As a trainer and motivator, I’m fascinated by the impact people have on their work environment, their peers, on those closest to them. This weekend I watched a bit of The Players Golf Championship. Beautiful day, great players but, frankly it was a bit … dare I say it? Boring.  I surprised myself saying “Ohh, no Tiger,” meaning Tiger Woods. As I watched the players tee, swing and make their shots it was clear that something was missing. “No Tiger” no magic, no legend, no panache. I was really amazed. These were all great seasoned fun players, but what is it about Tiger Woods’ presence that transforms an event, makes us cheer, makes things larger than life? I was intrigued.

I decided to go through my customer service training files, thinking I had made some notes a while ago about Tiger Woods. I found them! The contents help me understand Tiger’s capacity for turning a championship into an event … and reinforce my commitment to keep using my training work to inspire others to reach for more. Here are, what author Nate Booth has called the “Tiger Traits” along with my comments.

  1. Identify and develop your natural talents. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Great ones among us identify both but focus on their strengths, polishing them, building them, using them as vehicles. A great teacher used to tell me “Whatever you focus on grows” and it’s wonderful advice for doing anything from planting a seed to managing a customer service team to running a corporation.
  2. Create a clear, compelling dream. I remember Tony Robbins saying that your goal needs to be so exciting for you that it gets you out of bed in the morning when it’s freezing outside and you’re not feeling well … because its achievement … its allure fires you up profoundly.
  3. Select teachers, heroes, teammates who guide, inspire and support you. It’s hugely important to surround yourself with accomplished, positive people who resonate to your vision and your dream. Their very presence helps nourish you.
  4. Be confident. Build your confidence from your hard work and your successes. Many years ago I was learning to play tennis with a very good pro. He would never let me end a session on a mediocre shot. Whenever I hit that awesome backhand he would scream from the opposite court “Alright, that’s it. We stop here,” then he would say “remember how that shot felt and how it made you feel.” All so I could build on that confidence.
  5. Visualize your success. Sure, there’s follow-through for every shot. But the most powerful follow-through has to do with the overall dream, vision, quality of life you are working to accomplish. Visualize your success every step of the way but also see yourself having achieved your dream, living the life, walking the talk, making the impact. It absolutely works.
  6. Let your actions do the talking. Instead of spending your energy, focus and enthusiasm talking, show people what you can do with character and with class. No comment needed. Look up any video of Mr. Woods on the course.
  7. Constantly improve. It’s necessary to keep improving to maintain your edge. People say this is because of technology, how everything changes at a fast pace, ‘cause we need to keep up. Sure, this is true but to me the most important thing here is that if you are not constantly improving, YOU know it! It messes with your confidence, with your dream, with your ability to walk the walk. Learning and refining whatever it is you do is part of what you bring to the table when you say you want and deserve your dream. In Japan they have done wonders with the concept of “kaizen” – continuous improvement. Many businesses in the US, Mexico and Canada have adopted kaizen principles with amazing results. I’ll share more about kaizen on a future post.
  8. Be likeable. Develop your people skills. Anyone who accomplishes something will have an influence in his world, the opportunity to be a mentor, a hero, a role model. This is a responsibility and an opportunity. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. I have learned over the years and my grandma used to tell me “Always be kind. You never know under what circumstances you may ever meet that person again.”
  9. Be grateful, give back. This is one of my most favorite pieces of advice. Gratitude and generosity no matter how little or how much you think you have to give can and will help you transform your life.