I was at a golf outing last week and what I witnessed puzzled me. Now, let me stress this was not a professional golf tournament. This was a charity outing that hosted amateur golfers (in every sense of the word). Needless to say, the course record was undeniably intact.
As I began walking to the driving range to hit a couple balls and warm up, I saw a huge crowd forming around the fitting tent. As I got closer, I noticed a few golfers testing out the newest drivers.
Here is where it gets interesting for me. I consider myself to be an inquisitive person and always like to know what is going on. True to form, I decided to postpone my warm up, put my golf bag down next to the testing area, and began to listen. The foolishness that was coming out of these folks’ mouths set off a light bulb in my head. These folks selling the equipment insisted that if these amateur golfers bought this new $400 driver that had all these fancy adjustments and could supposedly correct a hook or a slice, then it would help them elevate their game and play like a professional. Seriously?! C’mon man.
If you read any of my earlier blogs, I have a strong opinion (dislike) for the “skinny pill” solutions. Needless to say, this sales pitch made me laugh. I began to think about how this “must-have golf club” related to all of the folks I talk to in the business world. Most of them get enamored by the new, shiny product that supposedly can “cure” a bad golf swing instead of assessing the actual problem; the operator of the golf club.
Leadership, like golf, is a simple concept, yet very hard to execute. This, in my opinion, is because of all the moving parts. At Solutions 21, one of our areas of focus is to work with company’s emerging leaders. And, just like the aforementioned example, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution in developing folks. Developing leadership skills, just like a golf swing, takes repetition. Moreover, it takes correct repetition. Spending time swinging a golf club incorrectly only reinforces bad habits. The same holds true in developing leadership skills.
If the statement, “People are our most valuable asset” holds true, why do we continually fall short of upholding that statement? If you truly want to invest in your people and see actual results, stop buying them a “new driver”. It is not going to make them hit the ball straighter, longer, or improve their overall game. In order to make a positive and sustainable change, time, accompanied by intentional practice, review, and development, is not only essential. It’s necessary.