In his postgame interview after winning The Masters golf tournament yesterday, Tiger said, “…I applied what I learned…” That little phrase was intermingled within a much larger response to a question, and it caught my attention. “I applied what I learned.” Don’t brush past that gold nugget, Tiger! Elaborate! He didn’t. I will try. During that interview he briefly touched on his major (there are only 4 “major” golf tournaments per year) performances up until yesterday’s win. Last year he tied for 32nd on the same course. At another major tournament last year he placed second. At still another major tournament last year he didn’t make it to the weekend. “I applied what I learned.” So, in lieu of getting angry and throwing his clubs in the pond (I live on a golf course and golfers do weird things), he applied what he learned. Here’s the gold: applying what you learn doesn’t mean you keep doing the same thing hoping for a different result, it means you take whatever the lesson was and apply it to the next effort to get a different, and hopefully better, result. The different result? For Tiger, it was his first major win after 11 years. For us? Who knows where we could be if we just “applied what we learned.”
Future leader speaker and author of the book Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future. Free stuff! Get the first five chapters of my new book, an executive summary, and the Future Leader Companion Workbook here.