Individualism in a team environment

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At a recent EY event in London, Paul McGinley explored the leadership and team-building challenges that he faces as Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup Captain. In this extract from the event, Paul explores the challenge of promoting diversity and individualism within a coherent team structure.

In the last Ryder Cup, Europe’s 12 players were drawn from eight different countries – with six different languages. So bringing these cultures together to form a cohesive unit is a real challenge.

For example, one of the players, Sweden’s Peter Hanson, likes to eat dinner at 6:30 p.m. Then we had Miguel Ángel Jiménez, one of the Vice-Captains, who’s quite the opposite. He likes to eat at 11:00 p.m., because that’s the Spanish culture.

So, to bridge this gap, the European Team always has a running buffet from 6:00 p.m. till midnight. That’s one way we have of incorporating everybody, whatever their culture or personal preference.

That element of individuality must remain, even though we are in a team environment for the week. You bring the players together with the common pursuit of winning The Ryder Cup, but the players must be left to feel comfortable as individuals too.

The views of third parties set out in this publication are not necessarily the views of the global EY organization or its member firms. Moreover, they should be seen in the context of the time they were made.