Professionalism, is it a Game?

When that sun starts to shine the golf enthusiasts evolve everywhere, even those fairly new at the game develop this undying attraction to get out on the course. I am still at a disbelief why you can play a game so frustrating, that makes you want to smash your club over a rock, and then when suggested you play again the next day, you’re all excited to get out there. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s what happens. It’s like there is this driving impulse inside you making you want to improve, and that’s because as much as you play golf with other people it really is a game against yourself. If golf makes us do everything in our power to perform better then how do we get that drive from golf into our professional careers?Second-Hole-Handicap

The reason we try harder at golf is that we like the game, even when we are doing badly. It’s fun to be outside on a beautiful day and many people I talk with say it is as much about being outside as it is about mastering the game. If we match that to our career we can say that if the environment we work in is a pleasant environment then we will be happy there and enjoy our work atmosphere. In golf we keep score and have a clear benchmark of the goal we want to hit, called the par. In the workplace we could equate that to having clear goals for our position, what are the benchmarks that your employees have to hit to know that they’re being successful in their jobs? On the golf course by learning certain techniques such as how to swing the club properly your golf game will get better allowing you to improve your score. In the workplace if you increase your training or learn better ways to do your job you will increase your professional worth. So you can see that golf in many ways is similar to your job, but there is one thing that really makes the difference. It is mentioned in many books on business and leadership. The one thing that sets us apart from everything else is enjoying what you do. If you enjoy your position or employment you will naturally perform better than the person there just for the paycheque. It doesn’t matter how hard the job is, the workload involved, or the hours way from home, you will exceed at the job if you enjoy it. This is why many entrepreneurs enjoy their businesses even though we often work twice as hard as an employee, it is a love of what you do combined with a drive to succeed. So the next time you are creating those performance appraisals for your team and wondering what is involved in making them perform better, maybe relate it to a game of golf or their favourite sport. Check off the items above such as they like their position, they have the proper training, and they have a decent work environment. Maybe you are missing one of those components that may help them perform better. I know when I had a large beautiful truck as a driver I sure wanted to be driving it, that made me more money, and that kept me on the road. The secret for success maybe in the game itself, so create the game.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a transportation consultant with over 30 years experience and author of the book Running by The Mile. More information can be found on his website www.outridge.ca