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Leadership at Any Age

Last week was the Masters Golf Tournament. I love watching the Masters.  Each year I enter a lottery for tickets. Haven’t gotten lucky yet. In 2016 I was fortunate enough to go to the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. It was amazing – but one sees so much more when watching it on TV. Somewhat like going to a pro football game. Great atmosphere – if you don’t mind paying $50 for parking, $10 beers, $6 dogs and $75 for poor seats.

The official start of the Masters is the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday – a 9-hole event. It is a semi-competitive, very social event that started in 1960. The golfers include children, and even parents, as caddies so that it stays family-friendly. Never in the history of the Par 3 event has the winner of that event also won the Masters on Sunday afternoon. What this tells me is even though it is family-friendly, people who compete at the professional level always want to win.

The Part 3 Contest has been on ESPN since 2008 but I’ve never seen it as it is during the day. Last Wednesday my best friend, now retired and still a golfer, called me and told me that the Contest was being replaying on ESPN that night and that I MUST watch it. I’m glad I did.

One of the threesomes were the young studs of golf, Jordan Spieth – 24, Rickie Fowler – 29 and Justin Thomas – 24. Spieth won the Masters in 2015 at the age of 21. He shocked the world. Also playing together were three old guys you’ve undoubtedly heard of:  Jack Nicklaus – 78, Gary Player – 82 and Tom Watson – 68. This means the both Nicklaus and Player are older than these young studs put together!

Just more than 70 golfers played in the Contest but the cameras stayed on these legends. Watson had won two Masters, 1977 and 1981. Player won three times – 1961, 1974 and 1978. Jack Nicklaus didn’t make the cut in his first Masters try in 1959. He came back to win, however, six times – 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986. In all he played in 45 Masters and made the cut 37 times.

I grew up watching these legends play. The first time Player won I was in the second grade. At 82 he stays in shape by doing 1,000 sit-ups/push-ups a day. Yes, a DAY!  Do yourself a favor and go to YouTube and watch some of his workouts. Most of us have NEVER been in the shape he is today. Still a Leader at 82.

Jack’s age is catching up with him. He doesn’t walk as quickly as he used to . . . but at 78 I won’t either. In 1962 he watched a video of himself smoking on the golf course in the U.S. Open. He never smoked on a golf course again. Why?  It set a bad example for kids. That is Leadership.

Watson’s story, too, is one of Leadership. In an interview in 1998 with Sports Illustrated he divulged that he had a problem with drinking – a problem he needed to overcome. I first learned about this problem while watching an interview on Feherty. Please watch this 2 minute clip with Tom Watson and Feherty:  https://www.golfchannel.com/video/feherty-how-tom-watson-saved-me/

Watson was able to help Feherty only because he had been there and had seen the signs. Leadership.

During the Par 3 contest it became evident that the ‘old guys’ could still play!  In fact, Tom Watson was challenging for lead with Nicklaus right behind him. Player was just a couple strokes back. When all was said and done Tom Watson won the event. This 68-year old senior citizen had beaten all the young studs of golf. Nicklaus was tied for 4th. Player tied for 10th with Spieth. Very cool!

But, as Paul Harvey would have said, here “is the rest of the story.”

After all three of these Masters championship had hit their tee shot on #9, Jack Nicklaus asked his caddy if he would like to hit one. His caddy was his 15-year old grandson. On the grandson’s practice swing it was evident that he played golf. His grandson hit his shot just past the pin. It slowly backed up toward the pin until it dropped in the cup.

A hole in one!  His first hole in one ever. Tears came to Nicklaus’s eyes. The announcer asked Jack, who had, again, been in 45 Masters events (12 of those he came in first, second or third) what his favorite Master memory . . . ever. With tears now choking him up he mumbled – “this one.”

Leadership comes at any age. We have to remember this – especially as we get older.


Leadership Lessons—Easy When You Are with the Right People

Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones once said, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things:  the books you read and the people you meet.”

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn refined that perspective:  “You are the average of the five people you spend your most time with.”

Examples of both of these sayings were abundant last week when my wife, Mary Kay, and I attended The Dwyer Group’s 35th Annual Reunion, where More than 2,000 people gathered at the J.W. Marriott in San Antonio. Just being in San Antonio got me even more excited for Auto Glass Week upcoming in the next few weeks.

The reunion inspired me to remind everyone to start making plans to spend some time with “old friends” at Auto Glass Week or make connections with new people who can help you take your business to new heights.

One of my favorite Glass Doctor’s sessions is our “Panel of the Pros.” I invite all of our previous Franchisees of the Year to join together on stage and take questions from audience members. Here are a few of the nuggets from the panel:

  • “I had to change me. I came to the realization that the only person holding our company back from what we could accomplish was me. It took that harsh realization, combined with the difficulty of change, to accomplish what we have today!”
  • “It all has to do with getting your head right. Over the past couple of years I’ve spent a great deal of time working on myself. Reading the right books. Listening to the right tapes. Meeting with other people who were like-minded and working on the same things I was.”
  • “It doesn’t matter what is happening in your life or what it is happening in your business. You have to put all of that aside when you walk in the front door in the morning. Remember, you are leading your company and your employees need to want to work with you each day.”
  • “Success is all about your people. You need to assemble the right team of people.”
  • “Reviews. If you are not getting good customer reviews you can’t grow like you want to grow.  How many reviews do you have? If you get a bad one, make sure you get it right!”
  • “Don’t be afraid of price. Be afraid of poor quality and poor service.”
  • “Set goals. Write them down. Review them often. You’ll be amazed at this simple process.”

Who are the five people you spend your time with? What books are you reading? Are you the same leader that you were a five years ago? Are you the same leader that you were a year ago?

You have the chance, every day, to make the decision—then take action—to become a better leader.  You’ll love the results that can happen with that simple decision. See you in San Antonio soon.