There is something really extraordinary going on right now in the sports world and I’m not sure you’re paying attention to it. As it turns out (big shock) I also see a business point in it and that’s our topic today.
If the name “Inbee Park” is unfamiliar to you, it probably won’t be for long. She’s just won the U.S. Women’s Open, the third major golf championship she’s won this year. In context, the last time a pro – male or female – won the first three majors of the year was 60 years ago. That’s amazing but what makes it even more so is how she’s managed to win them all. It’s not because she hits the ball a long way – she doesn’t. In fact, she’s usually using harder to hit clubs from the same distances as other pros because she doesn’t hit it as far. She’s not a lot more accurate either. She ranks 55th in fairways hit off the tee and 17th in green’s hit in regulation. Where she excels is putting. As a golfer I can tell you that I have never seen any pro on any tour putt the way she is putting. She’s making everything of any length – 25, 30, 40 feet. It doesn’t matter. And that’s the business point.
There is an old golf expression – drive for show, putt for dough. A big drive counts just the same as a perfect putt and great putting – as Inbee Park shows – can make a good golfer into a great one. It’s the same for business. Many businesses focus on the “big drive” – flashy new products, for example – instead of excellent putting – the stuff that really matters. When was the last time you and your team thought about not what makes a huge impression but about what makes the cash register ring?
Golfers forget that putting is usually 40%-50% of the shots yet many spend hours practicing their driving which they might do 14 times a round. Businesses need to focus on the little things that happen every day and constantly. That’s how they win. Your business doesn’t have to excel at everything as long as the focus and performance is there on the things that matter and the rest of the performance is solid if not exceptional.
Hitting a booming drive it satisfying but sinking a long putt wins – in golf as well as in business. You agree?