Richard Palmer-Jones, European chief for GCMA Strategic Partner Under Armour, explains how Chris Cook’s Two Lengths mindset has transformed his business... It was an inspirational end to GCMA 2021 Conference. Chris Cook’s ‘Two Lengths’ keynote detailed how he transformed his approach, rid his life of complications to keep things simple, and won two Commonwealth gold swimming medals and competed in an Olympic final. Chris has subsequently delved deeper into the Two Lengths mindset in a GCMA Inspire webinar, which you can watch below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVrgxYbrABk But hearing the message is one thing, trying to implement it is another. Richard Palmer-Jones, owner of PJH Brand Management and golf partner for Under Amour across the UK and Europe, introduced Chris to the GCMA as part of the brand’s strategic partnership with the association. He has been guided by the Two Lengths approach for a number of years and Richard’s simple outlook - ‘I sell shirts and shoes’ – has seen Under Armour surge to the top of the golf apparel tree. We asked him to talk about how he heard of Two Lengths, what it has done for him and his team, and how it could help golf club managers... I watched Chris Cook’s presentation at GCMA Conference. I’ve seen it six or seven times and even now I’m still willing him to win the race when he plays the video! Chris asked the GCMA members in the room to describe their roles in one sentence and the general reaction was, ‘I can’t do that. Our jobs are far too complex’. It was really fascinating because that’s the key to Two Lengths and what Chris brings. I’d already caught the magic. Many of the things he espouses, I was doing in my life. But he found a way to bring it all together under something that could be applied as a key principle. Like with many things, you can tell a story to explain a point. Nineteen years ago, I met my wife and she asked me what I did for a living. I said to her, ‘I sell shirts and shoes’. She thought I worked at JJB Sports! The key thing was, in my mind, I had simplified my role. I was the brand director for Adidas Golf at the time for the whole of Europe. It was a big role running that entire golf division and you can make that job sound very complicated. But my mind had framed it in a really simple way. I said I sell shirts and shoes because, when you think about it, that’s what I was doing. Fast forward to 2017 and we were at a crucial point for Under Armour and the journey we’d been on. At that point, we’d become the number one apparel brand in golf in the UK after setting a goal to do that a few years earlier. I like to use imagery and we had used a painting of a NASA astronaut putting the American flag on the moon...
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