Watching the British Open at Royal Lytham was a bit like watching a car crash as you witnessed Adam Scott implode. To be 4 up with 4 to go – and then lose will be hard for him to recover from.
However, I was also very happy to see Ernie Els win as I really think he is a class act.
Reflecting upon the event I am struck by the lessons all us entrepreneurs, managers and CEOs can learn from this victory from Ernie, as it is not without a great story.
Lesson 1: Always do the best you can do.
While Ernie even commented in his speech that he was gifted this victory, it takes nothing away from the fact that he had posted a great score, and finished with that brilliant birdie.
Like Ernie, we all need to consistently do the best job we are doing. Ernie focused on delivering the best score he could, irrespective of what was happening around him.
Don’t get transfixed on what others are doing – if you are happy with your strategy, then stick to it.
Those that forced it and changed their tactics yesterday went home without the Claret Jug!
Lesson 2: Never give up!
Ernie had not won a major in 10 years and during that time his game went into the doldrums. He had to change his game and learn new skills.
If the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same things expecting a different result, then we need to realize that unless we are learning new skills we will get left behind.
I am reminded here of an article that Gini Dietrich wrote about the need for CEOs to embrace new technology and social media (worth a read!) and this goes for all of us who must shift out of comfort zone and learn new skills, and acquire new knowledge.
Like Ernie, even if we are not getting the results today, we must persevere and remember that winners and true leaders never give up!
Lesson 3: Belief
Ernie mentioned in his winning speech that he “believed” that he would win another major.
Do you believe that success will be yours?
This inner belief is a requirement for leaders in todays world. This is not just an intellectual belief, it is also a deeply held emotional belief and certainty that victory will be yours.
This sort of belief is not just needed on the final day of the tournament – it is needed every day. You cannot just switch it on – it must be present all the time, even when the results are not coming.
Lesson 4: It’s about the team
During is winning speech, Ernie made at least 2 references that his victory was down to his team and that it would not have been possible without them.
Ok, he went out and played the round, but he acknowledged that it was the preparation, commitment and belief of the team around him that propelled him to take home the Claret Jug.
Do we appreciate the contribution of our team? As leaders do we acknowledge the part they play? Have we got the best team around us? Are we developing the team we have?
Only you can answer that!