13 Life and Business Lessons from the Kenyan Golf Course

It’s no secret that many business deals have been sealed on a golf course. We caught up with CEO’s, Directors and Founders of various Kenyan companies who are all golf players during Capital FM Golf day at The Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club to find out what are some of the life and business lessons they have learnt from the tee.

Christina Andersen, Digital Director – Yolanda Tavares Public Relations Agency

“When you play golf, you have no one else to blame but yourself, just like life. Golf has helped bring me down to earth, not to talk or brag too much and live a very normal life.”

Willy Kimani, Chief Commercial Officer – Naivas Supermarket.

Chairman, Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK)

“Golf has taught me work and play. You have to have a mix of both.

After one hole there’s always another one. This means that if you messed up in one hole, you have 18 other holes to make it right. The same applies in life and business. There’s always another chance to start over and over again till you get it right.”

Mike Macharia, CEO –  Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers

“Golf has taught me patience, integrity and management.

If you have a bad shot in golf, you need to learn how to control your anger. Just like in business, you have to control your anger for you to make proper decisions.”

Tom Indimuli, Public Relations Consultant.

“Golf has taught me focus and strategy. Before playing any hole, you have to know how long it is, which club you should use, how’s the board line?

The same goes in business. You have to scan the environment, know what you’re selling, who’s your customer and competition.”

Rachael Ndei, Immediate past lady Captain of Windsor Golf Club

Director, The Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club

“Golf has helped me a lot especially in parenting because it has taught me patience and accepting results.

In golf we say, forget about the results of the last hole; what matters is the next hole. I always find myself telling my children. Let’s forget about the past exam and think about the next.”

Kihara Maina, CEO – I&M Bank

“Golf has taught me to appreciate there will be some bad days and some good days and this is a good reflection of life and the ups and downs of business.

You just don’t show up and hit the ball and go. You have to strategize and plan, just like in business.”

Muchemi Wambugu, Managing Director – Sirius Consult

“I find that in golf, the harder you try, the worse you play.

So the easier you play, then the better you play.

If you try very hard and push, you’re not going to get the score that you’re looking for. But if you play relaxed, just like you manage relaxed, results will come.”

Lawrence Kimathi, Chief Financial Officer – KCB Group

“Golf has taught me how to network. I could never go to a cocktail where I didn’t know anyone there. I was that shy! I didn’t know how to start a conversation with a stranger.

Through golf, I sit and talk to anybody.”

John Kashangaki, Deputy Chief of Party Kenya – Palladium

“First lesson I learnt from golf is never give up because you always have a chance.

Golf is like life; Sometimes it makes you totally frustrated, sometimes you are down and other times you are up. You have to go with the flow. The same applies in business.”

Martin Mabuya, Senior Manager Consumer Segments – Safaricom

“Golf has taught me to calculate my risk.

Sometimes you want to take a long shot that might end you up in the bush, but if you take a shorter one, it will only take one stroke and end up getting a good score.

In both business and golf, calculate your risk, if it’s worth it, take it. if it’s not move on.”

Rakesh Rao, Group CEO – Crown Paints Limited

 “Golf has taught me concentration and focus.

The same way you focus and concentrate on the ball for you to execute and make good shots, is the same way I focus on my business for me to make sound and accurate decisions.

The golf ball and business strategies go hand in hand.”

Robert Gitau, Managing Director – Twenty Third Century Systems

“Golf has taught me to appreciate and value diversity in people.

Today I have played with three guys I have never met before, had a fantastic time, talked about all sorts of things and that’s business. You’ll often find and have to interact with people you’ve never met before. There’s so much to learn from that diversity.”

Miano Muchiri, CEO – The Fuse

“The most important lesson I have learnt from golf is patience. You’ve got to learn how to make decisions without emotion.

Sometimes you hit a bad shot and that can affect your next shot so you’ve got to learn how to be patient, calm down, relax and don’t take it too hard on yourself. You’re going to make mistakes, but you have to stand up and get over them.”

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