In the game of life, just like in Golf, caddies play a critical role in your success.
I still remember the day I decided to learn how to play golf. It was in Orlando, FL and I was doing consulting work for a client. It was not uncommon for business deals to take place while playing a round of golf. And according to my naïve career path calculations I was missing out in opportunities by not knowing how to play the game. Needless to say, I hired a professional instructor and proceeded to purchase every necessary piece of equipment; the clubs, the pants, the shoes, the shirts, the belt… trust me, had you seen me entering the course you would have assumed I was the next golf revelation in history. But there is no happy ending to this story, on the third lesson and after countless practices in the range, the instructor muttered the words “Buddy, this is not for you”. He would not even take my money!
To this date, I am unable to play golf and I swear the only reasons my brother continues to invite me are to: 1) make his game look ten times better when compared to mine and 2) so I can provide comic relief for the next several hours.
However, I did learn a valuable lesson from the game of golf that has been paramount to my professional and personal journey. Having great life caddies by your side is critical to your success and happiness. Think about it, every top golfer has an amazing caddie, every successful entrepreneur has a circle of trusted advisors, every high performing executive surrounds herself with the best people, and every fruitful relationship is based on trusted advice from their partner.
Caddie’s serve a purpose much greater than carrying your clubs. They share a different perspective, see things you don’t, and provide insights that lead to breakthroughs. Similar to golf caddies, life caddies are beneficial for many reasons:
- Probably know more about the course you are about to play than anyone else
- Play a really good game themselves
- Are aware of the written and unwritten rules
- Appreciate mutual benefits of the long-term relationship
- Provide advice grounded on experience, lessons learned, and best practices
- Know their partners’ strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and style in order to provide personalized coaching
So, if you want to succeed in your personal and professional career make sure to surround yourself with some key life caddies.
1. Be IntentionalIdentify strategic life caddies (mentors, coaches, sponsors, family, and friends) that will serve a variety of roles in your journey: financial, spiritual, career, health, and relationship advisors. Remember this is not a simple list of friends, colleagues, and family. They each have an area of expertise you can leverage and benefit from. And most importantly, let them know they are part of your caddies’ network.
2. Listen to themIf you go through the trouble of identifying life caddies to help shape your direction, make sure that you listen to them. That does not mean you have to take every piece of advice, but at least consider their perspective. They will provide insights, direction, and valuable information, but at the end of the day it is your decision and you have to do the work.
3. Let go of toxic caddiesLet’s face it, we all have acquaintances that are not necessarily adding value to our life, and yet we listen to their opinion. Why do we do that? You would never enter a game of golf with the incorrect caddie… so why do we allow that in the most important game of all – our life? It’s time to surround yourself with agents of positive change and let go of those toxic relationships that we know are not to our best interest.
Take a minute today to assess your current life caddies. Are they adding value? Do you need to make adjustments? Are you leveraging them correctly? Finally, don’t forget, when the time comes, be ready to be a life caddie for someone else!