Select Page

Blog

The Lessons of Golf

My father was a scratch golfer, defined by the USGA as a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses. My Dad golfed, or caddied with, and for, the best golfers of his day and could easily have turned pro. He labored unsuccessfully to instill this skill in his son, and to this day, I side with Mark Twain who, reputedly, said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled”. But I am a keen observer of golf, for its lessons in humanity, the elegance of the sport, and the gorgeous locations in which it is usually set.

 

Golf is an incredible metaphor for life. It requires great skill and mastery, but more than anything, it requires attitude. The course itself produces all kinds of traps, hazards, and surprises, and how we deal with each of these tells us much about the human holding the club. I once worked for a leader who refused to hire anyone until he had played a round of golf with them – even if they didn’t know how to play – because, he reasoned, there was no better measure of someone’s character.

 

The recent epic success of Tiger Woods is an example. His self-inflicted wounds from what Thomas Friedman has termed, “industrial-scale marital cheating” and his four major back surgeries would probably have put most people out of the game. As Tiger Woods observed,  “Last year, I was lucky to be playing again.” It did put him out of the game for 10 years, during which he failed to win a single major tournament, because he couldn’t muster the authenticity and passion necessary to be the best in the world. And he could sense the antipathy and distrust of his fans as he walked through the gallery. All of this translated negatively into his game.

 

But as he recovered his attitude, ignored the naysayers, repaired his life and kept his focus on being a champion again, he finally came through in the most incredible way. One doesn’t have to be a fan of golf to understand the magnitude of what Tiger Woods pulled off in Augusta. Thomas Friedman, an avid golfer, has written a brilliant op-ed piece in The New York Times which explains this in more depth.

 

When we get depressed, or beaten, disillusioned or disappointed, and when we are faced with all of life’s hazards, traps, surprises, and our own mistakes, it’s the right time – perhaps the best time – for greater resolve and commitment, and to dial up our passion, so that we can perform well and live large.

 

 

See also my blog from 7 years ago: http://www.secretan.com/the-power-of-executive-coaching/

The Shortage of Inspiring Places to Work

Business leaders are crying the blues about the so called, “shortage of talent”. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, where he teaches MBA students. says that when he began teaching MBA students they all wanted to work for...

read more

2018 EDGE (Educate Discover Grow Execute) Conference

On October 4th, 2018, MacKay CEO Forums is holding a one-day conference at the Hilton Toronto. The theme is “Embracing Innovation and Technology”. Keynote speakers include Peter Diamandis and Amanda Lange (see the agenda here), and if you want to know about blockchain...

read more

Ageism

    According to The World Health Organization: Today, there are around 600 million people aged 60 years and over worldwide. This number will double by 2025 and will reach two billion by 2050, with the vast majority of older people in the developing world. I...

read more

Never Give Up On Your Dream!

In the early 2000’s I conducted research to find out what characteristics were common among great leaders, both living and deceased. I learned that first and foremost, great leaders have a powerful connection to a higher purpose—the reason they are here on Earth—what...

read more

Going, Going, Gone!

The Kindle version of my latest book, The Bellwether Effect, is on sale on all Amazon and Indigo websites for US$0.74 (CDN$0.99).  This offer ends Sunday night June 30 after which the price will increase to $12.95 US. So please take advantage of the remaining few...

read more

New Release: The Bellwether Effect

I am excited to let you know that my latest book (#22!) is now available in all markets. Because I believe this message is so important for the world right now, I am making the Kindle version available of Amazon sites for US$0.99 until the end of June, 2018. I really...

read more

Is There Any Priority Higher Than Leadership?

In a conversation I had recently with a prospective coaching client, they explained that they were not yet ready to move forward because "of other priorities".  Are there any priorities higher than effective and inspiring leadership? The way I see things, every...

read more

Replacing Corporate Malaise with Corporate Passion

In my last blog I wrote about the subject of my recently released book—the crisis of disillusionment in, and with, corporate America, the danger this poses to our society, and our well-being, and how we can turn this around. I highly recommend that you watch this...

read more

Starting a Movement – Share Your Voice!

My forthcoming book, The Bellwether Effect is due May 15th, 2018. It is a heavily researched investigation into why there is so much dysfunction in corporate life for so many people and how to change this and regain our passion for work life. (It contains over 70...

read more

Not Everything on the Internet is True!

I am in the process of finishing my next book. As all writers appreciate, the Internet is a wonderful resource for research, fact checking and searching for data, stories, quotes and more. But the Internet is notoriously sloppy as an arbiter of facts. For example,...

read more

Learners and Knowers

There are two kinds of people in the world - Knowers and Learners. Knowers have made up their minds about what they know, have set their beliefs and world-view, are certain that they are "right", and enjoy pressing those beliefs on everyone else. Learners understand...

read more