Play Business Like Golf
One of my dreams is to play the top 100 rated golf courses in the world. Often these courses are private country clubs that hold professional golf tournaments. To date, I have been fortunate to play more than 30 of them. Every year, I look forward to Golf Digest magazine’s new rankings to look for new courses I may be able to play.
Imagine getting invited to play golf at a brand new top golf course. You plan your trip for months and finally arrive, excited. On the first tee you hit your first shot right down the middle, around 240 yards. Not able to see the green yet, you hit a three-wood down the left side of the fairway 215 yards. The green should be close now. As you approach your ball, you still can’t see the green, so you ask your playing partner for directions. He informs you this course is unique as there are no greens, pins or holes at which to aim, only a long fairway meandering through the beautiful countryside. The object of this four-hour round is to enjoy the scenery and try your best. No score will be kept, and you’ll just golf all day until quitting time.
Can you imagine wanting to play golf without greens, targets, pins or holes. Seems absurd, doesn’t it? Look at your business. Is it like this game of golf? Are there clear targets for everyone?
Make business like golf
Golf is a competitive and challenging game. There are lots of different shots, club selection is a personal choice, and the game is enjoyed with friends working toward a common goal. No matter what you shoot, you can always improve. The targets are clear, and the greens are easy to see.
Do you play the game of business like golf? Do all of your employees, project managers, supervisors, foreman, field crews, business teams, departments and divisions have clear targets and know where the pin is placed every week? Is the game competitive and fun? Do they know when they make a par, birdie or bogey? Is there a reward for hitting a good shot or being successful? Most employees don’t have clear targets. Without a scorecard or targets, there is no competition and no game or incentives to work harder, improve or do more than the minimum.
To make your business more like the game of golf, give everyone clear targets to hit. Try one of these ideas: weekly targets for most work installed, most product produced or shipped, most customer sales calls, most invoices processed, most bills paid, or most contracts let under budget. Monthly contests can include most referrals, fewest service callbacks, fastest schedule, fewest crew days on a project, largest invoice, best new idea implemented, or most new sales leads. Quarterly achievements can include: most cost estimates, largest proposal, best customer service action, fewest accidents, most job profit, most man-hours saved versus the estimate, most new employees recruited, or accurate on-time job cost reports.
Add a wager
As a golfer, I always play better when there is a small wager on the game. The stakes don’t have to be very high to keep my mind on the game. A $5 bet keeps me focused, improves my concentration, and lowers my score every time. Try adding small prizes to your business targets to get the team excited about winning the game. Simple and fun incentives work as well or, often, better than cash.
The list of ideas to target can be endless, and any target is better than no target. Keep them simple and clear. Playing business like golf is the perfect shot toward shooting par. Keep your head down, tee it high, and watch them fly!
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