To bring balance to the hectic life as a school principal, I play golf. I am an average golfer, shooting in the 90s on good days and picking up my ball too often on bad days. While I believe there are countless parallels between leading a large urban high school and playing golf, my focus here is on the parallels of educational initiatives and the annual inundation of new golf equipment, clothing and technology.
Each year the golf industry delivers a new line of improved equipment, stylish clothing, and new technology with the claim that purchasing any of the aforementioned will improve your ailing golf game. The educational industry is no different – just remember the last time you attended a leadership conference.
I am not sure how spending $90.00 for a Tiger Woods Nike golf shirt is going to improve my golf game. Yet the marketing of Nike, and the dream of hitting a tee shot that goes beyond my ability to hear it land, inspires my purchase as it does for so many other dreamers/golfers.
This same lack of improvement is true for most schools and school leaders. Why?
When my golf game has improved it is because I practice the fundamentals. I practice what I know will improve my score, which is my short game: chipping and putting. When I see the average golfer on the driving range continuously hitting with their driver, I wonder if they realize they are only going to use their driver a maximum of fourteen times during an 18-hole round. According to Google, only 51.9% of golfers score less than 100 on a par 72 course. So the return on investment of practicing with a club that will account for 14% of the score seems disproportionate to the 50-60% of the time that they will use a wedge and/or their putter.
What opportunities are you creating for others to improve their game?
Interested in being a guest blogger for The Willow Group? Contact Carrie Arnold for entry information.