Over the past few years my teenage sons have taken up and become hooked on golf. They’ve fallen in love with the game and, when time allows, go to their club every day.

Their enthusiasm has been so infectious that. after years of playing one, maybe two rounds a year, I’ve found myself a member of their club. Obviously, I haven’t wanted to embarrass myself on the course – especially the first tee – and so have had some lessons from Joe, the junior professional.

Joe is in his early-20s and is an excellent teacher. He has a booth on the driving range with cameras, TVs and tracking equipment that allows you to review your swing and your shots. Step-by-step, Joe has patiently but expertly helped me to improve.

He hasn’t tried to fix everything at once, but has given me one or two things to work on at any one time. As a result, my game is starting to improve and my handicap is starting to come down.

It’s the same with my business. Since the launch of Morgan Cross Consulting I’ve worked with a coach to help me improve my performance and lower my ‘leadership handicap’.

As a result, you probably won’t be surprised that I find it baffling that so few senior executives and business leaders work with a coach to develop their skills and behaviours.

I believe that the best way for most businesses to improve performance and accelerate growth is to develop the quality of their leadership teams, and that the best way to get that done is for the organisation’s leaders to work with the best coaches they can find.

How about you? What ‘leadership handicap’ rating would you give yourself and what specific leadership tasks – envisioning goals, affirming values, communicating, decision-making, building unity, following-through etc. – do you need to work on first to lower your handicap and improve your performance?

Off The Record: Straight Down The Middle by Bing Crosby

Written by Jimmy van Heusen and Sammy Cahn

Straight down the middle

It went straight down the middle

Then it started to hook just a wee, wee bit

That’s when my caddie lost sight of it

That little white pellet has never been found to this day

But it went straight down the middle, like they say