Apparently Tiger Woods NEVER learns a lesson

I’m not a fan of golf; have no interest in it; the only iron I care about is the one in the hotel closet to get the wrinkles out of the purple shirt I’m about to wear before I present. But the other night, while visiting family, I found myself watching the end of a golf tournament. Now the whole time I was sitting there (maybe 25 minutes) all I could think was when this was going to be over. I’d rather be sitting in the movie theater watching Sex and the City which I narrowly escaped taking my mother to see.

Anyway, Tiger Woods lost.

After he lost Tiger was asked a brief question by the sports commentator out on the course. I don’t remember the exact words but basically he was asked if anything good would be taken away with this loss. In other words……Did he learn anything?

Tiger’s response was “NOTHING.” He talked about three mistakes and if he had not made them he would have won.

Hey Tiger, you lost! You made three mistakes. How about telling us what the three mistakes were. How about telling us what you/we can learn from those mistakes. Although in the grand scheme of things he’s probably got bigger mistakes he’s trying to learn things from these days.

I’m absolutely fascinated and amazed by people who become the supposed “best” at something and then they think they cannot learn anything or take anything good away from an upset, defeat or loss. Or worse yet, when they cannot see the teaching opportunity available to their fans when they screw up.

Now on the flip side at least he admitted that there were mistakes made. He didn’t blame the wind or the sun or birds or someone heckling him in the crowd. He made mistakes. People do that. I don’t know about you but when people who are the supposed best in their field; on top of their game; make a mistake, I want to know what they did. There is clearly something we can all learn from it. I’ll even go as far as to say as “the best” owe it to people.

So here are my two thoughts for you today:

  1. When you are the supposed best (or even just really good) at something you have an obligation to teach others. The day you can’t turn an unpleasant experience into a teachable point is a very sorry day; even if you’re Tiger Woods. And if you’re not the best at something here are some things for you to ponder as well:
    • What are you doing to become better? Even if it is something you’re good at. How are you educating yourself? Or better yet….how are you changing the world in which you play?
      • When I designed The Meeting Playce Mat it came as a result of people telling me that they were on meeting overload. They were telling me that they had too many meetings; they weren’t paying attention, or they just were bored. The felt trapped into endless meetings that were just no fun. So I came up with something that engages people in the meeting and makes it fun. That is why people turn to me; to add some fun to their meetings and events while providing a learning experience or learning tool. Sometimes I get to do it in person, other times via a product. But in the end I looked at the opportunity I could provide others; an opportunity to take what was a perceived unpleasant experience and change it; make it into something else. That’s all. When you hear phrases like “that meeting sucked” or “what a total waste of my time” or “did we all really need to be there” I see an opportunity to make that experience better; to force people to look at the role they played in the meeting – or in most cases, didn’t play – even when the meeting sucks. What product, service or idea can you offer the people in your life who are whining about things?      
  2. Don’t be a Yes Man (or Woman)! When you’re asked a question how about answering it. I don’t know, yes, no, and nothing are not answers. As I watched the commentator interview the other “losers” at the end of the tournament they all spoke for a few moments; Tiger…..about 15 seconds; if that. When I am asked a question I take the stance that my opinions matter and that the person is asking me either as the expert or as a trusted source of an answer. Give people what they are expecting from you. Make a commitment right now that one, two and three word answers are no longer a part of your life.

So I guess that 25 minutes wasn’t a total waste of time after all. Probably like some of those meetings a lot of you complain about.

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