The Art of Golf & Management

May 10, 2011
MBAcademy – interview with Steven Stromp, speaker at the Art of Golf & Management seminar

Q: Mr. Stromp, what is the relation between playing golf and the successful corporate management?

The conditions of market require a manager to have the same focus and agility a professional golfer needs to overcome the hole by hole challenge of changing conditions, such as wind, sun and trees.  A manager must be adapting at leading change and teams in an interconnected global marketplace.  

Q: Are there similar rules in business and golf?

Etiquette requires golfers and businessmen to follow more than just the rules of the game, but to stand out through taking responsibility to the community, employees and customers.  Golfers are as competitive as any athlete, but the ethical code of a professional golfer would not accept a victory tainted by breaking the rules even if nobody sees them break the rules.  

Q: Do you think this year Bulgarian economy will improve or we will have to wait more to witness recovery?

The Bulgarian economy will see improvement by the end of 2011 through 2013.  Bulgaria has a reasonably diverse economic base for it size and location.  Attracting more investment from a wider range of investors would result in a boost to the economy as it adds financial and innovative inputs.  

Q: Did Bulgarian economy manage to restructure and optimize as result of the crises?

This is always the hope.  The government has a tough role deciding when to regulate less and what stimulus actions require more control.  

Q: Do you think that we have seen the worst in the Bulgarian economy or there is still threat and possibility for bankruptcy of companies?

Bankruptcy threats will loom.  Management must remain open to further restructuring and push innovation, creativity and products.  This type of leadership requires action for today and foresight for the tomorrow.  

Q: What do you think are the biggest difficulties for the firms globally and in Bulgaria?

Markets are opening up globally; governments protect industries that may provide short term relief but long term inefficiencies.  The biggest difficulties remain in how leaders in governments choose to regulate capitalistic markets while providing social protection and economic vitality.  For firms, they must drive innovation and improve efficiencies to move past being competitive.  That is done only through better management of a workforce.  Antiquated management practices utilize control over inspiration.  

Q: In your opinion, which sectors will be leading for the Bulgarian economy? Can we say that tourism and its various related topics (such as golf, seaside, etc.) would increase their share in the country's GDP?

Bulgaria posses some of the greatest natural wonders I have seen.  Taking the lead in spending a little on marketing goes a long way in the right markets.  Accessing those tourists that will drop in, spend money, and leave is a great boost to any economy.  One problem is flying into Bulgaria is neither convenient nor affordable.  The reputation of organized crime still precedes Bulgaria and its natural wonders.  When marketing the touristic attractiveness of Bulgaria, perception remains a key factor.