Does your career, your operation need a boost?” Maybe it’s time for TOWS.

What?! TOWS. Yes, TOWS. It’s a backwards view of the standard SWOT analysis (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats). I have been a part of so many of these (including ones I’ve lead) I can’t even begin to count them. SWOTs are good tools for sure, or else why would we continue to do them?

What I question (this is hard to say) is have we really been doing it right? I believe what I’m about to state is true. We like SWOT (the order of it) because we get to start with the positives, our strengths. In the process, we seem spend a significant amount of time on these of course, because it’s enjoyable, it makes us feel good about ourselves, our company culture or our company, etc. Actually, we spend far too much time on this part and on the weaknesses. As a result, it seems we rarely have nothing left in the tank to give to the “Os” and the “Ts.”


With Operation Overlord, (the operational name we think of as D-Day) General Dwight D. Eisenhower was faced with a huge, daunting challenge. Where to land on the Normandy Coast of France in 1944 and do so effectively against well-positioned, well-prepared German defenders? A coastal area, in terms of the world size, is not all that large an area. A coastal area the Germans, led by General Edwin Rommel, knew the Allies would eventually attack. Why, some might ask. Simply put, it really was the only place to launch an assault on beachheads in Western Europe.

In a SWOT analysis, they may have stopped the plan at “W” as it had such a major weaknesses. The Germans knew where and how the Allies would attack, they just didn’t know when (or exactly where.) Further, there were huge threats. The largest threat to the success of Operation Overlord was the Germans counterintelligence network. Prior to 1940, their capabilities were superior to those of the Allies.

Based on this threat, Eisenhower and his staff could have chosen not to continue with the operation, as they felt it would be impossible to “keep the secrets” on where, when and how the operation would be executed. Instead, they chose to FLIP THE THREAT into an opportunity and possibly use the Germans strengths, and reliance on those strengths, in counterintelligence against them. With Operation Bodyguard, they did just that. In the end, they did so very cleverly with “a web of espionage spun with a thousand little lies” and many believe this flipping the threat lead to many lives saved, many resources saved, etc. Learn about the rest of the story here: (The True Story Of The D Day Spies BBC HD 2014)


(Yes, of course.) But, before we can flip the threat, we have to make sure we’ve “flipped our mindset” to the correct mindset (that is, from fixed to growth.) Why? A fixed mindset will not be able to see any opportunity within the threat(s), as these threats (or these challenges, these obstacles, the opposition or the scarcity of resources) seem too large to overcome.

Within our own careers, we can often choose to the “survival path” (the path of least resistance) in order to get by and stay employed. Often, it seems like the best choice, but is it really. What if we had no choice but to try to flip the threat? In the case of D-Day, there was no putting it off, getting around it or over it for the Allies. They had to flip the threat to an opportunity, as the future of world literally seemed “in the balance.” What if you or I looked at the threat, obstacle or challenge and said, “I have no choice here. I have to flip the threat to an opportunity.” What difference would that make?


What difference would our attitude make toward changing the threat, flipping it to an opportunity? It’s huge. It’s a matter of volition. Volition is a matter of choice, attitude, purpose and pursuit. Volition is a choice to move from “I won’t or I can’t” to “I’ll try” or even “I will.” (Learn more about what Maj. Dan Rooney, of Folds of Honor says about the concept of Volition here.)

So, thinking about that threat, that challenge or that obstacle in the path of your career (or maybe that person who seems to be), are you ready to Flip the Threat? If 2018 is your year to start flipping, please reach out to me so I can assist, support and coach you in this process. Your future depends on it.

DO YOU KNOW MY WHY? I say this a lot, but now seems like a good time to reiterate it. My professional why is simple: I want to help the PGA professionals I serve make more income, have more job stability and have more fun in their careers.

In light of this, I ask you to be sure you’ve completed the 2018 PGA Compensation Survey (before Mar 31, 2018). All of the information you provide is confidential to you. It may seem like one professional’s information won’t be missed. Not true, our diverse Section with several metro areas, and even more rural communities needs as many good surveys completed as we can. At nearly 80% we are a leader completion percentage, but there are still times we don’t have enough info to help one of our members, or an employer. In that context, I ASK YOU to complete it in 2018 so I have the best opportunity to “make the case for increased compensation” each time I’m given the opportunity. (If you’ve already completed it: Thank you!)


Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Cell: 206/335-5260