Performance at work – Rory McIlroy


As Easter is upon us, it’s maybe appropriate to write something about coming back from the dead!

In the world of performance at work, literally coming back from the dead is highly unusual, however in a demanding and competitive world, having to deal with setback, disappointment and adversity is commonplace. When you do need to do this, “bouncebackability”, resilience and confidence are vital ingredients/factors/abilities that enable you to keep going and keep performaning through such a low point.

Rory McIlroy’s capitulation at the Masters golf four years ago is one such moment. McIlroy held a significant lead well into the final round but “blew it”. It was a dark moment in his career to date but one which he now talks about as a defining moment too (see this piece on today’s BBC Sport website

Having the required belief and self-confidence to get through a crisis or major setback is important for most people at some point in their career. One factor in having the necessary confidence to keep going is where you get your confidence from. Where do you get your confidence from when you are having a crisis of confidence??

At this point it’s worth considering that there are commonly more than one source of confidence. Typical sources are past success, past experience, belief of others, self-belief and seeing that something is possible. In McIlroy’s case it’s significant that learning from a past experience, even though it was a catastrophic failure at the time, has given him greater confidence now. Attitudes towards mistakes are very relevant here!

Take a look at the McIlroy piece and if you wish reflect on your darkest hour(s). Have you drawn all the helpful learning that you can? What can you take from these instances or periods that can help you now and in the future?

Being selective in your memory and thinking is helpful, if it’s helpful. Reminding yourself of what you can do, what your strengths are and focusing on all the reasons why you should be confident to do something, or carry on, might be a tremendous mental skill to have. Learning from the past and then taking that learning into the present and future is also a skill that you can develop and great performance at work