You can tell it’s a Monday because he’s writing about golf once more. Well, I’m happy. It’s finally golf weather here in the NY area – if you don’t mind starting off when the temperatures are around 40 degrees, that is. I spent the last couple of days trying to shake off the winter rust. One thing to which I paid particular attention was probably the most under-appreciated – but most critical – part of the golf swing: the grip.
Every golf instructor begins working with you by asking to see your grip. How you hold the club can trigger many issues that even a perfect swing can’t fix since it affects everything in the swing. The interesting thing is that there is no one right approach although there are some very important basics that all good grips have in common. No, I’m not going to spend the next hundred words teaching you about golf grips since this is a business blog. However, there is a business point to be made.
All good grips return the club face to a neutral position at impact regardless of how the club is manipulated during the swing. Your approach to your strategic thinking needs to be the same. Regardless of how the data or discussions swing your thinking, when you reach the time to take decisions – the point of impact – you need to be in as neutral a position as possible to avoid wayward shots. Interpret the data with as few prejudices as possible. Maybe the numbers show your pet project isn’t producing. As Sonny Corleone said, it’s just business, not personal. Keep your grip – and your attitude – neutral.
Neutral thinking draws out alternative solutions to problems or opportunities. It keeps negative thinking at bay and doesn’t let the excitement of the moment when something goes right cloud your longer term thinking. Just as a neutral grip tends to keep the golf ball from going off-line, a neutral approach to business thinking can keep us heading toward the goal. Clear?