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Please Filter your Influences: What We can Learn from Tiger Woods

On the west coast of America the U.S. Open was played at the critically acclaimed (which ended up being widely criticized) Chambers Bay Golf Course. The U.S. Open is the oldest major championship in golf held in the United States.

Statistically the television companies know that whenever the former number-one golfer Tiger Woods plays, viewer rankings jump north by at least 40%. Woods is as big a draw in 2015 as he was back in 2000, only for very different reasons. Over the past four years we have seen what could be referred to as golfs greatest business plan systematically shredded up by his good self and replaced by a Stephen King horror story. So the 40% spike in interest is now largely due to the golfing public and sports fans anticipating one of either two things. The first is whether Tiger can put in a decent enough performance to get himself into contention on Sunday. The second is to witness (as we have done in his last three tournaments) this dramatic fall from grace and how he deals with a cold reality he should never have had to experience.

How in the heck did this happen? I’m going to tell you – he didn’t watch his filters, he spoke to too many yes-men and not enough wise men. I know. I’ve been in the peak performance arena for twenty-five years and as innately talented as these athletes are, you can still set a match to the whole thing.

The best example of Tigers filter system failing is his most recent. In a nutshell, a friend recommended Tigers latest teacher on the back of some YouTube videos which seemed innovative, yet classically theoretical. Upon further due diligence the Woods camp would have seen that there was very little E + E (evidence & experience) of working with elite players AND creating tangible results. However, the combination of a young stud swayed by his friends heartfelt recommendation was enough for Woods to engage the teachers services.

Like most encounters, there’s always a honeymoon period and this case was no exception. Within two weeks of initiation you could see Woods calling shots on the range and hitting them to order, showing off his new ‘move’ to the world. All seemed bright and beautiful under the illusion of infatuation, combined with sheer talent. Within one month the core issues that needed dealing with came back like a bad smell. What we see today, June 2015 in Tiger Woods, is the direct result of poor choices made when looking through uninformed filters.

My message to you is simple: In this day and age where it seems everybody throws out a spiritual one-liner or a motivational quote from Ghandi on social media, don’t be in a rush to become involved, hire services or relinquish your intellectual crown jewels. Be wary of cheap talk and lip service. Anyone can read a Zig Ziglar book and sound persuasive.

You cannot build a reputation on what you say you’re going to do and you shouldn’t make a career decision based around what someone else says they can do for you. Create a filter that says:

I really appreciate the offer and the opportunity to communicate, but first can you give me a little history on your clients successes and turnarounds?

Create a filter for the good, the bad and the ugly.

Best,

Nick

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