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The $1 Million Putt!

June 25, 2015

Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Open by one shot.  There was a dramatic ending because he blew a putt on the 17th hole and unfortunately for Dustin Johnson, he missed a putt on the 18th hole.  However, each of them had four days of other golf shots where just one less stroke or putt would have changed the outcome.

In the case of the U.S Open, the one-shot difference created an extra $922,856 payout to the winner.  Jordan received $1,800,000 and Dustin and Louis Oosthuizen (who he shared second place with) each received $877,144 (not quite a million dollar difference.)  Dustin also earned golf immortality with his U.S. Open win.  Three players were tied for ninth place scoring even par for the four days with just five shots more than the winner.  They each received $235,316 ($1.5 million less or $300,000 per stroke.)

Relating this to reality… Is a golfer shooting 275 significantly better than one shooting 276, or for that matter, shooting 280?  Probably not, but the perception is that the winner is.  We seem to honor and respect competitive excellence and winning.  There is a fine line between winning and coming in second, but perception broadens the gap tremendously.

In business, most competitors are similar with some just a little bit better.  However, some are much more successful than the others.  It is perception of their quality and ability that sets the more successful apart.  In business, the winners do not receive awards, but growth and greater profitability making it extremely important to manage perception.

Managing perception needs a resolve and company-wide attitude of excellence and not just a rarely noticed mission statement tacked on a wall.  It needs regular support and reinforcement by the owners and top management that is transmitted to and acted upon by everyone in the organization from the topmost down to the newest team members.  It needs to apply to everyone, every day in every instance.  There can be no relaxation of the attitude and quest for excellence.  Company leaders need to be consistent in their message and live the part 24/7.

In the golf tournament, as in other sports contests, the drama comes at the end, but a one-shot-better first-day effort would have the same effect in the final result.  A lesson for you: everything and every action counts.  What each person does each time has to be treated that it can affect the final outcome – and the perception of others.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 6hawthorne permalink
    June 25, 2015 6:52 pm


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