People Power - May 2012
By Scott Humphrey
For the past several years, I have had the opportunity to attend what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest sporting events anywhere. Unlike many events that can become mundane when attended year after year, The Masters, the first of four majors played in professional golf annually, continues to amaze.
Last year I wrote about the experience of attending with my father and son, and this year I was able to take a friend who had shared with me that attending was on his bucket list. During our time at the tournament, my friend and I made several observations that speak to the power of The Masters. Each of these observations, if applied to your business, will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your work environment and bottom line.
The Power of the Place—If my friend said it once, he must have said it 20 times: “I can’t believe how beautiful this place is!” He is right. Rarely do you go somewhere that exceeds the hype surrounding it. The Masters does! Tall pines surround plush fairways that lead to immaculate greens. It is a sight to behold, even for the non-golf fan. It is the kind of experience that leaves you talking about it for weeks.
What about your place? I am referring to your retail environment. Obviously it doesn’t have to live up to the hype of The Masters, but does it create any hype at all? Are people talking about their experience in your store? If they are, is it the positive dialogue that you want and need? I can’t begin to tell you how many flooring retail stores I have visited that are in some state of disarray. The samples are scattered throughout the store, POP materials lie in boxes on the floor, interior lighting is inadequate to help consumers with their color selection, and I could go on. One fairly easy way that you can differentiate yourself from your competition is through cleanliness and general upkeep of your showroom. This will help ensure that the hype surrounding your store is the good kind.
The Power of the People—Bubba Watson was not considered one of the top golfers on his team at the University of Georgia. The coach thought he was good, but when it came time to compete for the national championship he did not select him as one of the four to represent the university. His coach probably never thought he would rise to the level of Masters champion.
Never underestimate the potential of your team. You may have a diamond in the rough. Mine that diamond. Don’t wait until the team member is gone, perhaps having a positive impact for your competition, to realize what you had. Take the time to discover the strengths of your people. Stretch them and give them the opportunity to prove their value to the team.
The Power of Publicity—You might say that The Masters has mastered the power of advertising. It isn’t that they do a lot of it. It’s just that they do it right. In fact, the people that advertise during The Masters may be the real geniuses. They know the demographic they are trying to reach and have created ads targeting this group. They pay dearly for the limited number of ads that are shown during the event, but because of their targeted approach, they are almost assured more bang for their buck.
Is your advertising targeted, or are you still using the “blanket the earth” technique? Buying your own ads or throwing dollars at an ad agency without a targeted plan is like hitting a golf ball off the side of the Grand Canyon. You may feel like you hit the ball well, but without seeing it land you can’t know for sure. You know you did something, but the end result is that you accomplished nothing. Find an expert who can help you with a targeted approach to your advertising. Make your money work for you.
The Power of Points—In the end, the winner is the individual who leads on points. One thing you can’t miss when you are on the grounds of Augusta National, the home of The Masters, are the leaderboards. As you walk to the first tee, you pass a gigantic leaderboard that displays the scores of every golfer. In addition, on each hole there are smaller scoreboards highlighting the performance of players of interest or those who are making a move. On the side of these smaller scoreboards, there is a section that showcases the score of the golfers that are currently playing that particular hole. Why the over-emphasis on the score? Because the score matters!
On a recent trip to Dallas, I had the opportunity to see the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks play. There is nothing like being live at a sporting event, and though the arena where the game was held was a great venue, the thing that stood out the most to me was the Jumbotron hanging from the ceiling. It was massive. It served many purposes, including advertising, providing replays, and allowing a better view to those whose seats were far from the court. But its primary function was to let you know which team had the most points. Points matter!
Do you know how you stack up against your competition? What are their strengths? How about your people? Do they know their score? Do they know if they are meeting your standard? If they are in sales, do they know how they rank? Do you know how your employees rank you? Don’t let anyone tell you that the score doesn’t matter, and if you have people working for you that try to downplay their ranking, be concerned. Among other things, the scorecard, whether it be your annual employee review or regularly scheduled feedback sessions, provides the accountability necessary to improve your performance and that of your team.
The Power of Purpose—I watched many interviews with Bubba Watson after his Masters win. What a fascinating young man. From all I have read and seen about him, he is a loyal friend, faithful husband and proud father. He is a man well-grounded in his faith. In a nutshell, Bubba is a man who lives a life of purpose. I am not just talking about golf now. At the professional level, these golfers are all purposeful in the way they approach the game. Their purpose is to win, to be the best, to outplay their competition. In fact, when I was leaving at the end of day one, I saw Tiger Woods on the practice tee preparing for the following day. I was told he had been there since he finished his round, some two hours earlier. Why? Because we put our time and effort into that which is purposeful in our lives.
What is your purpose? What drives you? Maybe for you it is business, but I hope my question strikes you at a much deeper level. Why do you do what you do? Are you focused on doing and being your best? Do you expect the same from those you work with and care for? Do you do all you can to help them achieve their best?
I am convinced that life is intended to be much more than just the mundane existence of getting up, going to work, and returning home. You are here for a reason. Finding that purpose and committing your daily actions to it provides a profound level of peace.
Bubba Watson’s purpose is much greater than golf, but golf became a great tool to help him achieve his purpose. When asked if he ever imagined winning The Masters, Bubba responded with a line that has resonated with me since. He said, “No. My dreams never took me that far.”
I challenge you to focus your attention and efforts on your purpose. When you do, you may find that you have exceeded your dreams as well.
Copyright 2012 Floor Focus