I’m no math wizard; I’m lucky if I can add two and two and reliably get four! (NO. Do not remind me that there are plusses and minuses to consider… please.)
But I was watching the PGA Tour Championship a couple of weeks ago – you know, the one where the winner earns a very cool $15 MILLION – and I saw a stat that started me thinking, thinking about how misleading it could be.
I just realized that depending on one’s knowledge of golf statistics, it could look as though Patrick Cantlay did worse that week than the previous one … or better.
The light green bar is tough to read, but it says, “Putts Made Over 10 feet.”
So making more of those usually means good scores; making fewer could mean bad scores.
Then again, if he was only being measured by that one statistic, we’d have no real knowledge of how good he’s been day to day, week to week, or year to year.
We wouldn’t know if he actually got so close to the pin he didn’t NEED to worry about making long putts. It’s a fair statistic, but it needs context for full understanding. “This week,” did he only make one from several that were at least 10’ in length … or was there only one that measured that length with all the others being much closer, a desirable result?
And I realized that we often measure metrics without considering what they actually mean in the big picture with all the details.
Let’s say a baseball player has “only” hit 5 homeruns this summer against the 18 he hit last year. Sounds kind of sad … unless we learn that he was out for two months with COVID, or he hurt his ankle and played a limited number of games, like maybe 10. Suddenly, those five HRs could easily be seen as amazing, given the circumstances, right?
An exceptional tennis player might be missing more shots this year than she did last year, which again could seem to say she’s not doing well, but what if the shots she does hit are all winners? What if she routinely knocks it out of the park, but that fact gets hidden with a single negative statistic?
Based on that specific calculation, I’m number 8 out of 100.
Pretty damn cool, right? Trust me: I’m thrilled!
In that time, I gained 4,040 followers, starting with 31,954 and ending with 35,994, an increase of 12.64%. Excellent, and I’m happy with it!
But, that’s ONE measure of success – the percent increase.
If I had been judged solely on the additional number of followers gained, I would have ranked #9. Yes, of course, that would still be fine.
If I had been judged solely on the total number of followers I have so far, I would have ended up on the bottom of the page (there are many with over 100,000 followers).
Of course, no matter where we end up in that ranking, it’s a terrific honor.
Lucky for me, my personal measure of success doesn’t rest solely on numbers, because I could imagine getting very hung up on one metric and not seeing the big picture.
I could imagine seeing this whole thing as a competition, which it is NOT. Even with others who work in the same field as I do, it’s not competition. We’re all unique.
For me, success includes being able to interact with others around the world who know so much more than I ever will about their world, their society, their specialties. I love how willingly they share that knowledge for the betterment of all.
I love knowing I’m offering value to others, learning that by their willingness to follow or connect with me and to comment on or share my original content. And I hope they know I feel the same way about them with my actions and words.
How do you measure your success, friends?
What rocks YOUR boat and gives you the reason to do what you do?