Attack Like Norman's Shark

I remember thinking Greg Norman was great.  In my formative years, my sporting heroes were all True English Leaders; David Gower, Trevor Francis, Seb Coe.  Legends one and all, with similar charismatic, elegant and unconventional qualities.  Then I discovered golf.  England could only produce personality-devoid characters (although amazingly Nick Faldo has now developed a wonderful persona as evidenced by his witty insightful commentary, yet his style of play was akin to a Keegan, Ovett, Steve Davis – all workman-like and endeavour rather than panache and lateral thinking).  Then along came Seve.  Wow!  And hot on his heels, Greg Norman.  I remember staying up late to watch him somehow lose to Larry Mize’s bizarre chip-in at Augusta’s play-off in 86.

I’ve only ever seen him play on telly, but you can still pick up a lot about his attitude from the on-course mics.  One time, he overhead one of the world’s pitifully awful commentators, Peter Allis describe what he should do, Norman stopped and laughed, joking with those near that the advice was rubbish.  And another time, he was struggling to work out a shot to get out of difficutly, and his caddy could be overhead to say: “Greg, just picture the shot in your mind, and play it”, which I always thought was terrific advice.

Norman’s turned his personal brand (the shark) into a multi-million business.  And on a Qantas flight (he’s an “ambassador” for them at present, nice work if you can get it) bringing me back after witnessing part of the Ashes debacle, I read an in-flight mag article reviewing his latest book.  So, apologies for in effect being a review of a review, but isn’t it nice when someone’s already done half your work!  In terms of lessons for selling, here’s a few pointers I picked out:

As with all “The Big I Am” books, it’s bound to have stuff you like, and stuff you don’t, so here’s my listing.


  • The odd obstacle doesn’t matter if momentum is maintained
  • Play your own game
  • Set high standards to drive you to succeed
  • Do it now, Do it properly
  • Learn value of preparation
  • Dreams are blueprints of [future] reality
  • Be willing to change in order to succeed

…and a couple of neat tips from golf course design

  • treat every dollar as if it’s your own
  • keep future maintenance costs down


  • work at weaknesses rather than strengths
  • do not heavily invest your own capital
  • separate business and personal wealth management
  • identify your niche and fill it


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