Setting the course for your business or your department can be broken out simply enough. Here in ZooCrew central, I usually stick to the tried and true 3 step formula: Strategy, Structure (people or organization), and Execution (or “Process” if you’d like).
Alan Mulally, one of my business heroes, does it slightly differently. He says to set the vision, create the plan, and then work the plan hard. If you haven’t read the book American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford, do yourself a favor and get it. It’s great.
American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford. Must read. Don’t argue with me, just read it and thank me later.
Two years ago when we started the journey to rejuvenate the Callaway brand, we followed a formula quite like this one. We wanted to be the most aspirational AND the most accessible company in golf.
We talked about executing this using “Alt-marketing,” which was just a way of demarcating the lines between the traditional, familiar, and formulaic with what would become our own unique multimedia, newsroom/morning show approach. And then of course, we worked and have worked this plan to the best of our abilities. Some more diligently than others (relax, @HashtagChad, it was just a joke!)
Alt-Marketing at It’s Finest. The Callawaygolf.com Homepage.
But this column isn’t about the Callaway brand or our business. No, it’s about something much more important…all of our golf games!
To improve in the game, I think we all need to do the exact same thing we’d do if we were trying to excel in business. What kind of player do we hope to become (our vision), how do we plan to get there (complete with metrics), and then work that plan aggressively and with a great level of commitment.
Let’s take me for an example, and believe me, this pains me to admit this. Last year, I wanted to become a much better player. To me, that meant I wanted to dramatically improve my fundamentals and be able to consistently score in the mid 70s, irrespective of tees and venue.
I was starting about 5 or 6 shots worse than that. So in essence, I wanted to trim about 3 or 4 shots off my index. I was starting around a 7 index, so that meant I would end 2013 around a 3 index. Not only that, but I was going to document my journey on my web column.
So how did I do?
Well, in a word, FAIL.
Ouch. Haven’t seen one of these since college.
Ok, let me elaborate on that. I started strongly, taking several lessons and really working hard on my game. I could see some very real results, not so much in my scores necessarily, but in my ball striking and the consistency of my golf swing. I could definitely feel myself improving and certain aspects of my game got significantly better.
But then about mid year, I was traveling a lot more for the pirate ship job, was playing a lot less, and was certainly not practicing nearly as much as I should have. And my instructor, “The Man” Randy Peterson, was seeing less of me at the Ely Callaway Performance Center.
Overall, my index dropped only a shot, anchored mostly by my very poor putting. One. Stupid. Shot.
I hate golf.
Wait, no, I LOVE GOLF!
So here we go again. In order to get somewhere, you have to first know where you want to go. And now I restate and recommit to a vision of Harry Arnett as a much better golfer.
I begin 2014 as a mediocre 6.5 index. Still plenty good enough to crush any basement dwelling internet golfer in my singles match in last year’s Grandaddy event (sorry, Hawk), but not nearly the type of player I’d like to be.
In 2014, I would like to cut my index from a 6.5 to a 3.5 and be a much more confident, more consistent, and better player.
How will I do it?
-Continue my lesson path and see “The Man” at least once a month, with a stretch goal of being twice per month.
-Practice golf 2 times per week, 40 minutes minimum.
-Focus on the proper impact mechanics and creating a proper release of the golf club, initiated by the lower body.
-Create and practice a putting routine to duplicate on the golf course
-Improve my sand game so that I can get up and down at least 1/3 of the time (now how’s that for a reachable goal?)
-Improve my overall flexibility (not sure how but @sdrhicg is trying to talk me into yoga).
-Play at least 50 rounds of golf in 2014 (I hit this goal right on the number in 2013).
-Go on a golf trip to Ireland (this isn’t related to being a better player, but if I don’t put it in there, it will never happen and I’m dying to go at least once in my life).
Did you notice that each bullet actually has something in there that is actionable and measurable? This is critical. I think I failed to do that last year. No wonder I didn’t accomplish my goal. How do you know you’ve arrived if you have no idea where you were going in the first place?
What are your golf goals for 2014 and how will you stick to it?
Tweet me @HarryArnettCG. Let’s discuss.