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Greatness and Golfing: Lessons and Learnings from the Green

Episode #1045: “The art and sport of golfing offers life lessons and learnings to those who are willing to notice.” - Severin Sorensen. In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Severin Sorensen, executive coach and curator of the Arete Coach podcast, shares learnings from golf that can be applied to life and business. Severin discusses health benefits of the game, life and business lessons from golf, and how to best use the sport in business and executive coaching. Tune into this episode of the Arete Coach podcast for a hearty serving of sage quotes, powerful lessons, and thoughtful discussion.

About Severin Sorensen

Severin Sorensen is a serial entrepreneur and lifetime learner with a passionate curiosity for people and businesses. Severin is the CEO of ePraxis LLC, a premier level retained search firm that provides executive headhunting, talent selection, and executive coaching. In addition to finding top talent, Severin has provided over 7,500+ hours of paid executive coaching to entrepreneurs, CEOs, Presidents, and C-level executives. Severin is an ICF ACSTH Certified Executive Coach, Certified Organizational Development Coach, Certified Life Coach, and Certified Positive Intelligence® Coach. Severin is the founder/producer of a new podcast, Arete Coach, that explores the art and science of executive coaching with some of the industry's best coaches.

From 2010-2018 Severin was also a Vistage Chair where he coached three CEO and key executive groups. In 2011, Severin received the "Rookie of the Year Chair Award" from Vistage. Since 2013, Severin has added international speaking for Vistage, CEO conferences, executive peer groups, and corporations on the topic of identifying and hiring difference-making top talent.

After graduate school, Severin moved to Washington, DC, where he worked on security-related economic and public policy issues that included a brief stint in The White House, as a Special Assistant to the President, for George H. Bush (POTUS 41). In 1994, Severin founded Sparta Consulting Corp., and Sparta provided world-class physical security and safety related management consulting services for public and private sector entities. From 1994-2002, Severin managed HUD's Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design technical assistance and training program. In 2005, Severin sold Sparta to Westec Interactive (Digital Witness), which was subsequently acquired by Interface Security.

Severin, a native Californian, grew up in Salt Lake City, UT and graduated with honors from the University of Utah with Economics and Political Science degrees. He completed graduate studies in economics at King's College, Cambridge University (England), where he earned a M.Phil. degree in Economics. Severin has a great love and appreciation for sports, and while overseas, Severin rowed for the King's College Boat Club, and played basketball for the Cambridge University Basketball Team (1986-87).

Key highlights

Golf and wellness

Timestamp 03:58

Over 300 scholarly articles have been written about the health benefits of golf. Researcher D. Murray and his team conducted a review of published research regarding golf and health. In their review, they found that when individuals played a round of golf with the use of a golf cart they walk about 6,000 steps. Without a golf cart, players will walk approximately 12 to 14 thousand steps. Golf also burns calories depending on the landscape and length of the golf course. It has also been indicated that golf can help increase metabolic health. Furthermore, other studies support the conclusion that golfing can have the same “beneficial effects on longevity, physical health, mental health, and wellness associated with physical activity.”

Business lessons from the green

Timestamp 08:47

Severin shares several lessons from the green that can be applied to business and executive coaching. Some of these lessons include moving on from failures, follow-through matters, each swing counts, patience, perfect practice, knowing the course, mentorship, having a target, remembering the 19th hole, and punctuality among others. For each lesson, Severin explains how this learning applies to executive coaching and business.

Life lessons from the green

Timestamp 21:28

Severin also discusses several life lessons that can be gained from golf. Some of these life lessons include the importance of obstacles, mental resiliency, character, attitude, and relationships. For each of these lessons, Severin discusses how they can be applied to life.

Rules of business golf

Timestamp 30:26

To use golf effectively during executive coaching or business, there are several key rules that should be considered. Severin shares and explains some of these rules and why they are important for executive coaches and business leaders to consider. Some of these rules include don’t cheat, remember your focus, be social, be respectful, and be fair among others. These rules and guidelines can help executive coaches and business leaders use golf to its fullest potential in their business and coaching endeavors.

Golf and executive coaching

Timestamp 33:11

Severin shares several ways he incorporates golf into his executive coaching. In his executive coaching practice, Severin uses golf when coaching “one-to-one or in tryouts” for peer advisory groups. Other times, Severin will host executives and clients in a golfing tournament. For clients and executives who do not play golf, Severin will take them to Top Golf. Severin explains that “in business golf, it’s not about your golf. It’s about your client.”

Download the transcript

Transcript_Severin Sorensen_Podcast #1045
Download PDF • 399KB

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