Monday, March 30, 2009

Tiger Woods Continues to Add to the Legend

"I'm in serious disbelief. I don't think I've ever seen him make a putt when he had to have one. And that was the epitome of sarcasm right there. The guy is amazing. I am in awe. I don't want to say shock. I'm in awe.

"It was unbelievable drama. I tried to stay in my own world. ... It's kind of hard when you're seeing what you're seeing. Obviously Tiger, when he needs to step up, he does it. It was impressive to watch."

--Zach Johnson, PGA golfer who was in the final threesome with Tiger Woods, who Sunday won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.

Tiger Woods came from five-shots behind on the last round. Woods is a five-time winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, yet he has never won when he was trailing going into the final round. His largest final-round comeback on the PGA Tour was five shots in the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He once overcame an eight-shot deficit in the 1998 Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand.

Sean O'Hair's five-shot lead was the largest at Bay Hill since Woods led by five in 2003.

Woods came to the 18th hole tied with O'Hair after a bogey at the 17th and hit a 7-iron from 160 yards to 15 feet. O'Hair had already knocked his second shot on the green, leaving himself a 40-footer that he lagged to within 3 feet for a par that would have meant a sudden-death playoff if Woods missed.

Excerpts from (March 30, 2009)

Friday, March 27, 2009

The End of the "To-Do Lists"

Where has a "To-do list" ever gotten anybody?

Time management gurus stick to the notion that having a sound "to-do list" is a great tool for efficiency and productivity. Nothing new has come out of the time management field in a long time. Of course, there is some value in having a "to-do list." And, granted, it feels good to check-off or put a line through each item. You may even feel relief in knowing that you may have gotten someone off your imaginary back. But, is that real value? Will your feeling last? Who cares?

Let's think. Do you really get a sense of satisfaction out of getting those types of items done. Will you really remember accomplishing anything when you look back on the day? Do you really feel that you have achieved anything? I say not.

I talk to executives and managers all the time. I particularly find that during job interviews candidates are drawn to jobs and opportunities in which their talents will be deployed to make a difference. However, in most instances, once they are hired and as their role is developed and clarified, their performance is often measured in small ways; in ways that reflect the old "to-do list" mentality. Their talents are wasted, the company flounders, and disappointment sets in all around. It is a set up for failure and disillusionment; an opportunity thrown away.

What about a "to-make-a-difference" list? What about a well-thought out list of high-impact actions that will add long-term, lasting value? What about a list of "game-changing" moves that will be remembered well beyond today? What about actions that will be easily shared by others and quickly remembered at annual review time? What about actions that support your vision of success, for you and the organization? Think about that the next time you start jotting down your "to-do list."

Instead, make it a "to-make-a-difference" list? How different will that list be? How different will you feel putting a dent in that list? I can hear the change in your energy level and motivation already. Go ahead, try it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tim Tebow Pledge Is Immortalized

“To the fans, the Gator Nation, I’m sorry. Extremely sorry. But I promise you one thing: a lot of good will come from this. You will never see a player, in the entire country, play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season. And you will never see a team play harder than we will play the rest of the season. God bless.”

--Tim Tebow, University of Florida championship quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner.

University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer had junior quarterback Tim Tebow's speech engraved on a plaque and placed outside the front entrance to the new football facility at Florida Field.

Tebow's speech was an emotional promise he made after the University of Mississippi Rebels upset Florida 31-30 on Sept. 27, 2008. The Gators responded by winning the remainder of their games to qualify for the BCS Championship game and beating Oklahoma 24-14 to win the school's second national football title in three years.

Excerpts from (March 26, 2008).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rivalry or Respect: Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal

"People forget it's not only about forehands and backhands. Both these guys display character you don't always see in big-time athletes. Look at Michael Vick and the steroid-users in baseball to see how poorly some represent their sports. Tennis is lucky to have this duo at the top."

--Chris Evert, publisher of Tennis magazine and former championship woman tennis player, discussing the significance of the mutual respect within the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Excerpt taken from (April 2009).

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Terrell Owens: Peak Performance Case Study

Should any NFL team take a chance on Terrell Owens, the recently released wide-receiver of the NFL Dallas Cowboys? Should the Cowboys have released him? Should the Cowboys have ever signed him as a free-agent in the first place?

The Peak Performance System provides us with a useful model to assess Terrell Owens professional equity and value as a performer; past, present and future. Let's take a look.

First of all, the definition of peak performance is the ability of a individual, team or organization to attain a consistent and sustainable high-level of performance over a long period of time. The seven components of what specific behaviors make a peak performer are described below:

1. VISION(ing)-- the over-arching process by which individuals, teams and organizations determine their desired upper-level big-picture, high-impact final result.

What is Terrell Owens' vision? What does he find most important?

T.O. has proven that he clearly values glowing individual statistics, opportunities to showcase his talents, displaying his superior trash talking and opportunities to taunt opponents with post-touchdown rituals and dances. He focuses on personal attention-getting behaviors regardless of their negative impact on the Cowboys. It is all about him rather than his team. Football is a team sport and success is measured by winning and by championships, not individual statistics. T.O. does not have a vision that corresponds to the team or organizational goals of many if any NFL team in the league. He has short-term, individual goals in mind. GRADE: F

2. FAST-FORWARDING-- the ability of individuals, teams, and organizations to identify likely significant barriers to achieving their vision.

Terrell Owens not only lacks skill in his ability to see what barriers are likely to be encountered in achieving team goals; he also seems to have a short-range view of the attainment of his individual goals. He places a much higher priority on his individual goals, but rarely understands the barriers that may hinder him or the team from achieving their long range goals of winning championships. He has yet to take responsibility for his role in the failures of his teams to win the Super Bowl. GRADE: F

3. MENTAL MINDSET-- the ability to consistently remain positive, productive, proactive and focused on team and organizational goals as well as the ability to control his emotions for the good of the whole group.

Terrell Owens has been described as a cancer in the locker room of each team for whom he has played. He has lost the support of every front office, head coach and quarterback for whom he has competed. He has lost his temper and composure while undermining the team at every juncture of his career. Additionally, his reported suicide attempt through drug overdose can hardly be seen as a sign of mental/emotional stability. None of his teams have reached nor won the Super Bowl, the dream of every NFL team.

4. GAME PLAN-- the end product of brainstorming sessions, strategic and tactical discussion that focus on the building of successful behavioral steps required to attain the vision. Game plans require massive amounts of honesty, openness, constructive feedback, communication and cooperation.

Although, Terrell Owens is consistently able to prepare himself physically, he has only periodically been able to follow or support the team game plan. He expends excessive energy questioning the game plan before and during games. He insists instead on having the offense revolve around him in order to maximize the number of catches and touchdowns for whom he is given credit. GRADE: D

5. PREPARATION/REHEARSAL--This refers to the ability to get ready to perform through structured and deliberate behavioral practice and repetition.

On the surface it appears that this is T.O.'s strength. By and large, he demonstrates an ability to prepare and perform at an individual level that is quite high. However, the media circus and series of distractions that surround him can often be more of a distraction than it is worth to the rest of the team. GRADE: C

6. EXECUTION-- This refers to the ability of a team to perform the game plan as designed and to the best of their ability.

Once again, on the surface, T.O.'s star quality, exciting plays and touchdowns can mask his toxic need to be the center of attention. His primary interest is to get the ball in his hands and to prove that he is a great receiver. He prefers to excel individually and to prove that he is the focal point of the team. He is willing to sacrifice team performance for individual star value. GRADE: D

7. REVIEW-- This refers to a winning, competitive mentality that values continuous improvement and learning through the evaluation and re-evaluation of performance for the purpose of eliminating errors and mistakes.

Terrell Owens has demonstrated an inability to learn from his mistakes. His tenure with each NFL team has been amazingly similar with initial periods of good behavior followed by disruptions, temper tantrums, emotional outbursts, and, finally, the inevitable erosion of team chemistry and harmony. GRADE: F

Should Terrell Owens have been signed by the Dallas Cowboys? The signs are clear that the Cowboys have regretably damaged their championship window of opportunity and will have to rebuild their team due to taking a gamble on a troubled, yet supremely talented wide receiver.

Should Terrell Owens be signed by another team? Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. So, I think the answer is clear. No team should take chance on T.O. without accepting the risks and expecting a short period of performance followed by a quick decline of the entire team.