The Powerful Business Lessons from the Ryder Cup
"It means so much. It means everything."
That was Collin Morikawa commenting on his first Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup.
Pure raw emotion, amazing determination, 110% commitment...all on display for the sports world to see.
These are the absolute best, most highly compensated golfers in the world. Each of whom - before this year's Ryder Cup commenced - has demonstrated their skill by winning all the most prestigious tournaments and having huge bank accounts as a testament to their exceptional success on the links.
Yet, as some of the players have remarked, those three days in September are the most meaningful and inspiring days of golf that they will play for the next several years.
"There's a certain different pressure when playing for the Ryder Cup. You know that you're not just playing for yourself. You're playing for your teammates. You're playing for your country." - Rory McIlroy.
Why do these already accomplished, top-of-their-game players care so much?
Hint? It's not about the money.
Business leaders take note.
It's about being on a team. It's about having a clear purpose. It's about accomplishing something special...together.
I work with a lot of law firms and investment firms. I see a lot of extremely accomplished, highly rewarded "lone rangers" in these fields who feel - despite all their business and industry success as well as their impressive monetary success - that something in their lives is missing. Remarkably, they are not really happy.
Here's the key - people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Many of us seek that collective, team success - accomplishing a big goal that we, as part of a team, set out to achieve. It's a truly transformational experience.
That's why law firms, investment firms, and all professional services firms who house a collection of superstars should seek to be more like the Ryder Cup teams. Focus on collective purpose. Build a true teamwork environment. Include everybody and celebrate the collective victories often. Go for big dreams...together.
Life is more fun that way.
And it starts at the top.
In terms of leadership, people who head up firms need to shift away from their previous #1 goal - dealing with how much everyone in the firm is being compensated. Their new, more inspiring goals? Develop a motivating vision. Clarify and embrace a meaningful purpose for the organization. Build a true culture of teamwork.
Committing to these new goals will not only energize your organization but also will serve to make your place a beacon for young top talent. Because, as we all know, the younger, smarter professionals today are looking to be a part of a purposeful, visionary team.
Be like the Ryder Cup team.
As the late Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, said:
"Chase the vision. Not the money. The money will end up following you."
Think purpose. Think vision. Think teamwork. Think Ryder Cup.