Be Authentic

by Dave Bisbee on January 26, 2012

gbMy career in golf has given me the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the most successful and influential people of our time. Supreme Court Justices, Academy Award winning actors, former U.S. Presidents, and many titans of industry. Along with sports legends from just about every athletic endeavor. I am always fascinated by their stories…how they came to be so successful… how they sustain their success over time, and I look for what qualities they share that might be a key to their success. As I have studied these individuals there is one characteristic that stands out over all others…they are authentic.

I want to be like…

According to the dictionary synonyms for authentic include: genuine, real, credible, trustworthy, and valid, to name a few. In my opinion I think these people all share a strong sense of self. They have an accurate understanding of their personal strengths, and for that matter weaknesses. When approaching an obstacle or opportunity they instinctively assess whether there is alignment or conflict with their natural skills and personal preferences. This allows them to choose things they know they can be successful in and choose not to do those things that go against their grain.

Too often people try to be something…or someone they aren’t. Often we are told to watch what successful people do and copy those behaviors, techniques, etc. And almost without fail you seem to fall short when it comes to execution. In my golf coaching experience I use one of the many video swing analysis software tools and one of the features is the ability to compare your swing with that of a tour player. Some coaches use this feature to “model” their students swing after a tour player. Often I will have a client that asks me why I don’t use that in my lessons and I point out that if I compare the swings of Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, and Phil Mickelson, they’re all different. The only thing they have in common is winning with their swings.

Now to be sure these players all have a firm grasp on the fundamentals but my point here is that while the fundamentals apply to all… you have to hang those fundamentals on your frame. As you work at the game you will begin to develop your authentic swing. Add to the mix your unique personality style, your optimal playing rhythm, and your personal motivation for why you play the game and you are on your way to becoming an authentic golfer.

There are many tools out there which can help you identify the personal characteristics that make you unique and therefore help to define the kinds of environment, activities, and approaches to learning and engaging in whatever you do from a position of strength. I guess my point here is that I believe everyone already possesses the ability to be a success… just be yourself.  

Dave Bisbee

Dave Bisbee has been around the golf business for 30 years and brings to Biz Golf Guru his experience as both a business owner and golf professional. Dave will serve as the anchor for the Biz Golf Guru team of contributors by offering his unique insights of business golf as seen through the eyes of someone who has managed golf courses, golf companies and as a golf teaching professional.

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