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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Safe to say, Major Dan Rooney will have a more leisurely view of the 38th Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor than he had the last time the biennial event was staged. Two years ago as the U.S. faced off against Europe in Kentucky, Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, was in Baghdad, watching the event on the Armed Forces Network while taking a break from his tour of duty. This time around, he has travelled to Wales to watch in person as an invited guest of U.S. captain Corey Pavin. The captain even asked Rooney to talk to his team Tuesday night after dinner.
So what would a Ryder Cup golfer have in common with a man who spends part of his life piloting fighter jets? A lot, actually. When Rooney climbs into the cockpit of a single-seat, single-engine F-16, he said there is not a more individualistic endeavour in the world. But in truth, every time he flies, he is a significant cog in a powerful team, with many others on the ground and in the air depending on him.
“You become one,” he says of his inherent mission. “When I’m up there in the black skies of Iraq delivering weapons to kids, they’re trusting their lives to me. A lot of accountability exists there.”