Tag Archives: Dave Haynes

Friday’s 4-1-1, What We Can Learn From Golf Style

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I had the pleasure of playing golf with some great guys early this week, my kick-off to DSE. I played with Dave Haynes, Bill Trainor and Andy Bruce (first time meeting Bill and Andy – great guys). All told, there were about 40 people (all in the industry) at the outing, and it ended up being an overall great time. Golf, almost anytime is enjoyable for me, regardless of how I play, and Monday was no exception. It’s such a great game and although I find it extremely frustrating most of the times, it can be equally rewarding. Just like work. There are many parallels. So, today’s Friday 4-1-1 is dedicated to those parallels.

1. Focus – golf is a game of focus. And the times where you’re actually doing what you’re out there to do – hit the ball – it requires an incredibly intense focus. Unfortunately, focus alone does not a great golfer make. There are many other facets of the game that you have to succeed at to be successful on the course, which is a lot like work. Focus is key to actually narrowing your mind & thoughts to the task at hand. Its intention is to cut out distractions. If and when you focus, you can then turn your attention to the finer points of the craft. Like…

2. Tempo – golf is a game of tempo. I generally don’t have good tempo on the course because I want to hit the snot out of the ball. The beautiful thing about golf, though, is that you don’t have to swing hard to hit a great shot. If you’re swinging with good tempo, the club will do the work for you and you’ll typically end up with a pretty good shot. And then if you can replicate that tempo enough to become consistent, you’ll turn into a pretty good golfer (at least good enough to hold your own at an event like this.) Same thing at work – you don’t have to try to crush every single problem/situation with the biggest, baddest idea or solution. Often times, the easiest, least strenuous solutions are the best. And when you start to understand good solutions over bad, it’s easier to get into a groove. And then, you can work to establish some consistency with your approach and how you actually address problems/situations…and then, well, you’ll get to be pretty good with whatever it is you do. But you’ll also need…

3. Patience – golf is a game of patience. It’s a long game. Whether you’ve hit a good shot or a bad shot, you know that there’s another one right around the corner. You can’t get too high or too low, regardless of what happens during your round. You’ve got to be patient. This is a hard one. Because patience is only part of the formula – the other part is…

4. Persistence – golf if a game of persistence. Unless you want to give up and walk off the course. But for those who want to get better, you have to just keep plugging along. And it’s as simple as that. I’m big on persistence.

“Uh-huh” – Golf is one of those things, like many of those at work, where you can see marked improvement with deliberate practice. If you work on specific aspects of your swing, or of your stance, or of your mentality, and you’re deliberate about it, you will see improvement. It’s the same with work – if there are specific aspects of your work, be it the way you communicate with people, the way you react to situations, the way you deliver a presentation – whatever it is, if you are deliberate in your practice, you will see improvement.

“Duh” – Although two of my best shots were the first and the last shot I hit, there were many more that were not good. Doing something good once or twice or even for short periods of time is not the goal. The goal is to sustain a high level of performance over a long period of time. All of those in-between moments are much more important than 2 singular ones, even if they are important singular ones.

All it takes in golf is one good shot to keep you coming back. The sense of pride and accomplishment you feel is self-motivating. I think you could apply that to anything you do in life or work that you want to do a good job at – when you do it, it keeps you coming back for more.

Happy weekend, everyone. Thanks, again, for reading!