The Secret To Beating Tiger Woods At Golf ...
And, Its Correlation To Success In Business!
The game of Golf, although difficult to master, can nevertheless
be narrowed down to three fundamental disciplines: 1) The
Power Game [Driving & Iron Play], 2) The Short Game [Finesse
/ Shots within 100 Yards] and 3) Putting.
Success in golf is largely focused on mastering each skill
'to the best of one's ability' and in so doing, a player's
talent or the lack thereof, becomes evident.
Ask any golfer, even the pros and they'll tell you which of
the three disciplines they are best at and which they find
most challenging. By most challenging, they mean the skill
in which they are least adept - resulting in the highest percentage
of 'Errors' on the course.
In the book, Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible, author and
golf short-game guru, Dave Pelz, studied the best players
on the PGA circuit and compiled some revealing data. In his
research, he ignored a player's swing fundamentals preferring
rather to concentrate only on 'Errors Made' in each of the
three disciplines averaged over thousands of shots and hundreds
of games. More to the point, a Player's Performance Results.
He discovered professional golfers, on average, had an error
factor of 7-8% when driving [including irons]. In the short
or finesse game their error percentage jumped to a surprising
13-26% and he found top PGA golfers - the best of the best
- enjoyed only a 50-50 chance of sinking a six-foot putt.
He referred to these statistics as a player's 'Percentage
That said; who among us would be surprised to find Tiger Woods
with the best all round average Percentage Error Index amongst
the pros? The fact is, Woods is an enigma. Like Michael Jordan
or Wayne Gretzky, he is a rare blend of above average talent
in the disciplines that count which is what separates him
[them] from the rest. In Tiger's case, his ability to consistently
achieve High Performance Results may make him the best to
have ever played the game.
Despite his unquestioned abilities, though, experts and golf
aficionados know he is not the best at any one of the three
golfing disciplines. That is to say, recent PGA standings
show Darren Clark with a 2.9% error factor as the best driver,
Phil Mickelson, master of the short game and Ernie Els the
best at putting with a 1.678 average.
Tiger is not the best at any one discipline - currently ranked
a surprising 51st in the Putting category. He is still, nevertheless,
the best at the game and toughest to beat!
The Power of Three
Hypothetically speaking, imagine for a moment what would happen
if the rules of golf were changed, just a little? What if
players were allowed to take a 'Team Approach' to improve
their chances of winning? Simply put, Tiger would play against
a team of three. Clark would do all the driving, Mickelson
would work the irons and Els would only putt.
The answer is not all that mysterious. With a team approach
Tiger Woods would not stand a chance and the stats clearly
bear this prediction out. In fact, any combination of three
players, one from each discipline [listed in the Pages Top
Ten] would overcome Wood's formidable talents. In the end,
the only mitigating factor would be LUCK - a rather ironic
twist for those who have ever played against the Tiger.
Although the game of golf is and will always remain an individual
sport, the point not to be lost here is if experts were indeed
allowed to compete as a team, three against one, using only
their dominant strengths, they would automatically improve
their win-potential becoming an indomitable force fueled by
an unbeatable Percentage Error Index. To put more succinctly;
regardless of factors like reputation, flair or swing-fundamentals,
they would achieve Better-Performance-Results and Better Performance
Results are EVERYTHING!
Winning golf strategies and business? Where's the correlation?
Few will argue the entire business landscape has been on a
slippery slope for the last three decades. Suffice it to say,
much has changed and many mistakes were made at all levels
in all industries. Little more needs to be said except to
ask, "What have we learned?"
Over the years I have waxed a great deal in articles I've
written about changes in how companies market and sell, the
people they got to do it and how fundamentals as uncomplicated
as that have been anything but static.
Another look in the rearview mirror shows the 1980s ushered
in the computer to mainstream business along with the new
'Technological Era'. Traditional salespeople suddenly became
redundant due to their lack of computer and techno skills.
That was their flaw despite the fact they knew how to sell.
Industries tried to compensate by quickly adopting a new 'Sellers
Model' the Technical Sales-Specialist more affectionately
known as the Techie. For a time this strategy seemed to satisfy
the need to have frontline sellers who were knowledgeable
[comfortable] with the ever-changing complexities of new products
and solutions in what was fast becoming an ever-converging
marketplace. That was, however, until the end of the 80s when
a major flaw was discovered in the Techno Sellers - They couldn't
Looking for answers to why profitability was dwindling and
customer loyalty was a thing of the past, companies were shocked
to find they had frontlines of 'Tellers' not 'Sellers'. Those
in the trenches were blessed with knowledge and abilities
in the technological genre but were sadly lacking in the discipline
of Selling because it clearly contradicted their psychological
comfort and expertise - Technology.
Lacking the skills to frame a professional sale, customers
were left morally unencumbered and free to shop presented
solutions to other Tellers for a better price. Sadly, too
many companies learned this lesson the hard way and didn't
In the 1990s, industries got to work rectifying the Sellers
Model conundrum surmising Techno Sellers needed to change
if they were to be successful. Generic Sales Training would
surely remedy the problem, wouldn't it? And what about the
natural sellers? Couldn't they be taught to be Technical Specialists
Well, anything is possible, especially in theory but often
in practice, unlikely. In the absence of a better plan and
few options companies spent most of the late 1990s investing
considerable time and effort trying to change the spots on
those who were asked to do a lot more with less money, time
There is no better example than the high-tech industries where,
for a while, convergence issues meant network solutionists
and telephony providers had trouble even defining their own
markets and customers never mind addressing the challenges
faced by frontline sellers. These tumultuous times spawned
a great deal of unrest, dissatisfaction, high turnover and
many corporate casualties.
You may now be asking, what if anything has this to do with
Tiger Woods or the Percentage Error Index?
Unlike the game of golf which is not going to change, business
marketing and sales strategies can, should and will.
In order to find credibility in the changes needed for today's
corporate sales strategies, we must first subscribe to Dave
Pezos 'Percentage Error Index' golfing example discussed earlier
in this article. Simply said; Tiger Woods, arguably the best
player to ever swing a club, would prove no competition should
he be challenged by any combination of three PGA top ten players
from the three disciplines [Driving, Chipping and Putting].
The stats are irrefutable.
What we glean from this, is, a combination of competitors
doing 'Only' what they are 'Best' at and nothing more, improve
the Percentage Error Index to a level as to make the odds
of winning, out of reach for an individual opponent - even
the undisputed best.
Would the same 'Team Approach' stratagem, then, derive similar
results for corporate sales? The Percentage Error Index factor,
would it prevail? In a word, Yes.
Top sellers, like golfers, are a blend of strengths and weaknesses
that in the end ultimately determine how well they perform
in each of their respective disciplines. Like Tiger Woods,
the culmination of their innate talents is the stuff that
keeps them ahead of the pack. Like Tiger woods, their odds
of success, predictably diminish should they compete against
a team of vertical experts.
"You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear" or "You can't
change the spots on a leopard" - pick any analogy you want.
The lesson to remember going forward in 2003 is we have to
stop trying to change the dispositions or comfort levels of
those we look to, to champion future corporate expectations.
That's not to say employees can't change or improve but it
should underscore the fact that a 'Team Strategy' designed
to keep players in a comfort zone [intrinsic to them] utilizing
only their natural expertise, is the formula that minimizes
errors and mathematically enhances sales success.
Let frontline salesreps hunt and gather - create the opportunities
for potential sales - that's what they're good at. Don't bog
them down with paperwork. Let them be the team quarterback,
the coach, if you will. Give them the autonomy to coordinate
an approach utilizing a talent-pool of specialists whose vertical
talents blend to provide uncompromising Trust and Rapport
with customers by removing any Risk -thereby endorsing a positive
atmosphere in which to do business.
They should be allowed to work as a team, be accountable as
a team and most importantly, be rewarded as a team. That is
not to imply remuneration should be equal. A hospital operating
room works as a team but with compensations appropriate to
Players should be clear on their responsibilities and the
expertise they bring to embolden the team. There should be
no doubt as to individual Performance-Results-Expectations.
The 'Team Strategy' should be honed and practiced much like
an actor rehearses for a part. Make no mistake; each team
player is an actor confidently playing a convincing role in
his or her discipline focused expressly on: a) meeting the
needs of the customer, b) neutralizing the competition for
their own success, and c) the success of the team and company.
The Bottom Line:
Whether in sports or business, Performance Results continue
to be the quintessential challenge, and, the defining factor
for success. A Team Approach utilizing only the vertical strengths
of each individual is the winning formula that clearly ensures
victory in the competitive corporate marketplace or on the
links - even when confronted by masters like Tiger Woods.
Paul Shearstone aka The 'Pragmatic Persuasionist'
is one of North America's foremost experts on Sales and Persuasion.
His website is http://www.paulshearstone.com
Article Source: www.articlesaz.com
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