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Scott Peltin

It’s that time of the year again, the heralded historic Masters tournament (golf) held in Augusta, Georgia. As always, the most talented golfers in the world have gathered to make golf look easy to the rest of the world. This year, we thought it would be interesting to share some of the Tignum protocol we have created for the professional golfers we have worked with. These lessons transcend golf and definitely apply to the business world.

As always, we approach high performance from a totally integrated approach of Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery. With this approach, even the simplest strategies are multiplied in their impact.

_Starting with Mindset, the key is to take your ego and the emotional roller coaster out of the game. This means, don’t get too attached to the results because if the fundamentals and effort are there, the results will come. In golf, just as in life, there are always things that you cannot control and worrying about them can only drain you of energy.
_Treat your concentration like the limited resource that it is. The best golfers can build up to have 45 minutes of intense focus for a round. Since a normal round lasts 4 hours plus, this means you have to be able to turn your focus on and then turn it off. This requires a transition out of shots (just like your transition after meetings) where you can learn from and then forget your last shot. In this case, we recommend the 10 step rule. You have 10 steps to reflect on what you did well, to reframe what you didn’t do well, and then to move on.
_Forget about perfection because it doesn’t exist. Golf (and real life) is a game of misses and the best of the best accept this. Even more, they learn to relish and respect it, but only if you have applied the first strategy above.
_Even at the highest levels of golf, it is still a game of fundamentals (grip, stance, balance, tempo). Therefore, focus on getting these right and a lot of good shots will follow. In business, the fundamentals include setting intentions before you interact with others and showing people you care, showing people you can be trusted, and showing people you are committed to excellence are a pretty good place to start.
_Golf, like business, is a game of decision-making and, therefore, you need a clear and uncluttered mind. You also need to have all of your neurons firing. Staying hydrated, eating frequent small and balanced (fat with protein and complex carbohydrates) meals, and getting adequate sleep are paramount for this to happen. This also means planning ahead and bringing hydration and strategic snacks with you. The consistent high performers never leave these little things to chance.
_A round of golf is 18 holes and takes 4 plus hours, so it’s critical to break the round up into smaller segments so you can manage your energy, manage your expectations, reset your emotions, and recharge your focus. We have our golfers divide their round into 3 6-hole mini rounds. Similarly, we recommend to our executives to break their day into 4 segments (before work, morning at work, afternoon at work, home after work).
_Create, frequently re-visit, and nourish your self-image because at the end of the day this is your foundation. Great golfers create this self-image to be cool, confident, resilient, and unshakable and this is what helps them make it through the tough shots and also the tight moments. Great executives create a self-image of themselves being fully present, engaged, intently listening, and giving others energy.

Even if you have never (and will never) play golf at a high level, the Tignum high performance approach is the same for professional golfers as it is for you (at work and at home). Implement these strategies, build strong high performance rituals, and suddenly you may just be in the champion’s circle. As always we would love to hear what you think.

By Scott Peltin and Jogi Rippel