Integrity and the Greatest Game of All Time

Integrity and the Greatest Game of All by Jason Knill

As a business leader, how do you react to a myriad of circumstances? The greatest game and US Open Champ, Dustin Johnson, have the answer.

On most weekends when I’m not at WordCamps, I play golf. And Father’s Day weekend is the greatest golf weekend of the year. Mainly, because you can play golf with your dad. It’s also the final round of the The US Open.

One of golf’s greatest lessons involves integrity. As Wikipedia shares:

“The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. Today we think of integrity as having the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”

At the US Open this weekend, we saw Dustin Johnson emerge as a champion. We also witnessed how champions operate in uncertain and chaotic environments.

And yes, golf can be chaotic.

For non golfers, here’s a recap.

From “D. Johnson keeps focus during ruling process” by Sean Martin:

“It started at the fifth hole, when Johnson’s ball moved on the putting green. He took several practice swings next to his ball while preparing for his 4-foot par putt. The ball rolled backward slightly as he went to address his putt. (in golf, if you cause the ball to move during setup you are penalized) Johnson consulted with a rules official and was not penalized at the time. The USGA continued to review video of the incident, though, and he was told on the 12th tee that a stroke could be added to his score after the round.”

Could be added? Maybe, maybe not! Are you kidding me?

“There was no one watching, no one playing and no rules official who knew who was winning. We had to guess who was ahead. It was ridiculous.” – Andy North, former US Open Champ

To elevate the lack of integrity the rules officials “held off to make a decision for two hours.” And as the controversy played out following the delay after the 12th hole announcement, it clearly impacted other players, the announcers, and even players off the course. Two of the top players in the world reacted.

Tweet from Jordan Spieth:

Tweets from Rory McIlroy:

And we see how this lack of integrity was a huge distraction.

And Famed announcer Peter Kostis on his take what happened with the Players.

Regardless of this chaos, Johnson won.

“At that point, I just said there’s nothing I can do about it, so let’s just focus on this shot and go from here. I just kept telling myself it’s just me and the golf course.” – US Open Champ, Dustin Johnson.

In these moments, we are reminded again what makes champions. Champions succeed through directional focus despite the collapse around simple and sometimes bizarre circumstances.

As a business owner, chaos always seems to be looming. How do I react? How do I stay focused? I’d like to think we can all learn how to approach it by looking at Champions, like Johnson.

You just have to look forward and keep doing your thing.

A few actions that attempt to bring chaos to our WordPress centric business.

  • We have little influence into the WordPress Core software.
  • Our WordPress Plugins operate on other servers, with third party themes and plugins, most uncontrolled.
  • Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp US implied the freemium business model is not the appropriate business model for WordPress.
  • Leaders in the industry and plugin/consulting firms are actively considering SAAS models.
  • Squarespace and Wix (among others) have aggressively entered the marketplace.

Regardless of these simple and somewhat bizarre circumstances, I’m focused on ensuring we do our thing and remaining purposeful in our goals, just like DJ.

Major Championships are hard. So is wrangling WordPress and all its quirks, too. Here’s to building the web and creating directional focus.

“Let’s just focus on this shot and go from here.” – US Open Champ Dustin Johnson