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Friday, April 15, 2011

Positive Leadership: Rory Shows Resilience and Bouncebackability!

The sporting story of the past week was undoubtedly the implosion of Rory McIlroy at the US Masters Golf. 

Having led the tournament for three rounds he dropped 8 shots in less than 10 holes to finish well behind the eventual winner Charl Schwartzel.  It was a classic lesson in the effects of pressure on performance – as the realisation that he could actually win the thing ultimately became his undoing.

After the second round all the talk was about how Rory would be the youngest winner since Tiger Woods at 21 years of age - but after he so spectacularly failed to win it, should we also blame his age for his inability to handle the pressure?  Well it didn’t stop Woods, but there’s no doubt that a few grey hairs and the experience of having ‘been there before’ makes an enormous difference when it comes to the crunch.  You can’t simulate that in training – it very often comes down to experience, focus and pure desire.

The good news is that Rory is already showing the kind of resilient response that he’ll need to bounce back from this disappointment and turn it into the kind of learning that could fuel his future success. 

Immediately after he finished he tweeted:
“Well that wasn’t the plan! Found it tough going today, but you have to lose before you can win. This day will make me stronger in the end.”

Here he clearly shows that he’s got things in perspective – the humour is definitely a good sign!  He is already able to attribute the failure as a one-off and something from which he will build confidence and experience.  After two rounds in this week’s Malaysian Open – a 10,000 mile trip through 12 time zones – McIlroy is joint leader of the tournament on 11 under par!!

So watch this space – this is the mentality of a future champion!


Positive Leadership: Follow Your Own Truth

Meaning is not something a leader stumbles across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in the lottery. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own self-understanding. You find it in your past, in your passions, affections and loyalties, out of your innate talents and gifts, out of what you believe is true; out of the people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. You can learn from others and benefit from their wisdom but in the end, your life is your own. Only you are responsible for the choices and decisions you make in life.  Let it be a life that has dignity, elegance and meaning. Find your own truth and become the captain of your soul.