I have a saying when it comes to golf—”Whatever club you hit, hit it.”
Club selection is important in golf. If you choose the wrong club, you have little opportunity to succeed. It makes the role of a caddy a vital one. A caddy is called to assist a player in making a wise decision. They can talk the player out of the wrong club and convince them of the right club. (See: Stop Freaking Out)
However, many shots can be played several ways. There isn’t necessarily one right way to do something. Several clubs may be wrong, but a few clubs could be right. While a player has to pick one of the right clubs, they also have to execute the shot. Oftentimes a player will fail to commit to the shot they hit and assume they picked the wrong club. The club wasn’t wrong; the execution was.
Whatever club you hit, hit it. Execute the shot you have chosen to play.
It is true in golf and it’s true in leadership.
Decision-making is vital. It’s an often overlooked art in the world of leadership. In a day where we have more decision-making power than ever, we spend less time learning and teaching the proper way to make wise choices. (See: Dr. Seuss Said You Are Bad at Decision Making)
Yet making the right decision isn’t everything.
An important part of good leadership is also about making the decision right.
As a leader, I can look back on projects and new ventures we started which did not go as we had hoped. At times, we made bad decisions. We got so caught up in what we thought could happen that we overlooked the reality of what we were dealing with. The bad choices led to bad outcomes. Yet there are other times in which I still believe we made the right decision. Others have made the same decisions we made and experienced far better outcomes than we did. We failed not at making a right decision, but at making the decision right. We put so much time and energy into the decision-making process, but then dropped the ball on the execution of the decision we made.
It doesn’t matter what decision you make if you do not make the decision right. If you fail to execute the plan, do the work, and adapt as conditions change, no amount of right decision-making will lead to the outcome you desire. (See: Five Reasons You Make Bad Decisions)
I’ve seen many couples wisely choose a good mate. They did everything they could to make a right decision, but their marriage failed. It didn’t fail because they married the wrong person; it failed because they didn’t do the work necessary to make the marriage thrive. They made the right decision but didn’t make the decision right.
There are two ways to have a bad outcome:
1. Fail to make a right decision. Assume whatever you decide will work. Be deceived into thinking the decision is easy. Fail to do your homework, study the issues, find multiple options, and choose the right one.
2. Fail to make the decision right. Assume after you’ve made a right decision, the rest is easy. Get lazy. Fail to adapt. Stop paying attention to changing landscapes. (See: Do The Work)
In golf you have to pick the club that can give you the best outcome, but you also have to execute the shot.
What’s true in golf is true in life.