As I was daydreaming about becoming a scratch golfer someday, I pondered what makes pro golfers so successful. Playing great golf, or even good golf for that matter, requires that we trust the fundamentals in our game. Head down, straight left arm, eyes on the ball and follow through are fundamental keys to good golf. Repeat these fundamentals on every stroke and good things will probably happen. This requires us to trust our game.
The same is true in business. Whether you are focused on increasing your company’s profits or reducing your expenses, you have a game. The key question is, “How good are you at trusting your game?”
Many of us have heard the old truism that if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you always got. In analyzing unproductive behavior, it is said that insanity is the repetition of the same negative conduct and expecting different results. There is, however, a positive correlation to these old these old sayings. Success can be attributed to the discipline necessary to repeat the same basic steps that have led to achievement and profitability thus far.
Fundamentally, trusting your game means that you know the game you’re playing and why you’re playing it. You are clear about your goals and intentions and you not only know how to measure success and failure, you know what got you there.
When you trust your game, you accept responsibility as a player and not as a spectator. You have made a commitment to yourself and the other players in the game, as well. You know the other players and where you rank against them. In business, you know the competitive landscape; locally, regionally, nationally and globally but only as a reference point, your focus is on your game.
Trusting your game requires that you utilize your mental, parallel processing capabilities. In parallel processing, you look at the big picture and the entire landscape and simultaneously focus on the moment. This learnable skill takes time and practice to develop and master. In business, parallel processing will enable you to hold on to the long term vision for your business while focusing on this moment’s activities as a pathway to achieving your company’s dreams.
When you trust your game, you are always working on your foundational skills because you know that coming back to the basics is the key to consistency, confidence and powerful execution. You have developed a routine that you consistently practice and implement. In building a profitable business, a foundational skill is consistent, clear and proactive communication. You engage with your leadership team and clients regularly, conduct meaningful, inspiring meetings and follow through with a powerful course of action.
The discipline required to trust your game, means the ability to ignore any naysayers that could shake your confidence. You are not only focused on your “end game” success but the strengths that got your there. But above all, you are playing your game; not someone else’s game.
As part of your game strategy, you have a caddy or trusted adviser who can check your “swing’” because you know that you can’t see your blind spots. You value an outside opinion because your commitment is continuous improvement, not puffing up your ego.
During your game, when you occasionally get in the bunker, you have the right clubs to get out without losing your cool. As with business, when market fluctuations put you in the sand trap, you can rely on your management team to steadily get the company back on the green.
In the midst of play, you know what could potentially get you off of your game and have thoughtfully put together a contingency game plan. You know what has “hooked” you in the past and have worked on your core foundational strengths to overcome and manage your weaknesses.
On the days that you notice that your game is off, you are able to stop and take a moment to see what’s happening within yourself and in your environment. In the moment of pausing, you realize that you have two choices; keep going in the same direction or make a shift and move in a new direction. You are able to make a choice of what is in your short and long term best interests.
When you trust your game, you are highly attractive personally and professionally. There is a confidence, calmness and certainty that people can see and feel. You have the capacity to play your game and contribute to other people’s games. In this role, you can bring value and contribution to the groups and causes you support.
The positive effects of trusting your game will transform the way you approach your daily living and increase your quality of life. When you play your game and trust in the process, you will enjoy the victories of a more successful life and business! Heck, you might even play your best golf ever!
• Kathleen Caldwell is president of Caldwell Consulting Group and the founder of the Global WHEE Institute (Wealthy, Healthy, Energetic Edge) of Woodstock. She works with leaders and teams to play their best game and produce record-breaking results. A “Trust Your Game” resource list is available at www.caldwellconsulting.biz, Kathleen@caldwellconsulting.biz or by phone at 815-206-4014.