Courage Goals Mindset Self awareness

“I do”

As a leader, your first responsibility is to clarify where you’re going and then to align and inspire everyone to follow you on the journey to get there.

I love golf.

It’s one of the best sports out there. Golf is one of those sports that, when you believe you’ve mastered it, it throws you right back to a level where you feel like a beginner again.

Golf is about mastery.

It’s not just about mastering the technique of hitting a golf ball well, but it’s, even more, a battle of the mind. The more you care about what happens to that little ball, the worse you play. 

And vice versa. The less you care, very often, the better you play.

This week we have the Masters tournament in the United States. It’s the only big major tournament played annually at the same golf course. Augusta National Golf Club is a piece of art, the nature environment has been impeccably prepared, and you can see all the beautiful flowers in full bloom.

Even if you don’t like golf, it’s a pleasure to watch.

Sorry for this flowery introduction. I wanted you to sense my passion and excitement for the sport and this tournament.

I’m telling you this story for the reason that matters to you, your teams, and your business.

What makes it even more special this year is the return of Tiger Woods. Tiger recovered from a terrible car accident that almost took his life and shattered the bottom part of his right leg. After he was operated on, his surgeons were not sure he would ever walk again normally, let alone play a game of golf.

But Tiger is Tiger.

It took him one year to fully recover. The story he tells about his recovery is remarkable. He played a tournament late last year, but he had to use a buggy to get around the course. Walking for hours was impossible, but he could hit golf shots. 

Last week everyone thought it was out of the question that he would play in the Masters this week. He showed up for a practice round, and the buzz started to swell immediately.

Would it be possible that he would play and make his comeback at the Masters?

When asked, Tiger did not make any promises, indicated he might play but that it would be a last-minute decision. Those who saw him practice stated that his game looked solid.

Two days before the tournament, during a press conference, he announced that all signs were on green and that he was going to play.

And then, a journalist asked the following question:

“Tiger, do you think you can win the tournament?”

Everyone who knows Tiger knows the answer, but given the remarkable recovery and the fact that he has not played competitively, the question makes sense to any mortal human being.

Tiger’s answer to the question:

“I do.”

Then he explained that he would not compete if he didn’t think he had a chance to win the tournament.

This is how the guy thinks.

He’s one of the greatest sports talents ever born. He has the mindset of a winner, and he won’t quit before he has reached his goal(s).

He simply believes he can win. And he won’t compete if the belief is not there.

Here’s why that matters with whatever we do in our lives.

As a leader, your first responsibility is to clarify where you’re going and then to align and inspire everyone to follow you on the journey to get there.

It’s your job to create the belief that what you want to accomplish is feasible. And if the belief is not there, you might as well quit.

Simple on paper. Hard to do.

Your turn: do you believe?

Do more of what makes you happy!


PS. Tiger did not win the Masters. His game was not solid enough to compete, but he took many lessons away from this experience. That’s what counts most.

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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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