Posted on April 22, 2013 by Keith
Mondays are no fun. As you might know if you’ve been on the screed on a Monday, I spend most of my weekends when the ground isn’t covered with snow playing golf.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mondays are the days when my obsession with the game (and my lack of golfing prowess) usually shows up here. This Monday, it’s about a thought I had while I was playing in a tournament on Saturday. I was playing on a team with a person who had clubs that were at least 10 years old. Golf technology changes very rapidly, and his driver was the size of my five wood (meaning it was way smaller than any modern driver). The shaft of the club was slightly bent down by the club head and I had no clue how he could hit the ball.
Hit the ball he did – some of our team’s best drives came off that club. In fact, he hit some amazing shots both good and bad. My favorite was a worm-burner that rolled and rolled and rolled maybe 150 yards until it stopped rolling 10 feet from the pin. Which reminded me of the old golf adage “it’s not how, it’s how many” which is my business thought today as well.
It seems to me we spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing the tools we use in business just as there’s an equipment obsession in golf. Those are really about the “how.” No matter what tools you’re using, none of them matter if you’re not being consistent and clear about what you’re trying to do with them – the “how many.” It’s easy to get caught up processes and in so doing you miss a focus on achieving the real goal. If you haven’t clarified the things you want to accomplish over time, there’s little chance of success. The tool or app is less important than the way you use it. The process isn’t the business.
We’ve all had bosses who focused on when a report was delivered and then never read it to see what was inside. Woe be to those who missed a deadline, even if the work was crap. That’s “how”, not “how many.” Take an extra day and achieve perfection is my preference. Hit one long and straight with a crooked driver. Make a par with an awful shot that winds up next to the pin. There are no pictures on the scorecard, folks.
You with me?
Filed under: Consulting, Thinking Aloud | Tagged: advice, business, business thinking, golf, management, managing | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 9, 2013 by Keith
Great game played by Michigan and Louisville last night in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It was everything a championship game should be for the most part: great action, close scoring, and some interesting story lines. I wish that two things had been different the officiating had been better (both teams got screwed on a number of incorrect calls) and that the Wolverines had won. However, besides an excellent evening’s entertainment, I got something else out of the game I’d like to share.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two players - Luke Hancock and Spike Albrecht – were the stories of the game in many ways. When Michigan’s star guard got into early foul trouble, Albrecht came off the bench and scored 17 points before halftime. For a kid who averaged under 2 points a game, that’s quite a performance. Hancock went him one better with a performance off the bench that was so good he became the first non-starter to be named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Both players made an excellent business point which is today’s thought.
There are a dozen players on a basketball team and yet only five play at once. Generally the rotation of players, barring foul trouble or injury, isn’t more than seven. Still, every person on the bench needs to stay ready. Every sport has a crew of backup players – those who, for one reason or another, don’t play as much on game day but are integral parts of the team.
It’s the same in business. Every person on the team needs to understand the game plan and keep their skills sharp even if the plan isn’t for them to be the main players that day. I wanted “bench” players on my business team who understood that their job went beyond the time when they were front and center. When you’re out of a game for a spell, your job isn’t to rest. You have a wider perspective - you can see the entire floor or field. Help your team with your observations. For business, this means, for example, reading drafts of presentations carefully and offering suggestions not sitting around pouting because you’re not the one giving the show. Who knows – like Albrecht and Hancock, you might get a chance when you least expect it. Be ready – the chance may not come a second time.
Filed under: Helpful Hints | Tagged: advice, Basketball, business, business thinking, life, life lessons, Michigan Wolverines, NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship | 1 Comment »