A 15 year old young woman won the CN Canadian Women’s Open over the weekend.
Lydia Ko can’t drive cars but she certainly showed she could drive into the middle of fairways as she beat the best women professionals on the planet. She’s not yet one of them – she has retained her amateur status because she thinks she might want to play collegiate golf. That’s a $300,000 decision but one would think she’ll have many years in which to earn that back and a lot more. This isn’t a total shock – she is the current U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion but she did beat a strong professional field so it’s very unexpected.
What impressed me most about her post-tournament interviews wasn’t her achievement. In fact, she sounded pretty much like most almost 16 year olds do – lots of use of the word “awesome” in between the giggles. But she did say something that really impressed me and it’s a great business lesson for the rest of us. This is from her post-tournament news conference:
Q. Lydia, you’re 15 years old. You’ve just beaten the best players in the world. Has it sunk in what you’ve just accomplished, and was there ever a point on the Back 9 where you’re looking around going what the hell is going on here?
LYDIA KO: (Laughs). I don’t know. Like the first time I looked at the leaderboard was on I think 17 or something. Maybe I had a peek or anything. But I kind of looked at it because I wanted to become more relaxed, and today I said I’ve got nothing to lose. I already got the leading amateur in my bag.
And yeah, all I need to do is play my game, and my goal was 4 under, so I shot 5 under, even better.
In other words, she was fearless. Her attitude was “I’m a kid, I’m not supposed to win, I’ve already accomplished a lot by winning the Amateur, I’m learning a lot just by participating so why worry.” How would each of us perform at our jobs if we kept that perspective rather than getting so caught up in the moment or current crisis? That’s my thought to start the week – you with me?