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Empathy and Leadership

Greetings Golfers,

I like Mike Zimmer. I think he’s a good coach and a good guy. However, I don’t think he gets kickers. They’re different from other football players. They perform one skill. And they don’t hit people.

On Google I found … 


  • Communication

  • Vision

  • Empathy

  • Accountability

  • Gratitude

Not sure that Zimmer empathizes with kickers. Actually pretty sure that he doesn’t.

Kickers need to be loose before that game-winning (or losing) field goal.

Same with golfers. Tight golfers don’t hit good shots. 

We all know people who play better after a few beers/drinks. 

Maybe that list should include BARTENDER.

Speaking of leadership … a good friend just gave me a book about Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton was an English sailor who led expeditions to Antarctica about 100 years ago.

They did not go well. So, his incredible leadership kept things going … and people staying alive.

Here are some of his thoughts on leadership:

  • “The loyalty of your men is a sacred trust you carry. It is something which must never be betrayed, something you must live up to.”

  • “I have often marveled at the thin line which separates success from failure.”

  • “If you’re a leader, a fellow that other fellows look up to, you’ve got to keep going.”

  • “Leadership is a fine thing, but it has its penalties. And the greatest penalty is loneliness.”

Well, I’m sure that Zimmer feels pretty lonely a lot of the time - especially when they’re losing. But so do his kickers. A little empathy would help him and his team. 

Empathy is not weakness - it’s an important part of leadership.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Victoria, MN 55386
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