Beyond the beautiful fairways and (often) frustrating hole locations, somewhere between the collared shirts and fresh-cut grass, it became obvious to me that there’s more to golf than keeping my eye on the ball and left arm straight. In fact, golf is, in many ways, a reflection of business. Here’s what I mean.
Find the swing
No swing is identical and it’s important to find what works for us and own it. While it’s never going to be perfect and we’ll always experience variations in the distance or spin of the ball, it’s ours to master. It requires focus, refinement and practice. And I suppose the same is true for business. If we feel like we’re losing our swing, it’s probably time to refocus and hit the range.
Every club has a purpose
From driver to putter, there’s a time and place for each club in the bag. And that’s no different than using all of the business tools we have available these days. From web, mobile, social and more, we need to choose which “clubs” to put in our virtual “golf bag” of business.
Tee it up
Driving the ball from a crooked, poorly-positioned tee isn’t a good way to reach the fairway – no matter how great our swing! The same is true in business. For example, research and preparation is important before hitting the road with a new product or service.
The closing can be a game changer
We’ve all had that amazing drive that lands us on the green, right where we want to be. But then we 3-putt. It’s so frustrating! I’ve seen this happen in business, too. There’s a lot of great progress made early on, but the momentum stops and the ball never seems to find the cup. On the other hand, professional golfers are always focused, shot after shot. We should be, too.
Conquer the course
Standing on the tee box is intimidating, especially when we have a big pond between us and the green. But, it really is mind over matter. The pond isn’t going to make the ball travel differently through the air. It’s not a magnet for the ball (although it can feel like it sometimes!). We’ll face obstacles on a daily basis in business, too. It’s how we approach those challenges that gets us closer to the hole. And, more often than not, it’s all in our mind.
Play the wind
We can’t predict the wind or weather, nor can we predict how outside forces will affect our workday. Our ball may get pushed into the trees on one hole, but we’ll know better on the next one and can “play the wind” to get where we want to be.
Learn from the pros
One of the best ways to improve our game is to take lessons. Golf pros, just like business veterans, have the experience we need to take our game to the next level.
So, those are a few ways I think golf is like business.
What do you think? Ready for 18?