What are your photographic memories?
From as far back as I can remember (get the movie reference?)…….. I’ve been obsessed with The Masters.
One of my fondest childhood memories growing up in Reading (England not Pennsylvania) was when I turned 11 in April 1989 and my parents (for what felt like my last birthday present that year) allowed me to stay up waaaaaaay past my bedtime to watch Sir Nick Faldo win the coveted Green Jacket at the Masters. I vividly remember the goosebumps and chills I got at the excitement of watching Sir Nick (who I used to play as on my Sega Megadrive PGA Tour Golf game) getting close to and then closing out an amazing win!
It is a memory that has stayed with me ever since. Having read Sir Nick’s autobiography Life Swings, I understand that it was the 1971 Masters tournament and Jack Nicklaus that inspired Nick and changed the direction of his life. Clearly not on the same scale, but my 1989 Masters memory is something that has influenced my life and it’s a story I’ve now incorporated into my professional life.
To explain, I worked for 16 years at Deloitte (one of the sponsors of the Men’s Golf US Open) where I specialized in helping Deloitte’s own employees be the very best they can be and then I started my own business (www.enlightened-leadership.co) where I focus on teaching leadership development classes to audiences that span Global CEO’s of multi billion dollar organizations to small non-profits in Princeton, New Jersey where I now live. My best guestimate is that during the last 20 years well over 50,000 individuals have been impacted by the story I tell in those classes of the three leadership lessons I tie into my childhood memory of watching Sir Nick at the Masters.
Why am I even writing about this? Well, recently I was scanning the photos on my phone and I noticed I had taken a ton of photos of my TV in November when the Masters was on (the source of the two photos above!). One of my best friends has been fortunate to work there for years (and was there in November) and I was taking photos to pin point where they were working. All these photos got me thinking ‘What is it about the Masters that I’m so obsessed with?’. A surprising amount of thought couldn’t get me to an answer…….. I don’t play golf – I’m actually AWFUL at golf and growing up in England it wasn’t as if it was somewhere I had been to that I had a great childhood memory of (in person).
The next morning I woke up (it was still dark) and my brain was whirring about this question. People say I’m competitive, so sure there’s probably something about that. My childhood was a little ‘bumpy’ and maybe this was ‘an escape’ that I had an emotional attachment to, maybe……. and then it clicked. Inspiration and Excellence. The Masters is an inspiration to me – it is a vehicle of inspiration. And it’s the very best – it’s almost perfection. People who’ve been to the hallowed grounds say it’s ‘like a slice of Heaven’. That night/morning has changed the way I think of the Masters forever. And it also inspired the following encouragements.
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