Jordan Spieth began the final round of today’s British Open with a 3-stroke lead. After playing poorly thru 9 holes, he found himself tied for the lead with Matt Kuchar. Spieth admitted he put a lot of pressure on himself. He questioned whether he could close out a major tournament with a 54-hole lead especially after his collapse during the final round of the 2016 Masters.

After 12 holes, you could see Spieth lacked confidence and looked lost. Just when he needed to play his best things got worse. His tee shot on the par-4 13th hole wound up 40 yards to the right of the fairway and disappeared into high, thick grass, forcing him to take a penalty drop.

Despite making a miraculous bogey on the 13th hole and being down by one stroke, a shift occurred in Spieth’s thinking. Over the next four holes, he shot five under par and won the tournament by three strokes with a 12 under par score.

Here’s four self-leadership lessons Spieth displayed to overcome adversity:

1.    Surround Yourself with People Who Believe in You

Walking off the 7th green after dropping three shots, Michael Greller, Jordan’s caddie reminded him of a recent vacation and his friendship with Michal Jordan and Michael Phelps. Greller told Spieth he was the same caliber athlete as Jordan and Phelps and to believe in himself. After the bogey putt on 13 Greller reminded him that you are still in the tournament and the momentum just shifted.

2.    Focus on the Outcome You Want to Achieve

After the poor tee shot on the 13th hole, Spieth decided he needed to determine the best location to hit his next shot to make the best possible score. He took 30 minutes to consult with rule officials, analyze his options and make the best decision. Instead of allowing self-doubt to defeat him, Spieth focused on what he wanted instead of what could continue to go wrong.

3.    Manage Your Self-Talk to Shift Your Thinking

With several negative thoughts running through his head, Spieth altered his self-talk. He became poised and determined after the 13th hole and told himself he could get the job done. Spieth shared it only took a little bit of self-confidence to flip the switch.

4.    Remain Humble

Spieth practiced humility in several ways during and after the tournament. First, he apologized to Kucher after taking 30-minutes to determine where to hit his 3rd shot after an errant drive on 13. Spieth understood how a lengthy delay could impact a golfer’s rhythm. Second, he credited Greller with helping him cope with the pressure and win the championship. Finally, Spieth shared his priorities that keep him grounded: faith, family, and golf.

Reflection Question: How will you practice the four leadership lessons the next time you are faced with pressures and reminded of past mistakes?


About John

I provide learning strategies for growing vital healthcare leaders. My goal whether coaching, speaking or training is to help you transform potential into high performance in order to achieve a better payoff.

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