Jordan Speith, currently the #1 ranked golfer in the world, took second place at the PGA championship this past weekend. For you non-golf fans, this guy is on an amazing roll. He won The Masters in April, the US Open in June and came in tied for third in the British Open, in addition to two other wins on the PGA Tour this year. Oh, one more thing…Jordan is just 21 years old.
Given his age, speedy ascent, exploding fan base and current dominance in a “solo sport” that generates huge payouts for wins, you’d almost understand an inflated ego and a dismissive or painfully trained – demeanor with the media and his fans.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact with each interview and with each golf tournament played, it’s clear Jordan Speith is a young man in an older, more professional and mature man’s body. Yes, he has a superb golf game, yet his internal compass is truly impressive and admirably set. If you listen to his answers to the barrage of media questions he’s been facing since winning The Masters in April, you will notice a constant theme….call it the “The Power of We.”
Jordan talks about his accomplishments in terms of what “We” did. “We” had a good game plan. “We” kept thinking positive even after that bad bounce. “We” knew it was going to be a big putt. “We” made sure we kept our tempo.
He’s not just talking about his caddie – he’s talking about his swing coach, his family – everyone closest to him professionally and personally. He recognizes and acknowledges that the efforts of many have contributed to his incredible early success. As a admirer of his skill and fan of the game, he makes me feel included – part of his “We.”
Which is why as I was leafing through the NYTimes during Sunday’s golf tournament, I couldn’t help but to be struck by the stark contrast of the allegations of employee mistreatment and disregard at Amazon.com. Discrimination against employees returning from sickness, or maternity leave. Hostile work conditions and ridiculously pressurized schedules. All this from the company’s whose logo is a smile (or is that a smirk?)
I have been a happy and loyal Amazon Prime customer for several years, but I am not happy right now. I do not want to imply tacit approval of inhumane practices by supporting the brand. The water has been tainted and it is hard to feel good about the next drink. Whatever “We” I felt with Amazon previously has morphed into a “Them.” And that’s hard to repair. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos quickly responded internally by urging his 180,000 employees to give the Times article “a careful read” but said it “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day.” Further he’s invited anyone to email him directly if such acts were witnessed, and the like.
Rather than policing abuse, wouldn’t it be better to adopt the Power of We right from the start? In this together. No one person is the star. Success comes from many. Mr Bezos, please pay closer attention to your practices. Better yet, start watching some golf.