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This book is about 16 managers who need to change,want to change,have tried to change and have been handicapped by the commands coming from their company s senior executives.The company began losing market share two years ago and everyone is aware that change is essential.Their intentions are good.They know that the key ingredients are leadership and teamwork.Yet,they have been unable to translate their intentions into reality.

As the book reveals,the CEO uses the command Make it happen.The chairman is demanding more with less.The vice president of Sales is telling his people to hit the numbers and work smarter not harder.The vice president of Operations isn t sure what to tell his people other than to be a team.The frustration within the organization has turned to conflict and blame.Customers are asking for the impossible and the customer service manager is caught in the middle of the battle between Engineering,Operations,and Sales.



This organizational situation is very similar to the experience of many golfers.Most players want to improve their game.They have tried many ways to change their game.They spend a fortune on exotic golf schools,constantly watch the Golf Channel searching for the magic idea,try every tip in the golf magazines, buy new clubs,and remain in a handicapped state that doesn t improve.They have convenient excuses of time and talent and accept their handicapped condition as the way it is.

The story that unfolds in this book originates from our Business Simulation entitled Swing to Balance:Creating Organizational Alignment.It is a story about leadership and achieving your potential.It is about organizational excellence in whatever form you are currently seeking it.It is about commitment to a team and mastery of personal emotions.

The need for great coaches and leaders has never been more apparent than it is today.The profile of the great coach has changed.The charismatic, confrontational,heroic models of the past have been replaced with a focused, confident,enrolling,and disciplined style.As modeled in this book,leaders today must be able to transform the muscle memory that prevents the organization from changing This transformation must be made with alignment and commitment,not compliance,from the entire organization.It will surprise you how simple it is.

All the people in the story and their experiences during the Swing to Balance Simulation are real.Their names have been changed and their stories have been combined to provide maximum meaning to their experiences during and following the Simulation.

Some characters in the book hate golf and others have never played the game before.To them the language and rules of golf are totally foreign.The same is true in business.We work with executives every day who hate competing in the new business environment.They give the new game lip service but continue to manage by the old rules.They don t understand the language of the new game and are frustrated by having to empower people.

I am confident you will relate to at least one of the characters.My friends who read the manuscript universally said they quickly related with the dilemma of a specific character as being much like their own business experience. For those of you who hate golf,I suggest that you put yourself in Ariel s shoes.She hates golf,is required to participate,and in the end makes an enormous contribution to her team.The lesson she learns may be important to your life as well.

If you have had a bad experience on the golf course with a husband,father, or other pseudoinstructor,you will appreciate the plight of Tina who quit golf years ago because it almost ruined her marriage.Get in the cart with Tina and experience the transformation that she experiences on the ninth hole.

If no one listens to your ideas at work,yet you think you are smarter than the boss,try to understand Wally as he plays his old game.Realize how important it is to be a master of influence and how his old game just doesn t get his message through.

If you are an avid golfer and would love to improve,you will enjoy Al s story. Al learns to change his game from hitting balls to Swinging to Balance .Al is fascinated by this simple command and finally understands how to translate it into a powerful concept on the course and at work.

If you know an executive with a big ego,you will see that person in Ron.You will realize that Ron has an addiction that is masked by his phony bravado and intimidating style.If you must work with a person like Ron,read the book to find out how he realizes he is a part of the team.The transformation of the heroic manager model is the single biggest challenge in business today.

If you are a financial person and have difficulty comprehending the link between the bottom line and organizational culture,you will learn from the experiences of Jill and Cheryl.The leverage for economic performance in the story is startling.

All the characters are challenged by the process of transforming the muscle memory of their old game so their team can be successful.The emotional learning revealed in the story is a powerful process.

As always,it would be impossible to thank all the people who made this book possible.To the participants of the Swing to Balance Simulation,we thank you for participating.It is easier to quit or not attend than to play a game as frustrating as golf.Our thanks to our many students like Al.They inspired us to record the victory over the muscle memory of the old swing and the old way of doing business.It is a constant battle.

We especially want to thank those who have used the Swing to Balance concept to transform the way they think and act at home and in business.The vivid memories of how you were emotionally confronted with your old game will always be remembered.

Many thanks to all the people who took time to read the manuscripts and give feedback on the flow of the story.All the input was valuable in making the book more interesting and easy to read.

Finally we want to give special thanks to all the professional golfers who have committed their lives to one simple concept Swing to Balance.The pursuit of balance sounds too simple to be a powerful context for living and working. However,the end of a perfect swing is always in balance.The same is true in business and life.


Reader Comments

“Leadership & Golf takes on a completely expanded meaning beyond golf to unravel the complexities faced by business leaders who are striving to achieve major change. Trust your swing is now going to be heard in business meetings as often as it is on the golf course. If you are a CEO you will love this book.”

-Dennis Bridges, Copeland Corporation.


“The story about the orange ball brought back many memories for me. As a woman having the orange ball, the ninth hole could have been an intimidating experience. With the coaching and support of my team, we experienced success and the power of teamwork. I got IT, through that experience.”

-Cindy Mustar, Simulation Participant


“Swing to Balance was an eye opening experience. The correlation between the orange ball and our warehouse employees is etched in my mind. Corporate strategy means nothing unless we deliver the perfect order to the customer.”

-Ken Parker, Simulation Participant


“For those business executives who are interested in lowering their golf handicap and eliminating their business handicap, you surely will do both when you Swing to Balance.”

-Gary Bosak, Retired Executive, Sears.


“Reading Leadership & Golf made me think of my story. I’m sure other readers will relate to it as their story. The real power, though, is not the tale but the leadership lessons I learned to change the ending of my story.”

-Dale Dvorak, Senior Vice President, Shiseido-America


“There are consultants, then there is Tom Wentz-the book is great, the Simulation is awesome. Watch your whole company start having fun as you achieve performance levels no one believed could be achieved-in your golf game too.”

-Peter Benson, President, Solidstate Controls, Inc.


“Champions on the golf course have always talked about passion, integrity and commitment. Leadership & Golf illustrates how corporate America can embrace these same values as the cornerstones to success.”

-Rod Spittle, Two time Canadian Amateur Champion


“Leadership & Golf is a lucid and engaging book. It blends a discussion of leadership, salesmanship, organizational change and golf with cool logic and intensity. It will transform enormous stores of emotions and feelings into an orderly plan to address and change how you do business.”

-Joe Jones, Regional Sales Manager, ASTEC Corp


“In golf, as in life, Balance is what makes you shoot straight and feel good. For business lessons or for life lessons, Tom’s teachings are on par with the Best!”

-Mike Corbo, Executive, Colgate


“The Simulation described in Leadership & Golf was an eye opening experience for our team. Everyone can benefit from the orange ball experience.”

-Bob Saik, Vice President, Nationwide Insurance


“Great lessons-both for your golf game and your business game. Fun reading with a serious message.”


-Ev English, President, L. A. Darling Inc.

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