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Leading a multinational team of individuals

Paul McGinley, who captained the 2014 European Ryder Cup, shares how he united a team of talented, diverse golfers, all the way to victory

05 May 2016

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Most people hate to be called selfish. But being selfish is part of a golfer’s DNA. Paul McGinley, 2014 European Ryder Cup Captain and Executive Fellow of London Business School’s Leadership Institute, is the first to admit it. There’s no ‘team’ in the career of a professional golfer and training is focused on the individual’s game and abilities.


Yet, McGinley captained the European team to success. By 2013, he’d played in more than 500 European Tour tournaments and all five Ryder Cups he was involved in were as part of winning teams. While the European team came from different cultures, together they stood as one.


In this exclusive film, McGinley reveals the true highs and lows of leading diverse teams. How does one person unite different nationalities, cultures and personalities? How do you build trust from scratch? Why should people believe in your strategies above their own? And when conflict inevitably rears up, how do you resolve it?


Hear his practical solutions to the significant challenges he faced. Take getting to know your team, when predominantly, they play alone: McGinley sought to empower the whole team, including the caddies. “I trusted the caddies,” he says. “If they gave me information on one of the players, I acted on it.”


He says: “When a team member had a storm brewing, we were their rock. We battened down the hatches and stayed solid as a team.”

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