Are you an Unlikely Leader?

Note:  I first posted this in 2012 after Bubba Watson won the Masters.  I find it still to be one of my favorite posts.

My most recent post was a quick hitter on the victory of Bubba Watson in the Masters Golf Tournament last weekend.  Bubba may not appear to be the prototypical leader, but he possesses many traits of what I now call the “Unlikely Leader”.  Let’s explore a little bit further about what an Unlikely Leader might look like.

Here are a few of the traits I would list for an unlikely leader:

  • Education comes from a less traditional source
  • Experience has been the primary teacher
  • Possess an unusual skill set in comparison to others in the field
  • Willing to take extraordinary risks in order to reach success

Let’s step back to Bubba Watson to see how he fits this model.

Bubba grew up in Bagdad, Florida, a short distance from Milton where he attended high school.  This part of Florida in no way resembles the coastal regions with high-rise buildings and beautiful beaches.  Milton is close to the Georgia border and is not a place many go to on purposes.  He has never taken a golf lesson and has crafted his swing and strategy solely from practice and experience throughout his golfing career.

After high school he attended Faulkner State Community College in south Alabama and he then attended the University of Georgia in Athens.

Bubba’s skillset and his unusual and unique skills were really manifested on the hook shot he hit from the rough on the 10th hole in the playoff on Sunday.  He had a narrow tunnel out of the woods from which he hooked the ball a great distance to put it on the green in regulation.  From there he putted out and won by one shot.

Many golfers could never hit this kind of “duck hook”, but Bubba had done this before and his experience gave him the confidence to try this unusual and dangerous shot.

We have quickly brushed over the four key traits to be an Unlikely Leader, using Bubba Watson as an example.

My next post will examine another unlikely leader that you may have heard from in your life.

Are you an unlikely leader?

What would it take for you to become one?