Building More: Commit Or Swing Away, The Choice Is Yours

Words: Corey Adams

Our yearly golf trip recently came and went. It is always fun to get out there with the guys. It does help when the guys consist of other business owners, sales reps, lawyers, financial guys, and more. You can learn a lot if you just ask questions and listen. That is why I do not want to skip this trip. It is a chance to get out, have a little fun, and get someone trapped in a golf cart with you for a day so you can discuss things on a deep level. I played pretty well against my expectations this year, and by day two I was thinking like a golfer again. That is when the hidden lesson came out.

I had just lost one of my drives to the right. It is a pretty regular occurrence for golfers of my skill level. I had a ton of trees between me and the green, and I had a choice. I could hit the ball back out into the fairway, which is the safest play, or I could try to hit the ball out and around the trees, fading it back to the right around all obstructions. Now, the second option was not the safest, but I knew that it could be done while mitigating risks if I didn’t hit it perfectly. The process I used to determine which way to go felt eerily similar to how we should make business decisions. 

Step 1: Desire. We have to want what we are after. This isn’t an arbitrary number, result, or action. This is a true personal desired outcome of what we are trying to do. This is not about desiring to prevent a negative outcome. We do not focus on the negatives. We all know what they are, and thinking about a negative makes it too relevant in our minds. We need to desire positive outcomes, not to avoid negative ones.  In my case, I was wanting to take the most aggressive shot that I knew I could, without going too aggressive and getting into more trouble. 

Step 2: Plan. Once we figure out what we truly desire in business, life, or just an everyday task, we have to plan for it to work. Goals without plans are just hopes and dreams. The below average golfer steps to a shot without actually knowing how to hit it, where to hit it, how hard to hit it, or what happens if they do not hit it exactly perfect. That is not  a plan. That is just swinging away hoping to strike gold without any idea of where to find it. I had a plan that addressed everything I needed it to.

Step 3: Commit. The most overlooked step in any process. The commitment to the plan. A lot of people want to tell you to commit before you plan. I want you to commit TO your plan. We have all had plans within our companies that did not get full commitment from our team. Without full commitment, the optics are that the plan is flawed. “It’s just not working, our guys do not understand it,” and tons of other generic statements that really just tell me you are not committing to what we are trying to accomplish. I will add that swift to change is important. I committed to my choice of golf shots, but was monitoring the wind as I approached. If it changed, I was fully able to change with it. If it did not change, I was committed to the plan I had formulated.

Step 4: Execute. Once you have dialed in your desire, formulated a plan, made a full commitment, there is only one thing left to do. Take the shot. Just execute it. No thoughts, no questions, no regrets. Just make the shot. This step seems like the hardest, but just like all other processes in life and business, if we do the previous steps right, this step gets easier. If you do not feel comfortable in the execution step, it almost always relates back to a miscalculation in an earlier step.

By the time I got to execute the shot I needed, I had full confidence in myself, and what I wanted to accomplish. Bam, I did it. Hit a gorgeous fade out around the trees and left myself 20 yards short of the green. Now to take the final step of the process, repeat. Walk up and do it all over again.

It might be a bit weird to explain a business process this way, but it helped me simplify the process to use it against all everyday tasks, as well as business systems. These steps act as building blocks. The more you want something, the more you will plan for it. The more you plan, the easier it is to commit to it. The higher the commitment, the easier to execute. If you don’t really desire something, you will never plan, commit, or execute efficiently. 

Go ahead and take the rest of the day off. Grab golf clubs and head to the course. Step up to the first tee and then pause. Ask yourself one question. What do I really want to happen next?

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