It’s March, and we’re now less than a month from the start of the baseball season, and our golf season is just around the corner. This is the time of hope for many of us as green grass golf professional, as we anticipate the upcoming Masters Tournament being our “season opener.”

Some of you have seen me deliver a seminar called “Five Tools for Leadership” in recent months. It’s been well received so I thought I share some of the concepts further. In baseball, we have players like Ken Griffey, Jr in the past, and now Mike Trout and a few others. For baseball, the Five Tools include:

  1. Speed – for stealing bases, getting infield hits, tracking down fly balls, putting pressure on pitchers and defenders
  2. Power – for raw power, hitting a baseball 400+ feet, driving in runs
  3. “Hitting for Average” – contact hitter, sees a lot of pitches, hit any pitch, hit to all fields, hard to strikeout
  4. Fielding – excellent field coverage, make few errors, anticipate where ball is going, where to go with it
  5. Arm Strength – able to throw farther, and more accurately…saving runs, making assists, throwing base runners out

For our golf-centric businesses and operations, we have “five tools” that I’ve observed in some of our best “leader golf professionals.”

  1. Proper Focus >> Clarify the win (in baseball, if you score more runs than your opponent, you win the game)
    1. If the leader hasn’t made clear what a win is or isn’t, the team will make up its own; that’s not a team, it’s just a group of individuals who happen to have gotten a job at the same place.
    2. What is your “win?” Maybe it’s your “Wildly Important Goal?” (What is a WIG you ask?)
    3. Click here to learn more about what a WIG is? 4DX (The Four Disciplines of Execution Summary Video)
    4. What is your Wildly Important Goal? (WIG) [Hint: Public course, WIG is “# of Rounds”; Private Club, WIG is “# of dues paying members.”] Does your whole team know what the WIG is? And how they can advance the team to it? (eg. Do they know how to drive in runs for you, for the team WIG?)
    5. What activities “drive in runs” for us? (Lead Measures) *Runs scored, games won = Lag Measures
    6. How do we create a “winnable game”? (Keep Score)
    7. How do we hold each other accountable? (A scoreboard)

Clarify the when “the crowd” can cheer by:

  1. Celebrate the wins and the wins within ; (Example: advancing a runner into scoring position.)
  2. Focus on “team wins.” When we focus team wins, team members become better teammates and cheer individual and group successes. Celebrating wins generates loyalty and fosters unity. Winners have higher morale. Because, when you win, I win…we win. Model this for your team members.
  3. Teach and model “I want us to win, so…how can I support you in driving in runs for our WIG?”

Clarify what doesn’t work for the team:

  1. Don’t ask the wrong “player” to do the right thing(s) Asking Mike Trout or Ken Griffey, Jr to lay down a bunt is not a good use of their skillset;
  2. Focus on the “wins” (the WIG), managers/coaches and teammates decide ahead of time and know their roles Knowing Roles: Flourish in them, Contribute to the Win
  1. Defined Systems >> Determine What is Important:
    1. How are we going to “Drive in Runs” or our WIG? (The 3rd Base Coach gives signs for a reason.) Every team member doesn’t get to decide on his/her own system. (We refer back to knowing their roles, knowing their strengths, understanding how they contribute.)
    2. Let the System Drive Day-to-Day Operations. Momentary changes “on the fly” aren’t ideal, (eg. leadoff batter swings at a 3-0 pitch that is “way outside”. This is not good.) Well-defined, consistent systems create automatic wins through consistency. They’re tried and true. In golf, the script works to deliver the experience.
    3. Decide Ahead of Time, What Won’t Be Done. Good strategies are often derailed by a team member’s refusal to live within “the system” (eg. catchers rarely make great base stealers.) Good leaders take the time (in training camp) to explain “the why” for the system. Knowing the system, and the why behind, actually allows for freedom to perform, freedom to deliver with authenticity, freedom to anticipate.
    4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat & Repeat: A good system, a good script allows for great execution (delivery) under pressure (baseball teams have spring training so the team DNA, player’s reactions are ingrained in their mind and muscles)If we value our system (our script) we will put in front of our players. If we don’t value it, why would they? Remember, the urgent too often crowds out the truly important.
  2. Constant Effort >> Give Your Best:
    1. A good leader models what they expect (want respect, want followers, model what you want)
    2. Your players (staff) will mirror you. Feel like your team isn’t giving the effort you need…that should tell you something
    3. Half-hearted, half-baked effort ruins the best plans. Start with a great recipe, then choose poor ingredients, don’t follow the instructions…
    4. Give Your Best to the Right Activities: Back to the Wildly Important Goal (modeling effort on the lead measures that drive the WIG)
    5. Give Your Best to the Lead Measures: these efforts drive the WIG (Give due what drives green fees, member dues, group events.)
    6. Don’t give your time, your best, to the Lag Measures. Lag measures are the reporting. They’re historical…already happened, and can’t be changed, affected or improved!
    7. Stop Making Excuses for Poor Results: Are you still in “Triple A” as a leader?(stop blaming others, your employer, your staff for your lack of success)
    8. Are your players still in “Triple A?” What can you do to help them make the most of their talents, tools? (eg. Pete Rose)
    9. Honor Your Players’ Efforts. A high five recognizing the right attitude, a “coachable spirit” or similar puts value where it belongs
  3. Commitment to Growth >> Model “Not Settling” for The Same:
    1. “Good is the Enemy of Great” (good rookies become great veteran players through commitment to growth.) Are you modeling Professional Development? Or are you accepting your “good enough?”
    2. Are you “coaching” How to Grow? Good coaches explain AND show players how to get better at a part of the game: “If you can improve your footwork here, your throws will be more accurate.”
    3. Your team members learn by watching you. They will have a hunger to learn (or not) based on their observations of you.
    4. Your team members learn by listening. Your talking reinforces (or destroys) your actions.
    5. Growing Leaders Create More Opportunities:
      1. For Themselves Many leaders are afraid of success.
      2. For their Players. Back to “When you win, I win…We win.”
  • For their Teammates. When my players or my teammate succeed, I look better because of it.
  1. Calculated Communication >> Commitment to “Fail Forward”:
    1. Learn something new every season, every month. Lifelong learners never go stale. They can afford to fail. Learn from failures, model it. Show a genuine desire to learn from mistakes, starting with owning them, asking for support/forgiveness. Never stop learning, growing…refining.
    2. Communicate expectations clearly: If you’re the leader, you’re ultimately responsible for the communication. (Catchers are the leader; if the pitcher throws the wrong pitch…) High expectations only work with they’re clear…and consistent. (Ever felt like a ‘crossed up catcher?’)
    3. Assumptions destroy results. If a player on your team doesn’t know the playbook, or the script, it’s not just their fault.
    4. Know who you’re talking to. Learn how to communicate best with each of your players. (Some like lists, some hate them…some like explanations, some feel insulted by them.)
    5. Listen with INTENT TO UNDERSTAND, not with the intent to respond. Work hard to hear the best intent, the best part of the plan, or idea…to sift through the dirt (to find the nuggets)

As your Career Consultant, and your business coach, I hope to see more PGA professionals learning and utilizing these “five tools for leadership” to driving in runs (revenue and value) for their employer in 2019.  I hope you’ll give me the chance to learn more about you, your facility and your career vision in 2019…let’s work on building (and exercising) these Five Tools where it’s necessary.


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