Golf has much in common with business, and you can use your business skills to improve your play as a golfer. Applying golf's lessons to business will lead you to a more productive and fulfilling career. Wander around the course, have fun, and score more pars!

Building a Better Manager Much Like Improving Your Golf Game

Today in the NY Times there is an article entitled The Quest to Build a Better Boss. It is essentially about how Google uses analytics to try and improve the quality of their managers. Having looked at many dozens of variables using data sources like manager feedback, surveys, performance reviews, and so on, the “people analytics” teams identified 8 ‘good behaviors’ that the best managers demonstrated. The article is a fascinating read, especially to those who are in the management profession.

For MorePars’ readers specifically, there are some analogues made to golf that are very insightful and we should all bear them in mind as we work on our games.

The article mentions there are seemingly a zillion tips out there to improve your game, but when you try and keep these all in hour head, you can face “paralysis by analysis.” Similarly, management also contains a multitude of do’s and don’ts. Just as in golf, you can read and memorize all these rules but to actually put them into practice is a much more difficult proposition. The great managers, just like the great golf pros, make it all look effortless. For the rest of us, it is a herculean struggle!

The takeaway here is perhaps narrow down what you are working on to a few key things; ones that will most impact your effectiveness. In the manager’s article, a crucial behavior to have was to “be a good coach. Provide specific, constructive feedback, balancing the negative and the positive.” For golf, and to score MorePars, a general behavior might be, “have a good short game, and be able to chip to within 6 feet and balance that with making the majority of your putts inside that range.”

Good luck and keep striving to make MorePars!

Camilo Villegas Wins Honda Classic and Teaches Us a Lesson!

Oh, to be 28 years old and playing on the PGA tour each week for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars! Don’t we all wish we could do that!

Yet somehow, many professional golfers lose sight of their good fortune. And yes, like any endeavor, playing golf on tour has its disappointments and bad days and can lead to despondency, depression, or worse. But when you sum it all up, come on, this is the life guys! Golf is a game! Let’s have fun and enjoy it!

This, in essence, is what Camilo told the sportswriters yesterday. When asked about his win, he said “my attitude’s a lot better.” He told himself that if he kept a positive attitude he would play good golf. Now, we all know it takes more than that, but your head can destroy your game like no other! And as a NY Times article stated today, “this attitude adjustment phenomenon is starting to become a mini-trend on tour.” Justin Rose is quoted in the article as “trying to get my mind-set back to when I first came out on tour, greateful to be out here, having fun.”

The article ended with a perfect quote that in essence, sums up what the MorePars site is all about. It is the lessons that golf can teach us about business and life in general. Camilo: “We keep growing as a player and as a person. Understanding the game, understanding life, understanding what we do. It’s got great things, it’s got bad things. You’ve just got to enjoy the good ones, put aside the bad ones, try to avoid distractions, and stay committed.”

Congratulations Camilo and thank you for passing on this lesson that I know we will all use to score MorePars in golf, business, and life!


Golf, Business, and Life’s Blue Monsters

In the early 1980’s, I had the good fortune of working in Coral Gable’s, FL, a chip and a putt away from Doral’s Golf Resort and Spa. The PGA Tour just swept through this club just as it has for over 40 years, with Ernie El’s being this year’s winner. The course they play is the famed “Blue Monster.”

Even 30 years ago, this course earned its name for the brutal rough; the treacherous hazards, and the whistling winds. For a long time, the 18th hole had the reputation of being the most difficult hole on the tour. And of course, as amateurs, we simply had to play it to compare ourselves to the Pros!

If you look at the price of a round on the Blue Monster (there are 4 other courses there just as fun and challenging to play that are far more reasonable) it is somewhere between $200-$300 each person. Ouch! Just starting my career back then, even as a yuppie this was out of my price range. But summers are steaming hot in South Florida, so the Doral during that time had a summer membership that allowed us to play each weekend for the summer months for under $80 per round. Those were the days!

The key to having fun on the Blue Monster (if that is even possible!) is to play the tees that are right for you. Of course, we all want to play the back tees and pretend we are pros. This usually produces a very unhappy and discouraging result!

When I think of the Blue Monster, I think first of an enormous challenge; something to shoot for and conquer! I think of my idol’s, the folks I aspire to be to bring out my best! I also experience fear; awe; and amazement. Whether you are on the course, managing your career, and living your life you will have your Blue Monsters. Take them on; have fun with them; respect them; and do your best to manage them. The result won’t always be a happy one, but you will feel more fulfilled that you took on an enormous challenge and didn’t always take the easy way. But be realistic. Don’t beat yourself up week after week on your Blue Monster’s. Just as at the Doral, there are other choices that are just as fun and challenging, that will help build your confidence. The Blue Monster’s will always be there to ensure that your head doesn’t get too big!

Wishing you MorePars as you take on your Blue Monsters!

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