Arnold Palmer, or “Arnie” as he was known to his army of fans, was the first great celebrity superstar in sports. He is arguably still seen as the greatest influence on sports marketing, paving the way for the modern sports stars that we all see everywhere today.
Arnie won a PGA Tour event every season from 1955 to 1971, winning a total of 92 professional tournaments worldwide including the Masters four times. He played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team six times from 1961 to 1973, winning more than 22 Ryder Cup matches and leading Team USA to two victories as Captain. He was named “Athlete of the Decade” for the 1960s. He’s also one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame, designed over 250 golf courses, and co-founded Golf Channel.
Despite all of his professional accomplishments, Arnold Palmer is possibly most well-known for his kindness, openness, and generosity. He made people feel important and took the time listen. I never had the good fortune of meeting him myself, and Arnie was done playing serious golf when I took up the game, but the way he made people feel is something you hear about and read in every article ever written about him.
Making sure the people you spend time with feel they are important to you, feel they are heard and understood, has immeasurable benefits. In sales, customer service, business in general, and in your personal relationships this approach will improve everything you do.
Being like Arnie may be a lofty goal – he is “The King” after all. But showing people they are important to you in any way that you can, in your own way and to the best of your ability, is well worth the effort every day!