Lessons from Tiger Woods

In: BlogDate: Jun 25, 2013By: Henry Stewart

In 2009, Fortune magazine asked Tiger Woods, among others, for the ‘best advice I ever got’.

‘When I was young, maybe six or seven years old, I’d play on the Navy golf course with my pop. My dad would say, “Okay, where do you want to hit the ball?” I’d pick a spot and say I want to hit it there. He’d shrug and say, “Fine, then figure out how to do it.” He didn’t position my arm, adjust my feet, or change my thinking. He just said go ahead and hit the darn ball.’

I think there is something profound here about how to help a talented individual develop. Let’s translate it into management speak.

When you sit down with one of your people to plan their development, get them to set their own objective. Then ask them to figure out how to achieve it. Don’t tell them how to do it, let them work out their own way – with your support.

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd. Following a fairly disastrous job early on in his career, Henry was determined to discover what enabled a productive and happy workplace. In 1987 Henry set up what was originally called Happy Computers. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he built a company with a reputation for some of the best customer service in the country and one of the UK’s best places to work, winning multiple awards for its culture and philosophy. His book, the Happy Manifesto, was published by in 2013.

Outside of work he is a father of three, Chair of Governors at his local comprehensive in Hackney and a keen cyclist.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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