First of all I’d like to set a few things straight. I am not a golf pro, this post however is aimed at those that are. You may also be questioning why there is a picture of a book cover that is about the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. Well thats what I’m about to get to.
The All Blacks are renowned for being the greatest sporting team on the planet these days. They have won 18 test matches in a row, back to back world cups and had a win rate of 82% from 2000-2009. No doubt this is even higher now. The book pictured above is honestly one of the best reads I have had in that it takes from the All Blacks their structures and beliefs that enable them to be so successful and applies them to people running businesses and every day life. I could honestly spend hours talking about it and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone but I don’t have time to do that, so I want to focus on one point in particular.
In 2004 the All Blacks got thumped by South Africa. They hadn’t had the best season, players were more interested in drinking off the pitch rather than playing on it and some were threatening to leave. Something had to be done. The coaching staff and small group of leading players sat round a table for three days and devised a plan to take them to where they are now. Needless to say it worked and there was one key word central to this: Purpose.
If the management team were going to set goals for the All Blacks to become the greatest, then the players had to as well. They had to give themselves a purpose for playing, whether that be family, legacy, enhancing the jersey, anything so that they could remain driven. – The more you have to play for, the better you play.
What holds any team, organisation, business, nation or religion together and makes them successful is the same sense of purpose. If everyone is on the same page then working towards success is easier. Further still, its our purpose that we identify with, its the thing or things we recognise and see as important to ourselves and its our purpose that has the emotional power to shape our behaviour.
The All Blacks focus on purpose almost obsessively, as George Enoka, part of the management team said its about ‘what are you going to bring today’, ‘how are you going to fill that jersey’. New York Times columnist Daniel Pink applies this to every day life: ‘Humans by nature, seek purpose – a cause greater and more enduring than themselves’. And this explains why people leave well-paid jobs for ones more purpose driven, why we volunteer or why we have children.
Inevitably though, purpose maximisation is taking place alongside profit maximisation. Although a study conducted by John Hopkins university found that 78% of participants felt that finding a purpose to life was more important than making a lot of money, that still left 22% that thought the opposite. Naturally then the two co-exsist to some degree.
And this is where I will relate to the question of this article, Why am I a Golf Pro?
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple never set out with the primary objective of making money or beating the competition. His purpose was to make the greatest thing ever. And this now filters down to everyone that works at apple who share the common purpose of creating the best technology out there. Because the purpose is greater than the individual the profits and success naturally followed and Apple are now the biggest tech company out there.
As part of running Grip Pro I have come across many golf pros whose purpose I am not sure of. Yes margins, profit and money are important to make a business successful but that shouldn’t be the sole focus. Most golf Pros have played since they could walk, because they have a love for the game. As they have grown into the position of golf pro at whatever club, their purpose surely has to be to provide a service and pass on the love for the game to every member they are ever in contact with. And the key words there are every member. If they do this then its proven that profits will then look after themselves.
More specifically to Grip Pro, we have found from our research that there is a gap out there consisting of golfers that currently can’t find or don’t have a service to make sure their grips are well looked after that suits them. I have had many golf pros say to me that they won’t buy Grip Pro because they think it will take away from their re-gripping services or because they make better margins on selling new grips. Whilst in a few cases this may be true, the purpose of the pro here is money driven. He or She is automatically not providing a service for what we have found to be 58% of golfers that value the grip, want to look after it but can’t afford to replace it or don’t play often enough to see replacement as a viable option.
If we go back to a Pro whose purpose is to provide a service, to help and encourage those playing the sport and to pass on knowledge the only reason for not stocking Grip Pro, or any other gadget, training aid or piece of equipment would be because it doesn’t work. These Pros are the successful ones who run a profitable shop and who’s members value their time and knowledge.
Start by asking ‘why?’, ‘why am I doing this?’, ‘why am I sacrificing my time for this?’. The answers to these will have the ability to transform and activate individuals who you teach and provide a service for!