By Steve Beseke, senior vice president at think2perform - formerly the Lennick Aberman Group (Please check out my latest resiliency e-books at http://resiliencyfirst.com)
It really goes to show you that nice guys don’t finish last.
While this resilience piece is not about Tiger Woods, I was watching this weekend as he won another golf championship. No surprise, right? Tiger has been the best golfer in the world the last decade or so, despite the sometimes chaotic and truly unfortunate events in his personal life.
My article is really motivated by Tiger’s fellow pro golfer, Steve Stricker. Steve, who has won many golf championships and is known as one of the nicest guys on the pro tour, is very good friends with Tiger, Phil Mickelson and so many other pros – and probably every caddie and ball washer on the planet.
If there was a definition of a nice guy in the dictionary, I would not be surprised if Steve’s picture was next to it.
As you do, I try to be very nice to all my friends and colleagues. But most of the time I fall far short of Steve’s example this last week.
O.K. What’s his example and how does Steve’s niceness have to do with resilience and managing your emotions. Well, his truly unselfish actions this weekend show a side of resilience that most of the time goes unnoticed, but is so important to our entire inner fabric of strength, confidence, self-worth.
Steve, who is one of the best putters on the tour, noticed that Tiger’s putting motion was no right. He was missing a lot of putts because his balance and stance were a bit askew. He talked to his friend just before the tournament, and offered him 45 minutes of advice on the putting green. This led Tiger having the best putting numbers in a tournament of his entire career. That’s saying a lot.
It turns out that Steve finished second to Tiger, and his advice cost him more than half a million in prize money.
If we were in the same circumstance of giving great advice to a fellow worker allowing him/her to get a huge promotion instead of you, would you do it? I only wish I could say for sure that I would. When asked, Tiger said he was not sure if he would have given the same type of advice to Steve or any other golfer. He’d like to think so…but.
Typically, we think of resilience as our abilities to manage emotions and overcome challenges that get in our way.
Being resilient, however, is also about mind and spirit to do the right thing, having the inner confidence to help others and not asking for a lot of praise in return.
For example: When I started this resiliency first web site nearly five years ago, my goal was to use my work and personal examples letting you look at yourself a bit differently by using specific resiliency strategies. I want you to step back and say: “There’s a way to overcome, maintain and exceed the expectations of myself and to see the infinite possibilities of me.”
I have been very humbled by the millions of you who have said I’ve made a difference. I continue to strive, however, to what Steve offered Tiger in the ultimate act of friendship. Giving to someone unconditionally without possible benefit is the ultimate act of kindness, and believing in your own resilience and self.
It really goes to the heart of being resilient and is a great barroom debate: What is appropriate behavior in the highly-competitive, tailored slacks world of professional golf or any profession you or I are involved?
Are you "doing the right thing" if you help a friend in need on the putting green, or at the water cooler if this may cause you to lose out on something? Or should you, when a friend approaches, start taking imaginary cell phone calls and holding up your index finger in the universal sign of 'I'd Love to Help You, But I'm Busy on This Imaginary Cell Phone Call Until You Go Away'?
After the tournament, Steve unequivocally answered this question. He smiled and joked briefly to reporters about "kicking himself,” then earnestly described how Tiger is a friend and it's important to help friends and he's glad Tiger won. His Midwestern (Wisconsin) barn-raising-for-a-neighbor niceness taught us all about the resilient spirit and that a nice guys does not always finish last.
Our world would be so much different if we had about 1 billion Steve’s.
Thanks so much, Steve, for showing us such unselfishness and resilience!!!
I truly appreciate your readership and please check out my web site at http://resiliencyfirst.com if you have the chance. I have more than 200 articles, many videos and a number of e-books for your resiliency pleasure.