3 Vital Lessons from Adam Scott’s Loss

Adam Scott in action

You don’t have to be a rabid sports fan to know that yesterday professional golfer Adam Scott lost the British Open title. “So what,” you might wonder, “there’s only winner, which means that plenty of other players lost, too.”

True, but the difference is that Scott enjoyed a lead that appeared unmatchable, much less unbeatable. He was four strokes ahead with four holes to play. Par those, he wins by four. Par half of them, and he wins by two. Yet startling all onlookers, he bogied 15, 16, 17, and 18. Meanwhile, Ernie Els birdied the 18th, and soon became the surprise winner.

As sad and disappointing as Scott’s collapse was, he’s likely to learn how to handle that intense pressure more effectively next time he is in contention. Fortunately, we can benefit too by applying these 3 prominent lessons.

ONE: There’s no such thing as a “sure thing.”

Regardless of how rosy our situation looks, we can’t start coasting at any time. Professionally, that’s dangerous and often deadly. Remember that sale you considered so “in the bag” that you started spending your commission too early? Or the job interview that went so well you told your family, “Start packing”? Just as Scott thought the engraver was already putting ADAM SCOTT on the trophy, defeat can be grabbed from the jaws of victory in everyday life, as an old sports cliche notes.

TWO: Your competition is not likely to stop trying when you’re in front.

Ernie Els didn’t think, “The famed Claret Jug is going to Scott. I’ll protect my runner-up status.” Despite a week that underscored Els’ putting woes, he gave every shot his best effort. He kept playing like a winner. And why not–he had won the British Open ten years ago, and had won two U.S. Opens. Justifiably, only a short time ago he entered golf’s coveted Hall of Fame.

Likewise, in our business and professional life, let’s expect that our performance will impress our competitors. However, we won’t intimidate others who want what we’re after.

THIRD: Focus on your assets, not your liabilities

Next time Adam Scott enters a tournament, he will want to remind himself, “I won the Australian Open when I was just nineteen. I won The Player’s Championship, which some golf writers label the ‘fifth major,’ quite early in my career.” In fact, he was taking that affirmative approach just minutes after the tournament, telling reporters: “Look, I played so beautifully for most of the week. I shouldn’t let this bring me down.”

That’s the most constructive approach for us after we lost a prize we thought we had. So, you gave a speech you weren’t satisfied with, presented to an audience that seemed a perfect fit for your topic. Move past that event. Remember the times when your audience members said afterwards that your message not only inspired them, but gave them action steps they needed. Or possibly your marriage dissolved. Plenty of them do. Look ahead, and you’re likely to find unprecedented happiness with a new spouse.

I will welcome your response. Go to the end of the blog entry in the section below and click NO COMMENTS if none have been made, or if comments have been made click 1 comment, 2 comments, or whatever the comments button says. The comments section will appear.

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Janet Turned 50 and Reshaped Her Life

Janet enjoying the outdoors

Janet Couch McQuarrie became a University of Georgia majorette in the early 1980s. That’s when I met her, because my daughter Shelley was on that twirling squad that won the national championship–at the same time the football team won its national title.

Ever since, I have seen Janet annually when the majorettes return to campus and perform during pregame activities for the Homecoming Game.

Janet has encountered–and conquered–many personal challenges. Three months before she reached her 50th birthday, she voluntarily accepted a daunting new challenge–to reshape her body and revitalize her health.

Here’s the link to Janet’s blog, which describes her “Body for Life” program, a demanding 12-week quest. Be sure to watch the You Tube video near the bottom of the article. Her before-and-after pictures illustrate that her discipline and denial brought astounding results. Use this link:


Janet could have said complacently, “Oh well, not much I can do about the shape I’m in. . .typical for a 50 year old. I’ll just accept the physical changes that keep me from looking like that university majorette I was decades ago.” Instead, she set a goal, took charge, and–like her hero Rocky Balboa–kept fighting until she won.

Have you, like Janet, turned your life around by accomplishing something that seemed impossible? If so, please tell us about your victory, using the comments section. Or feel free to give your feedback about Janet’s ability to turn back her physical clock.

Janet and I will welcome your response. Go to the end of the blog entry in the section below and click NO COMMENTS if none have been made, or if comments have been made click 1 comment, 2 comments, or whatever the comments button says. The comments section will appear.

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