowd, the high cut of the rough, and certainly the emotional field of money, TV, a multitude of commentators, the potential prestige of winning, and of course the field of players.
The analogy breaks down in that leadership of an organization involves teams and golf is a relatively solitary sport on the course. But the principle of self-regulation and self-management as a key factor holds. What any leader needs to do well is to focus on self.