I am not a golfer. But I am unabashedly mesmerized by Tiger Woods. (How the hell could anyone not be?) I was reading a David Brooks column (New York Times) on Mr Woods yesterday, and was reminded of what, to me, is the most astonishing part of the Woods story. Namely, that on two occasions Woods no less than “risked his career,” per Brooks, re-tooling his (already amazing!!) swing—and then survived months and months of inconsistent performance to get into his new groove.
The principal reason, invariably, most “successful” giant companies rather quickly become also-rans, or just amorphous blobs on the competitive landscape, is their failure to re-tool in anything like a fundamental way. In fact, the worse things get, typically, the more they dig in their heels and defend yesterday’s turf. Not Tiger Woods—with all the world’s eyes on him all the time, he twice retreated and blew up the centerpiece of his game.
How do you get the nerve to do such a thing—or even admit that it needs to be done when you are sitting atop the personal or professional or corporate skyscraper? If you can answer that one, let me know!