Wednesday, February 6, 2008/
I know why so many entrepreneurs are so keen on golf – yes there’s networking, but also psychology, discipline, and challenge. A bit like business…
Today I had a conversation with a number of business people who were predicting a gloomy economic future. It made me think about the various challenges I have had in business – particularly as a CEO.
It occurred to me that great businesses and great leaders evolve through tough times.
Recently I have become slightly (!) addicted to golf – a game I resisted taking up for a long time – but I now see that it is a game of psychology and understand why so many business people get very involved with golf, apart from the obvious networking opportunities.
You may ask what has this got to do with economic/business challenges. Well, a lot.
Golf is a game where every shot is different and where the environment changes all the time. In fact even if you play the same course over and over, the game is always different.
A bit like business.
Nothing ever stays the same; there are many things you have to keep in mind as you play – the course you are on, the equipment you are using, your own technique. But most importantly, as my great coach Jason keeps telling me, your frame of mind.
He tells me that my frame of mind needs to be adjusted if I want to become really good at golf. I have to be more patient and accepting of the challenges and disappointments, to keep learning from my mistakes, keep focused on the next hole, not the ordinary drive I did on the last, keep practicing and of course keep learning.
Last weekend I went to the Women’s Australian Open and followed the young South Korean player Ji-Yai Shin (19 years old and nerves of steel) and her challenger Karrie Webb – who ended up winning on a third replay of the 18th hole.
This was a really close contest with Shin well ahead at the end of her game, but Webb had three amazing final holes which evened the score. It was the attitude of the contestants that was so impressive – both kept very cool, they kept their emotions well under control.
Watching them play the same 18th hole three times – the thing that was most obvious was their consistency each time – their drives landing very close each time, the way they addressed the ball, seemingly unaffected by the crowds and tension around them.
So back to business – keeping the focus, working consistently and effectively keeping very cool – even in an environment that is a bit noisy and negative at the moment – seems like a great way to tackle the challenges ahead.
And don’t forget the value of a great coach!
To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.
High Heeled Success is Marcia Griffin’s latest book, and is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. It recounts successes and failures along the way and was written to inspire entrepreneurs-particularly women to triumph in business.