Management Tips

9 lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from Seve Ballesteros

David con Severiano Ballesteros

The great athletes who succeed always have something in common: work, work and more work, until they achieve the goals that they have been proposed. Severiano Ballesteros, known as Seve, was one of the most successful athletes in Spain. His achievements in the world of golf are recognized by people all over the world. He transformed the sport with his peculiar way to deal each tournament.

His strategies in golf can be used by businessmen in their business. Seve was a dedicated person working at full as an athlete, like many people do with their small and medium companies. It’s very interesting to see his strengths in order to apply them in the business world.

1. If you succeed, you need passion: Passion for work and passion for what you do, otherwise it’s hard to achieve a goal. Seve Ballesteros was all passion and this was transmitted to the public, so excited wherever he played. If we don’t like what we do, if we don’t believe in what we work every day, something is going wrong.

2. You should never give up, even if you think that all is lost or is no longer any choice. Seve taught us that we should never abandon. If there is any chance of success, we must try to succeed until the end. In business as in golf, no one said it would be easy.

3. The small one can beat the big one: no matter where you come from, what matters is how well you do your business. Severiano Ballesteros defeated Jack Nicklaus, at the same time that he achieved his first victory in a major tournament, in a time when golf was dominated by American golfers. Why would not a Spanish company be able to succeed tech world dominated by companies based in Silicon Valley?

4. A motivated team is worth a thousand: He won 5 tournaments of those considered “majors”, a challenge that is not easy to achieve. Seve contributed a lot in team tournaments, over all, in the Ryder Cup European Team. He lead it to the victory and he left an unprecedented image of leadership, never seen in any other competition. Players who worked with him enjoyed working, achieving goals that before its entry into the world of golf, no one had succeeded.

5. Golf, like business, is a sum of mistakes: In golf, you hit the ball but it never goes exactly where you want. For Seve, it’s the same way, as we do in our companies. Budget, forecast demand, we think on paper and then we put into practice the things that we planned. And then, when we see the real results we realize that things don’t always go as we planned. The most important strategy is being always in movement.

6. It’s hard to be liked by everyone: Seve, is a figure admired throughout the world, but he left behind an enemy. His temperament, his nature, it seemed that he did not like at all, which explains why when he was winning his first victory in the British Open, the Spanish public television changed the transmission of that historical moment for a insignificant horse race. Perhaps there is some entrepreneur who does not swallow us up, any customers who hate us or a bank manager who does not like to see us, but this is not a reason to stop working.

7. Never mind the limitations, if you want, you can: Ballesteros began to play golf at Pedreña Beach with a 3-iron. He sneak into the golf course and when the members saw him, they threw at him. His humble beginnings didn’t fit with the club at the time. Nevertheless, he did not surrender and it served as a trigger to him for learning and mastering the game of golf. In business, we often complain about the lack of resources, subsidies, grants… If you want to do something, you can.

8. If you want to succeed, you have to do a bit of everything: In addition to his lack of resources, Ballesteros, before being recognized as a great player, he worked as caddy, carrying the bag of other golfers.

9. You should not accept funding at any cost: In the beginning, Ballesteros had no money to pay the expenses of the tournament. They say that some very famous banker, seeing the enormous potential of the golfer, offered him a sum of money in exchange for a large percentage of the profits he would obtain as golfer throughout his career. Seve rejected the proposal and continued to look for the financial support he needed, which finally found elsewhere and with a more reasonable cost.

Image | Mike Belindo