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I Want to Play Like Phil (No, not golf!)

I always watch the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament, if for no other reason than to enjoy the beautiful setting…perfectly manicured greens and fairways, not a weed in sight, the azaleas in bloom and the birds chirping away, announcing that summer is just around the corner.

Today’s final round was as exciting as any I’ve seen in recent years.  There was the added drama of Tiger Woods returning to the game after a five month hiatus, but I’m not interested in talking about that (at least not directly – you can draw any comparisons that you’d like).

What I did see today was something we all should pay attention to – how Phil Mickelson played the whole game engaged with, not removed from, the gallery of fans.  I recently listened to a webinar training session by Stephen Beck on internet marketing success.  He used the metaphor of being a rancher and building a “herd” and taking good care of, and nurturing the “herd.”  That’s what I saw Phil doing today.  He came out of the clubhouse and strolled onto the first tee box bumping fists, giving thumbs up, tossing out greetings and receiving the same from the fans.  He was SMILING.

As I watched Phil today, he smiled and interacted with the onlookers even when he hit a bad shot (and there were just a couple.)  When he pulled ahead in the lead, the crowd roared!  Was it just that he was winning?  I don’t think so.  It was because he’s one of the “good guys” who loves his wife and kids, loves his career, and genuinely shows appreciation to the fans who cheer him on.   It isn’t all about perfection or his performance (although those back-to-back eagles yesterday were awesome!)

Winning just fits into who he is.  The really cool thing is that even when he doesn’t win first place, he’s still who he is, and he’ll have plenty of supporters.

I want to play like that.  No, I don’t play golf, but I’m talking about the “game” of life and business.  I want to give it my best, smiling, enjoying the game and reaching out and bringing others along for the ride.  I want to enrich the lives of those with whom my life intersects.

Thanks, Phil, for a wonderful picture today of what a real winner looks like.

Oh…and I’m glad you won, too.